Citizen Complaint Policy

Mint Directive
MD 10D-24
July 2002

Chapter 10-Security
Part D – Security and Police Operations
U. S. Mint Police Citizen Complaint Review Process
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1. PURPOSE: The purpose of this directive is to establish an effective, efficient,
and fair system of independent review of citizen complaints against U.S. Mint Police officers.

2. SCOPE: This directive applies to all U.S. Mint Police officers.

3. OUTCOME: The processes specified in this directive are designed to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Be visible to and easily accessible to the public;
  2. Investigate promptly and thoroughly claims of U.S. Mint Police misconduct;
  3. Encourage the mutually agreeable resolution of complaints through
    conciliation and mediation where appropriate;
  4. Provide adequate due process protection to U.S. Mint Police officers accused of misconduct;
  5. Provide fair and speedy determination of cases that cannot be resolved through conciliation or mediation;
  6. Render just determinations;
  7. Foster increased communication and understanding and reduce tension between the police and the public; and
  8. Improve the public safety and welfare of persons with whom U.S. Mint Police come in contact in the execution of their authorized law enforcement functions.

4. POLICY: It is U.S. Mint Police policy to provide all citizens with whom
U. S. Mint Police come in contact in the execution of their authorized law enforcement functions an effective, efficient, and fair system of independent review of citizen complaints.

5. DEFINITIONS:

  1. Citizen: Any party who is not a U.S. Mint employee or the employee of a U. S. Mint contractor who has on-site access to U. S. Mint facilities.
  2. Complaint Review Official (CRO): The following individuals have the authority to act as the CRO:
    1. Director, U.S. Mint.
    2. Deputy Director, U.S. Mint.
    3. An employee or position of the U.S. Mint, in the grade of GS-15 or above, not in or under the control of the U.S. Mint Police, designated in writing by the Director or Deputy Director, U. S. Mint, to review and dispose of citizen complaints under this directive.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Director, U.S. Mint, shall be the final administrative appellate authority for all final decisions by the Complaint Review Official and the Deputy Director.
  2. Deputy Director, U.S. Mint as appropriate, shall appoint administrative investigating officials to investigate a complaint or shall refer potential criminal cases to the Treasury Inspector General for investigation.
  3. Complaint Review Official shall be responsible for disposing of all citizen complaints against U.S. Mint Police officers.
  4. Associate Director for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police shall oversee the complaint review procedures provided for in this directive and is responsible for the proper execution of all requirements, policies, and procedures in this directive. He or she is authorized to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this directive. Such rules shall be subject to review and approval by the Director, U.S. Mint.
  5. Chief of Inspections and Investigations, if assigned, is responsible for conducting a thorough investigation and generating a final written report with recommendations to the CRO within 14 days.
  6. Responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector is responsible for taking necessary and appropriate administrative, personnel, and corrective actions, as well as ensure compliance with and completion of those actions, as indicated by the results of complaints disposed by the CRO.
  7. Mint Police Detectives, if assigned, are operationally responsible for assisting the Chief of Inspections and Investigations with the investigation.
  8. U.S. Mint Police Officers are responsible for adhering to the policies and guidelines herein.

7. CRITICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Processing Complaints:
    1. Only a CRO has the authority to receive and to dismiss, conciliate, mediate, or adjudicate a citizen complaint against a U.S. Mint Police officer that alleges abuse or misuse of police powers by that officer, including:
      1. Harassment;
      2. Use of unnecessary or excessive force;
      3. Use of language or conduct that is insulting, demeaning, or humiliating;
      4. Discriminatory treatment based upon a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, physical handicap, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business; or
      5. Retaliation against a person for filing a complaint pursuant to this directive.
    2. If a complaint alleges misconduct that is not within the review authority provided for under this directive, the CRO shall refer the allegation to other authorities, as appropriate for further processing.
    3. Any person having personal knowledge of alleged police misconduct may file a complaint with the CRO on behalf of an alleged victim.
    4. To be timely, a complaint must be received by the CRO within 45 days from the date of the incident that is the subject of the complaint. The CRO may extend the deadline for good cause.
    5. Each complaint shall be reduced to writing and signed by the complainant.
    6. Complaint forms shall conclude with the following words: “I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge, and under penalty of perjury, the statements made herein are true.”
    7. The CRO shall screen each complaint and may request additional information from the complainant. The CRO also shall consult with an attorney from the Chief Counsel’s Office to obtain legal advice on the complaint. Within seven working days of the receipt of the complaint, or within seven working days of the receipt of additional information requested from the complainant, the CRO shall take one of the following actions:
      1. Dismiss the complaint, with the concurrence of the Chief Counsel;
      2. Refer the complaint to the Deputy Director for criminal investigation if it is accompanied by credible evidence of criminal misconduct;
      3. Attempt to conciliate the complaint;
      4. Refer the complaint to mediation; or
      5. Refer the complaint to the Deputy Director for administrative investigation.
    8. The CRO shall notify in writing the complainant and the subject police officer or officers of the action taken under subsection (g) of this section. If the complaint is dismissed, the notice shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for the dismissal, and the CRO shall notify the complainant that the complaint may be brought to the attention of the Associate Director for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police, who may direct that the complaint be investigated and that appropriate action be taken.
  2. Dismissal of Complaint: With the concurrence of the Chief Counsel, the CRO may dismiss a complaint on the following grounds:
    1. The complaint is deemed to lack merit;
    2. The complainant refuses to cooperate with the investigation; or
    3. If, after the CRO refers a complaint for mediation, the complainant willfully fails to participate in good faith in the mediation process.
  3. Referral of Complaint for Criminal Investigation:
    1. When, in the determination of the CRO, there is credible evidence that the misconduct alleged in a complaint or disclosed by an investigation of the complaint may be criminal in nature, the CRO shall refer the matter to the Deputy Director. The Deputy Director shall review the matter and shall receive the advice of the Chief Counsel. If the Deputy Director determines that there is credible evidence of criminal misconduct, he or she shall refer (or cause the referral of) the matter to the Treasury Inspector General for investigation. The referral shall be accompanied by a copy of all of the files relevant to the matter being referred.
    2. The CRO shall give written notification of such referral to the Associate Director for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police, the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector, the complainant, and the subject officer or officers.
    3. The CRO shall maintain a record of each referral, and ascertain and record the disposition of each matter referred to the Treasury Inspector General.
    4. If the Treasury Inspector General refers the case to the U.S. Attorney, but the U.S. Attorney declines in writing to prosecute, the CRO shall resume the processing of the complaint, and thereafter the CRO may dismiss the complaint in accordance with paragraph 8, conciliate the complaint, refer the complaint to mediation, or refer the complaint for investigation, as appropriate.
  4. Conciliation and Mediation:
    1. If deemed appropriate by the CRO, and if the parties agree to participate in a conciliation process, the CRO may attempt to resolve a complaint by conciliation.
    2. Procedure.
      1. The conciliation of a complaint shall be evidenced by a written agreement signed by the CRO and the parties which may provide for oral apologies or assurances, written undertakings, or any other terms satisfactory to the parties. No oral or written statements made in conciliation proceedings may be used as a basis for any discipline or recommended discipline against a subject police officer or officers or in any civil or criminal litigation.
      2. The parties may agree in writing that a written conciliation agreement shall not be a public document and shall not be available to the public.
    3. If conciliation efforts are unsuccessful, the CRO may dismiss the complaint in accordance with paragraph 8, refer the complaint to mediation, or refer the complaint for investigation.
    4. If the CRO refers the complaint to mediation, the CRO shall arrange for a qualified mediator, shall schedule an initial mediation session for the earliest convenient time, and shall notify the complainant and subject police officer or officers in writing of the date, time, and location of the initial mediation session.
