At the request of the Winston-Salem City Council, the Public Safety Committee developed a plan for a Citizen Police Review Board. The Public Safety Committee was assisted in developing this plan by interested citizens who gave their comments and suggestions during public hearings.
The Citizen Police Review Board plan was approved and adopted by the City Council on February 15, 1993.
The primary purpose of the Citizen Police Review Board is to act as a fact finding body in cases involving unresolved citizen complaints against employees of the Police Department.
The Citizen Police Review Board has 11 members who serve three-year terms. Each member must be a resident of Winston-Salem. Persons interested in serving on this board should apply to the Mayor's Office, Suite 150, City Hall, 101 N. Main St. The mailing address is: P. O. Box 2511, Winston-Salem, NC 27102.
The Mayor recommends appointments to the Citizen Police Review Board to the City Council, and all appointments are made by the City Council. Persons interested in serving may also wish to inform their Council Member of their interest.
The Citizen Police Review Board holds regular meetings at least once every three months. However, special meetings may be scheduled more often, with proper notification given to the public.
If you find that you need to bring a complaint against a Police Department employee, be sure to note the date and time of day of the incident and try to get as much specific information as possible about the incident. As examples, try to get the name of the employee and names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident.
Complaints may be filed immediately with the employee's supervisor or at any one of the following locations:
Professional Standards Division
725 N. Cherry St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
City Secretary's Office
City Hall, Suite 140
101 N. Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27102
Staff at these locations will be available to assist you in filing your complaint.
All complaints will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Division of the Police Department. When the investigation is completed the Police Chief will provide you with a written answer to the complaint. The Chief's letter will indicate if the investigation found the allegations in the complaint to be accurate, false, or unable to prove. It should be noted that the Police Chief cannot provide you with specific information regarding disciplinary actions taken against an employee.
If you are not satisfied with the conclusions reached by the Police Chief, you may appeal his/her decision to the Citizen Police Review Board.
You may appeal the Police Chief's decision by filing a notice with the City Secretary's Office. Your appeal will be presented to the Citizen Police Review Board. Usually within 30 days of the appeal, the Citizen Police Review Board will decide whether to hold a hearing. If the Citizen Police Review Board decides to hold a hearing you will be notified of this decision in writing stating the time, date, and place of the hearing. You will be expected to encourage all of your witnesses to attend. To assist you in the hearing, you may use the services of an attorney or any other person of your choice.
At the hearing, which will be conducted in private, you and your witnesses will be given an opportunity to explain to the Citizen Police Review Board the details of your complaint. The Police Department employee and witnesses will be given an opportunity to detail their account of the incident. Each side may ask questions of all persons who offer evidence, as well as members of the Citizen Police Review Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Citizen Police Review Board will consider all of the information received and prepare a report on its findings. This report will be presented to the City Manager for his actions. The City Manager will advise you in writing of his resolution of your complaint. This is the final step in the administrative process to resolve a citizen complaint.