Office of Professional Standards

The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for ensuring that the police officers of the Wilmington Department of Police work in true partnership with citizens and that our contact with citizens is positive. Officers of the Wilmington Department of Police are trained to follow local, state and federal policies and procedures.

The Office of Professional Standards examines compliance of Wilmington police officers with the department's standards of conduct. No evidence gathered in direct relation to the investigation will be offered into any judicial proceeding, either for or against the complainant.

Mission

The mission of the Office of Professional Standards is to protect the public and the Wilmington Department of Police through fair, thorough and proactive investigations of alleged misconduct. How is this mission accomplished?

  • PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC - Identifying and taking corrective action of police department personnel by changing procedures that would result in a negative perception by the citizens of Wilmington.
  • PROTECTION OF PERSONNEL - Ensuring that all allegations against employee personnel are investigated fairly and with accuracy so that malicious and false misconduct complaints are identified.
  • PROTECTION OF THE DEPARTMENT - initiating the corrective action so that misconduct by a small number will not blemish the integrity of the Wilmington Department of Police.

READ THE OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS ON-SITE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY

Staff

The Office of Professional Standards consists of the following staff:

  • Divisional Commander - responsible for investigating all cases assigned by the Chief of Police or his/her designee.
  • Investigative Sergeants - responsible for investigating all cases assigned by the Chief of Police or his/her designee.
  • Court Liaison Sergeant - responsible for all issues pertaining to court appearances for officers.
  • Sergeant assigned as the Extra-Job Coordinator - responsible for assigning officers to work for various businesses who wish to hire an off-duty officer for security or traffic purposes.

How to File a Complaint

A complaint may be filed by contacting the Office of Professional Standards Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (302) 576-3192, 3194, 3197 or 3193 The office is located at 300 North Walnut Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Every citizen complain is reviewed by the Office of Professional Standards Commander. If the complaint is of conduct that violates police procedures or laws, an investigation will commence. Some complaints will be referred to the Division Commander of the officer or officers involved, who will assign a supervisor officer to investigate the complaint.

Investigators interview the concerned parties and witnesses, record their statements, and gather other relevant data. The completed investigation will be forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards Commander, who reviews the investigation, recommends corrective action, and forwards the completed investigation to the Inspector of Investigative Operations for approval. Once the investigation has been completed the complainant will be notified by letter of the disposition of the complaint.

Investigative Outcome

  • SUBSTANTIATED: There is sufficient proof to confirm the allegation by a preponderance of evidence
  • UNSUBSTANTIATED: There is insufficient proof to confirm the allegation.
  • UNFOUNDED: The allegation is either demonstrably false or there is no credible evidence to support it.
  • PROPER CONDUCT: The officer is exonerated, in that he/she conducted in a manner alleged, but was within policy guidelines.
  • POLICY FAILURE: A view by the Office of Professional Standards will be made to determine if the policy is proper or improper, or if additional training is required.

If an Allegation Cannot be Proven or is Not True

Police officers and citizens must be accorded certain rights; therefore, complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, the officer and complainant are notified of the outcome of the investigation and the officer continues on duty. In the event of a substantiated allegation, the complainant may be required to appear as a witness at the Complain Hearing Board where a hearing is held by a three-member panel that will hear all evidence in the matter and determine guilt or innocence.


Contact the Wilmington Police Department

Mailing Address

Wilmington Police Department
William T. McLaughlin Public Safety Building
300 N. Walnut Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Emergencies: 911

Help Line Non-emergencies: (302) 654-5151

Crime Tip Hotline: (302) 576-3990

Drug Hotline: (302) 888-1800

Copies of Reports/Vehicle Releases: (302) 576-3600

Financial Crimes Unit: (302) 576-3676