Internal Affairs & Professional Standards Unit
The Westfield Police Department’s Internal Affairs & Professional Standards Unit is charged with the investigation of all reports and/or allegations of misconduct by officers/employees of this department.
Personnel assigned to this function serve at the sole pleasure of and are directly responsible to the Chief of Police.
The goal of the Internal Affairs & Professional Standards Unit is to ensure the integrity of the Westfield Police Department is maintained through a system of internal discipline, where fairness and justice are assured by objective, impartial investigation and review.
In addition to investigations concerning reports and/or allegations of officer/employee misconduct, the Internal Affairs & Professional Standards Unit also receives notice of:
- Any firearm discharge by department personnel, whether on-duty or off-duty, unless the discharge occurred during the course of a law enforcement training exercise, routine target practice at a firing range, a lawful animal hunt, or the humane killing of an injured animal;
- Any discharge of an agency-owned firearm by anyone other than agency personnel;
- Any use of force by agency personnel that results in injury to any person,
- Any vehicular pursuit involving agency personnel; and
- Any collision involving agency-owned vehicle.
It is the policy of the Westfield Police Department to accept and investigate all complaints of officer/employee alleged misconduct or wrongdoing from all persons who wish to file a complaint, regardless of the hour or day of the week. This includes reports from anonymous sources, juveniles, undocumented immigrants, and persons under arrest or in custody.
Following a thorough and objective examination of the available factual information, a conclusion will be determined and the officer/employee shall be either exonerated or held responsible for the alleged misconduct. Discipline shall be administered according to the degree of misconduct.
All officers/employees, regardless of rank or title, shall be subject to disciplinary action for violating their oath and trust. Committing an offense punishable under the laws of the United States, the State of New Jersey, or the municipality constitutes a violation of that oath and trust.
Officers/employees are also subject to disciplinary action for the willful or negligent failure to perform the duties of their rank or assignment.
In addition, officers/employees may be disciplined for violation of any rule or regulation of the department or for failure to obey any lawful instruction, order, or command of a superior officer or supervisor.
Disciplinary/corrective action in all matters will be determined based upon the merits of each case.
Investigators conducting the investigation of any allegation of misconduct shall strive to conduct a thorough and objective investigation respecting the rights of the principal, any other law enforcement officer, and all members of the public.
All persons shall be encouraged to submit their complaints in person as soon after the incident as possible.
Reports or complaints of officer/employee misconduct shall be accepted from any person, including anonymous sources, at any time.
Complaints shall be accepted regardless of the ace, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation disability, or immigration status of the complaining party.
Reports or complaints of officer/employee misconduct shall be accepted, regardless of whether they are made in person, by telephone, in writing or through a third party.
Reports of complaints of officer/employee misconduct shall be accepted even if the complainant declines to provide personal identification or contact information, including a signature, to the officer or employee who receives the report.
Every report or complaint shall be thoroughly and objectively investigated to a logical conclusion.
An officer/employee shall not attempt to resolve or discuss the merits of a complaint or report. Only a supervisor shall be authorized to informally resolve a minor complaint that is based on a misunderstanding of the law or accepted law enforcement practice.
Captain Jason Carter has been assigned by the Chief of Police to serve as the commanding officer of the Westfield Police Department’s Internal Affairs & Professional Standards Unit.
Click here to download an Internal Affairs Complaint Form.