Commend an Employee or File a Complaint
In Partnership with our community.....
Commend or Recognize an Employee
We value our employees as the most important organizational asset. We realize our success depends not only on accountability of our actions but positive recognition of our employees as they serve our community. Officers take great pride in being recognized by members of the public while they perform their duties. Such encouragement improves officer morale and encourages all officers to work hard to improve their individual performance and the quality of services they provide to the community.
If you would like to commend an officer and recognize their actions, professionalism, or a simple recognition- please click on the link above. This information will be provided to the officer and their peers. Additionally, you can call our non-emergency number (479) 271-3170 and provide one of our telecommunicators with the information or email the Chief of Police.
File a Complaint
Public confidence and internal morale begin to erode when we do not allow, fail to investigate, or simply dismiss formal or informal complaints. The internal affairs process is important to protect the entire department when we think misconduct or abuse of authority has happened, or that inadequacies in public service exist. Many times a supervisor may be able to answer certain questions about a call, such as why an officer handled it a call a particular way. If the complainant is satisfied with the answer, no additional investigation is needed. Furthermore, questions regarding the actual charge on a citation or arrest will not be investigated and will be handled within the courts.
The Bentonville Police Department will investigate all "External" and "Internal" complaints. The Bentonville Police Department classifies complaints into two categories:
Class I- Serious or criminal misconduct complaints that allege needless or excessive force, brutality, violations of criminal law, corruption, breach of civil rights, abuse of authority, false arrest, intentional discrimination, and others so classified by the Chief of Police.
Class II- Noncriminal, other less serious complaints that allege inadequate public service, discourtesy, improper procedure, or other misconduct as directed by the Chief of Police.
When a citizen wishes to initiate a complaint, the matter should be referred to the Patrol Lieutenant; Criminal Investigations Lieutenant; Operations Lieutenant or the Administrative Lieutenant. If none of the Lieutenants are readily available, the on-duty Sergeant shall respond and conduct a preliminary interview.
When a Lieutenant is unavailable, a Sergeant or the highest ranking officer on-duty shall conduct a preliminary interview. The Chief of Police shall be immediately notified after the interview. All information received during the preliminary interview shall be confidential.
We offer several ways to file a complaint:
*Call our non-emergency number (479) 271-3170 and advise our telecommunicator of the complaint. A supervisor will return your call.
*Via email, to the Chief of Police or Captain of the Divisions (emails online). We also investigate all complaints that may come in through another City department or agency.
*In-person at the Bentonville Police Department.
*By using the PDF form available on our website at which point you can email, mail, or drop off in person (there is no need to have the form notarized) (pdf-click here)
*Completing the online form (link above)
Note: while we prefer to have all the complainants information for we can provide feedback and/or obtain additional information as needed, we will investigate all anonymous complaints in the same manner.
A police department supervisor will investigate the complaint. The supervisor may be the direct supervisor over of the affected employee or a supervisor assigned from another division. The purpose of the investigation is to disclose the detailed truth of the incident. Every reasonable effort will be expended to satisfactorily conclude the investigation in a timely manner. The investigating supervisor will make every effort to complete the investigation within 90 calendar days. The complainant should receive notification of the results within 30 days of the conclusion.
The Chief of Police personally reviews all citizen's complaint investigations. After considering all available information, the Chief of Police makes the final decision on the validity of the complaint. This may lead to disciplinary action which could range from a reprimand to dismissal. Additionally, the Chief of Police may consider additional training for the affected employee. If the employee’s conduct was of a criminal nature, the matter may be referred to the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Unfounded ‑ Allegation is false or not factual;
Sustained ‑ Enough evidence to prove allegation;
Not Sustained ‑ Not enough evidence to prove or disprove allegation; and
Exonerated ‑ Incident happened, but employee's actions were lawful and proper.
State law does not permit the Police Department to release the contents of the citizen's complaint investigations since these matters are deemed to be confidential. However, the complainant will be notified within 30 days of the final disposition. If the investigation is sustained, the complainant will be notified that appropriate action was taken to remedy the situation.
If the complainant has any questions regarding the investigation, including it's disposition, he or she is encouraged to contact the Chief of Police, or his designee.