    5. The complainant, the subject police officer or officers, and the mediator shall be present at mediation sessions. Alternatively, the mediator may meet individually with the complainant and the subject police officer or officers. Except as provided in this subparagraph, no other person may be present or participate in mediation sessions, except as determined by the mediator to be required for a fair and expeditious mediation of the complaint. An interpreter shall be present when necessary for effective communication and shall be provided by the CRO, at U.S. Mint Police expense, when timely requested by a party. When the complainant is under 18 years of age or is an adult who, because of mental, physical, or emotional condition or disability, cannot participate competently in mediation, a parent, guardian, conservator, or other responsible adult must be present at mediation sessions.
    6. The mediation process shall continue as long as the mediator believes it may result in the resolution of the complaint, except that it may not extend beyond 30 days from the date of the initial mediation session without the approval of the CRO. No oral or written statement made during the mediation process may be used by any party as a basis for any discipline or recommended discipline of the subject police officer or officers, nor in any civil or criminal litigation, except as otherwise provided by the rules of court or the rules of evidence.
    7. If mediation is successful, the mediator and the parties shall sign a mediation agreement resolving the complaint. The CRO shall forward a copy of any mediation agreement to the Chief Counsel for review. If the Chief Counsel determines that any provision of the agreement is unlawful, contrary to applicable regulation, or unconscionable, he or she shall remand the agreement to the CRO to correct such deficiencies. Upon obtaining the Chief Counsel’s concurrence, the CRO shall place a copy of the mediation agreement in the complaint file and shall forward a copy of the mediation agreement to the Associate Director, for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police and the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector. The responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall monitor the conduct of the police officer or officers to determine that the police officer complies with the terms of an agreement reached after mediation.
    8. The parties may agree in writing that a mediation agreement shall not be a public document and shall not be available to the public.
    9. If mediation efforts are unsuccessful or if the CRO determines that the complainant willfully fails to participate in good faith in the mediation process, the CRO may dismiss the complaint in accordance with paragraph 8, may refer the complaint for investigation, or may refer the complaint for to the Deputy Director for a determination of the merits of the complaint if the CRO determines that further investigation is unnecessary.
    10. If, after the CRO refers a complaint to mediation, any police officer subject to the complaint refuses to participate in the mediation process in good faith, such refusal or failure shall constitute cause for discipline by the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector. The responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall cause appropriate disciplinary action to be instituted against the police officer for such a violation and shall notify the CRO and the Associate Director for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police, of the outcome of such action. In the event that the subject police officer refuses to participate in the mediation process or fails to participate in the mediation process in good faith, the CRO shall refer the complaint for investigation, or may refer the complaint to the Deputy Director for a determination of the merits of the complaint if further investigation is deemed unnecessary.
  5. Complaint Investigation, Findings, and Determination:
    1. If the CRO refers a complaint for administrative investigation, the Deputy Director shall appoint an investigating official to investigate the complaint.
    2. If the complainant refuses to cooperate in the investigation, the investigating officer may so advise the CRO and the CRO may dismiss the complaint in accordance with paragraph 8.
    3. The investigating official shall perform a thorough investigation of the matter and shall take sworn statements and gather other evidence necessary to determine the facts surrounding the alleged incident. The investigating official shall consult with a member of the Office of Chief Counsel for advice on the conduct of the investigation and on preparing the report of investigation.
    4. Employees of the U.S. Mint shall cooperate fully in the investigation of a complaint. The investigating official shall report any U.S. Mint employee who declines or fails to fully cooperate in an investigation shall so advise the CRO who shall advise the employee’s Associate Director, Assistant Director, or other supervisor, as appropriate. Upon notification by the CRO that a U.S. Mint Police officer has not cooperated as requested, the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall take appropriate disciplinary action against the officer, and shall notify the CRO and the Associate Director for Protection/Chief, U.S. Mint Police, of the outcome of such action.
    5. An employee of the U.S. Mint shall not retaliate, directly or indirectly, against a person who files a complaint under this Directive. If a complaint of retaliation is sustained under this Directive, the subject police officer or employee shall be subject to appropriate penalty, including dismissal.
    6. When the investigating official completes the investigation, he or she shall summarize the results of the investigation in a report of investigation which, along with the investigative file, shall be transmitted to the CRO within 14 days of the investigating official’s appointment. Upon request by the investigating official, the CRO may for good cause extend the 14-day period for up to two seven-day periods. Extensions beyond 28 days shall be referred to the Deputy Director for approval. After reviewing the investigative report and the investigative file,
