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Police Department Public Image

The image of the Hartford Police Department and its members depends greatly on the personal integrity and discipline of all the department's members. The public image of our department is determined in part by the professional response of the department to all allegations of misconduct against the department and its members. This department will competently and professionally investigate all allegations of misconduct brought forward by a citizen against the department or its members.

The Hartford Police Department encourages all citizens to bring forward legitimate complaints regarding misconduct by any of its members. It shall be the policy of the Hartford Police Department that any and all complaints received from a citizen or other source alleging misconduct by the department, one of its members or of its policies shall be investigated promptly, impartially, efficiently and thoroughly.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints against the Hartford Police Department or one of its members may be received by submitting a citizen complaint form on this site, in person, mail, email or by phone at any time. Please click Citizen Feedback Form to submit feedback or a complaint if you wish to file a complaint.You can also call the non-emergency line at 802-295-9425 and request to speak to Deputy Chief Braedon Vail or by email. As part of the investigation, the person making a complaint by submitting the form on this site, mail, email or by phone may be requested to meet in person at the earliest possible convenience with the investigating officer so that they may be interviewed and a signed, sworn written statement or affidavit can be obtained. Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the extent possible.

What Should Be Reported

Police behavior that should be subject to citizen complaints includes: Corruption, such as:
  • Acceptance of gratuities
  • Bribery
  • Theft
Misconduct, such as:
  • Any suspected criminal activity
  • Excessive force
  • Harassment
  • Unlawful arrest
  • Unprofessional conduct
These complaints are thoroughly investigated and a written report is prepared which includes statements from the complainant, the accused and all witnesses. The report will not reflect any personal opinion, but rather represent an unbiased picture of the circumstances as they actually occurred.

The report is then submitted to the Chief of Police for evaluation. If the Chief of Police has reason to believe there was misconduct or corruption on the part of the employee, the chief shall make a determination as to what appropriate action shall be initiated.

Complaint Dispositions

The disposition of complaints are classified as follows:
  • Exonerated - The incident occurred, but the member acted lawfully.
  • Not Sustained - There is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Office Investigation - The complainant failed to cooperate and no evidence to support misconduct is found
  • Sustained - The allegation is substantiated.
  • Unfounded - The allegation is false or not factual.

Disciplinary Action

 All disciplinary action is handled through a disciplinary matrix.

Minor Complaints

Minor complaints against department members would include such complaints as informal complaints, infractions of policies or procedures or those not believed to be serious by the complainant or shift supervisor receiving the complaint and may be resolved immediately to the satisfaction of the complainant.