Southern Professional Investigations has conducted several internal investigations for Law Enforcement departments in Georgia. These investigations required an independent and objective investigator to investigate allegations of criminal violations along with sexual misconduct and violations of departmental policies and procedures. The investigations resulted in several high ranking officers terminated or they submitted their resignations
Internal Investigations Examples:
A (withheld) city was in the process of hiring a new police chief for their department. They had a candidate who was currently employed as a police officer with another department. His application looked great and during his interview he was impressive. The Mayor requested a background investigation on the candidate. After four days of extensive interviews and researching records, we found out that this officer had been in trouble a few years prior with a former sheriff’s department. In the course of investigation we discovered that, while on duty, he would engage in inappropriate behavior. Needless to say he was not hired.
A Police Department in (withheld) had received complaints about their chief, who had been head of the department for a number of years. The Mayor contacted us and requested an investigation. After a week of interviews and research of the evidence room revealed large amounts of beer and alcohol that had been confiscated from teenagers. Further investigation determined the chief was then providing this alcohol to friends of his and not destroying the evidence as required. Several types of drugs were found in the evidence room, with no documentation or identifying papers to associate the drugs with a suspect and when, where, and the time the drugs were seized. In one case drugs had been sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis, and according to the paperwork, the evidence was still in the possession of the Crime Lab. However during the audit, the drugs supposedly sent to the lab were located in the evidence room. An analysis of the Chiefs computer in his office and the laptop in his patrol car was conducted and pornographic pictures were found on both. The chief was terminated within a few days of completion of the investigation.
The Mayor of a town in (withheld) contacted us and requested an internal investigation of the Police Chief. Two weeks of intensive interviews of every member of the department, including civilians, confirmed sexual misconduct by several members of the department. In addition it was discovered that improper hiring practices were in place. On the application, an officer stated that he had never been reprimanded or suspended. The investigation revealed that a few years ago he had been disciplined for inappropriate behavior. It was determined that his superior was aware of the discipline, but he never mentioned it on the application. Both officers submitted their resignations. Another employee also resigned for sexual misconduct. It was also determined that a former officer of the department was having an affair with a civilian employee of the city, who was married. The allegations against the Mayor were determined to be without merit.
These types of investigations require a very experienced investigator who knows how to conduct interviews and interrogate suspects. The investigation requires an independent investigator with no affiliations or association with the department under investigation and/or the subjects of the investigation. We have found that these types of investigations will start with the initial complaint, but almost always we discover other misconduct or inappropriate behavior by individuals that were not even involved in the original complaint. We are experienced investigators who know how to conduct interviews and obtain the truth. As you can see, these are complex and sensitive cases and not every investigator is trained or experienced in conducting an internal investigation.