About the Internal Affairs Function
The West Orange Police Department is committed to providing quality services that are fair, effective, and impartially applied. It is in the best interests of everyone involved that your complaint is resolved fairly. The police department has formal procedures that ensure fairness and protect the rights of both citizens and police officers. The Internal Affairs Function is governed by State of New Jersey law, specifically NJSA 40A:14-181. The attorney general of the State of New Jersey has issued strict guidelines for police departments to follow in these matters. Because of the nature of administrative personnel investigations, the internal affairs process takes time. All internal affairs matters are kept confidential.
For more information, contact Lt. Michael Mastras at (973) 325-4010.
Types of Incidents
If you have an issue, your complaint will be sent to a superior officer or a specially trained internal affairs investigator for a thorough and objective investigation. Disciplinary hearings are closed to the public unless the defendant officer requests an open hearing. Possible results of a complaint:
- You may be asked to help the investigation by giving a detailed statement about what happened.
- If the investigation shows that a crime might have been committed, the county prosecutor will be notified, and you may be asked to testify in court.
- If the investigation results in an officer charged with violations of department policy, you might be asked to testify in a departmental hearing.
- If the investigation shows that the complaint is unfounded or that the officer acted properly, the matter will be closed.
Contrived / Malicious Complaints
Although there are complaints against officers that are legitimate and based on facts, there are others that are contrived and maliciously pursued, often with the intent to mitigate or neutralize legal action taken against a complainant by an officer. The matter will be fully and impartially investigated. In any case where a complaint has been fabricated or a complainant has intentionally misrepresented material facts of officer misconduct, the matter may be criminally prosecuted.
View internal affairs resources:
- 2nd Quarter 2019 Use of Force Summary Report
- Use of Force Summary Report 2018
- Internal Affairs and Disciplinary Process Annual Public Report- 2018
- 3rd Quarter 2018 Use of Force Report (PDF)
- 2017 Internal Affairs Summary Report (PDF)
- 2017 Use of Force Summary Report (PDF)
- Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures (PDF)
- Personnel Commendation Form (PDF)
- Personnel Complaint Form (English) (PDF)
- Personnel Complaint Form (Espanol) (PDF)