      the CRO may dismiss the complaint in accordance with paragraph 8, may direct the investigator to undertake additional investigation, or may refer the complaint to the Deputy Director to determine the merits of the complaint.
    7. Upon receiving a complaint, the Deputy Director may request that the
      CRO order additional investigation, may proceed to determine the merits of the complaint in a fair and expeditious manner based on the report of investigation and the investigative file, or may hold an evidentiary hearing. If the Deputy Director determines that an evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine fairly the merits of a complaint, the testimony at such hearing shall be under oath or affirmation, and the parties may be represented by counsel. The Deputy Director shall have the authority to administer an oath or affirmation to a witness.
    8. If, after the CRO refers a complaint to the Deputy Director, the parties indicate to the Deputy Director that they are willing to resolve the complaint through conciliation or mediation, the Deputy Director may act as a conciliator or mediator or may refer the matter back to the CRO for mediation or conciliation under paragraph 10. If a party already is represented by counsel, that party may continue to be represented by counsel during this conciliation or mediation process. If one party is represented by counsel and the other party is not so represented, the complaint examiner shall, upon request, give the unrepresented party a reasonable time to obtain counsel before commencing the mediation or conciliation process.
    9. Upon review of the investigative file and the evidence adduced at any evidentiary hearing, and in the absence of the resolution of the complaint by conciliation or mediation, the Deputy Director shall make written findings of fact regarding all material issues of fact, and shall determine whether the facts found sustain or do not sustain each allegation of misconduct. In making this determination, the Deputy Director may consider any U.S. Mint directive, policy, or order that prescribes standards of conduct for U.S. Mint employees in general or U.S. Mint Police officers in particular.
    10. The Deputy Director shall transmit the entire complaint file, including the merits of his or her determination, to the CRO; the Associate Director, for Protection/Chief U.S. Mint Police; and the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector. If the Deputy Director determines that one or more allegations in the complaint is sustained, the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall take appropriate action based on these determinations. If the Deputy Director determines that no allegation in the complaint is sustained, the CRO shall dismiss the complaint and notify the complainant; the Associate Director for Protection/Chief U.S. Mint Police; and the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector in writing of such dismissal with a copy of the determination.
  6. Action by the United States Mint Police:
    1. Upon receipt of a complaint file in which one or more allegations in a complaint has been sustained, the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall review the file within five working days and shall take appropriate action, including disciplinary and adverse action if warranted, against the subject officer.
    2. Any action taken against a U.S. Mint Police officer under this procedure shall be in accordance with existing federal laws and regulations and United States Mint directives, policies, and agreements pertaining to personnel procedures and employee discipline.
    3. Within five working days after the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector has made a final decision on the disposition of any action against the subject officer, the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector shall notify the CRO and the complainant in writing of the action taken.
  7. Effect of Order Dismissing Complaint:
    1. A dismissal of a complaint by the CRO shall be a final resolution of the complaint. Such order shall be neither appealable to nor reviewable by any other entity, administrative or judicial.
    2. A dismissal of a complaint by the CRO for any reason, including a dismissal based upon a determination of the merits of a complaint by the Deputy Director, shall not bar the complainant from seeking any judicial relief that may be available pursuant to federal law.
  8. Appeals:
    1. A U.S. Mint Police officer or employee affected by any decision or determination under this procedure may appeal that decision or determination in accordance with existing federal laws and regulations and U.S. Mint directives, policies, and agreements pertaining to personnel procedures and employee discipline.
    2. A complainant whose complaint is disposed of through investigation and final determination my the Deputy Director may appeal this determination to the Director, U.S. Mint. The Director’s review shall be limited to a procedural review to ensure that all processes in the case were conducted in accordance with law and these procedures. The Director may sustain the Deputy Director’s determinations and, if so, such a decision shall be a final. If the Director determines that error occurred, he or she shall remand the case to the Deputy Director to correct the error. The Deputy Director shall take such actions as he or she deems necessary to correct the error and shall notify the CRO of such action. The CRO shall notify the complainant; the Associate Director for Protection/Chief U.S. Mint Police; the responsible Field Chief or Headquarters Inspector; and the subject officers of such action.

8. Authority: MD 10D-1, Police Authority, Powers and Jurisdiction, (April 2002).

9. Cancellations: None

10. Sunset Review Date: July 2007

11. Responsible Office: Office of Protection

12. Reference:

MD 10D-19, Complaint Review Process for Alleged Excessive Force/Criminal Activity, (January 2002).

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