The Office of Professional Responsibility is headed by Lt. Christopher Nichols; he can be reached at 706-613-3358 ext. 226. SPO Sean Palmateer also is assigned to this unit and can be contacted at 706-613-3358 ext. 225.
Together, Lt. Nichols and SPO Palmateer are responsible for investigating and coordinating any investigations of alleged misconduct against members of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
What are the duties of Professional Responsibility?
As an integral part of the police department, the office reports directly to the Chief of Police. Professional Responsibility monitors police conduct and investigates citizen complaints, necessary to ensure the department's credibility, trust, and effectiveness as a law enforcement agency in the Athens-Clarke County community. Types of investigations conducted by Professional Responsibility include: alleged police brutality, profanity, illegal acts, disrespectful conduct, or violations of civil rights committed by police employees.
How do you file a complaint?
You can file a complaint if you If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of police conduct. Some complaints, such as rudeness or disrespect, will be handled by the officer's supervisor or unit commander. Complaints deemed to be integrity issues will be handled by the Professional Responsibility. You can file your complaint by:
- Come in person to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, 3035 Lexington Road, Athens, Georgia 30605 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- Complete the online Complaint Form
- Telephone: 706-613-3330
- Contact the on-duty Watch Commander: 706-613-3345
How is your complaint handled?
- Upon receipt, your complaint will be reviewed and you could be contacted. You may be asked to sit for a recorded interview and/or provide an additional written statement.
- The investigator will interview witnesses and involved officers to obtain statements.
- Information and evidence will be analyzed and a conclusion reached.
- You will be notified when the complaint process is completed, normally within 30 days.
- Please make your complaint as soon as possible.
- If your complaint alleges that police have assaulted you, please seek immediate medical attention and take photographs as soon as possible.
- If you require, arrangements to have photographs taken can be made by an investigating officer. We will provide you with transportation to the police department or visit your home.
- All complaints against employees of this department will be documented and investigated including anonymous complaints.