Professional Compliance

Philosophy

In order for the citizens of Cocoa to have the trust and confidence in the police, the Cocoa Police Department strives to foster a good relationship with its citizenry. As a community policing agency, positive police behavior is reinforced through the scrutiny of a Proactive Police Administration and an office of Police Internal Affairs.

Police Officers must be free to exercise their best judgment and to initiate action in a reasonable, lawful, and impartial manner without fear of reprisal. At the same time, they must observe the rights of all people. Citizens must feel free to question police conduct which they feel is improper, in an acceptable manner.

The Cocoa Police Department is committed to unbiased policing in all its encounters between police officers and citizens. CPD policy provides guidelines for officers to prevent biased policing and reinforces procedures that serve to maintain public confidence and trust through the provision of services in a fair and equitable fashion.

Internal Affairs

The function of the Internal Affairs Section is to protect the integrity of the Cocoa Police Department by fairly and impartially investigating complaints against department employees.

The Cocoa Police Department has a long standing reputation of fairly and impartially investigating allegations of police misconduct, and of disciplining its members when appropriate.

Who May Register a Complaint?

Any citizen, prisoner, or member of the department may make a complaint. A signed notarized affidavit is requested at the time the complaint is made.

A complaint may be submitted to any sworn supervisor of the police department. All complaints are reviewed by the Chief of Police and forwarded to the Internal Affairs Section.

Investigative Procedures

Internal Affairs conducts a preliminary administrative investigation on every citizen complaint, regardless of its nature. Depending upon the circumstances, the incident will either be handled by a supervisor, informally by an Internal Affairs Investigator, or formally by Internal Affairs. If your case is assigned to the officer’s supervisor for investigation, the supervisor will contact you to try to resolve the situation.

If the case is to be handled formally, an Internal Affairs Investigator will complete a thorough report regarding the complaint.

The completed investigative report includes a narrative summary of the events and a finding of facts as determined by evidence, and the sworn statements of those involved.

The report is then forwarded to the Chief of Police for evaluation by the Administrative Staff for recommendations and disciplinary action, if necessary.

Profiling Complaints

When an illegal profiling complaint is alleged, a Sergeant or higher-ranking officer shall promptly respond, investigate, and complete a Citizen’s Complaint Form. These forms are sent to Internal Affairs for filing and are investigated if warranted.

Review Procedures

Each and every complaint brought to our attention is taken seriously. As a result, the Chief of Police reviews each complaint personally along with his Senior Command Staff. The Chief conducts two (2) reviews; the initial review prior to being assigned and a final review at the completion of the investigation.

The Chief at the final review will approve the investigation, disapprove the investigation or send the investigation back for additional follow-up.

The primary dispositions of formal investigations are classified as follows:

Sustained

Allegation is supported by sufficient evidence.

Not Sustained

Not guilty or insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.

Exonerated

Incident occurred but the officer acted lawfully and properly.

Unfounded

Incident did not occur or officers not involved.

There are five types of disciplinary actions, which can be recommended for a sustained case:

1. Verbal Counseling – administered verbally by the immediate supervisor.

2. Written Reprimand – a notice of discipline containing a statement of the charge and reason for reprimand to the employee.

3. Suspension – the employee is relieved from duty without pay.

4. Demotion – employee is reduced in rank.

5. Termination – employee is dismissed.

Summary of Complaint Procedures

Telephone the Internal Affairs Section Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (321) 637-6310.

Nights, weekends, and holidays call (321) 639-7620 to contact the Shift Supervisor who will see that the matter is properly addressed.

Depending upon the circumstances, the incident will either be handled by a supervisor, informally by an Internal Affairs Investigator, or formally by Internal Affairs. If your case is assigned to the officer’s supervisor for investigation, the supervisor will contact you to try to resolve the situation.

If the case is to be handled formally, an Internal Affairs Investigator will complete a thorough report regarding the complaint.

All formal investigative reports are reviewed by the Chief’s Staff for approval and recommendations.

Formal Investigation Disposition: You will be notified of the final disposition by mail.