Professional Standards Section
Citizen's Commendation and Complaint Procedures
It is the policy of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office to recognize outstanding
law enforcement performance through the formal use of commendations.
Expressions of appreciation for services or actions by employees are greatly appreciated.
Letters recognizing employees or citizens for their actions are encouraged and may
be forwarded to the Sheriff at Manatee County Sheriff's Office 600 301 Boulevard
West, Bradenton, 34205
Professional Standards Section
A proper relationship fostered by confidence and trust between the Manatee County
Sheriff's Office and the citizen's of Manatee County, is essential to effective
The function of the Professional Standards Section is to foster this relationship
and provide citizens with a fair and effective means for lodging legitimate complaints
against Sheriff's Office employees.
The complaint procedure and disciplinary process not only subjects the employee
to corrective action following any improper conduct, it also protects the employee
from criticism when they properly discharge their duty.
Some types of misconduct are:
- Excessive force
- Misuse of authority
- Neglect of duty
- Improper personal conduct
- Any unlawful conduct
Complaints are often the result of a misunderstanding or disagreement with the application
of law or Sheriff’s Office procedures.
Complaints of misconduct can be accepted by any employee or supervisor. The
Complainant may also contact Professional Standards directly. Complaints may be
made in person at any of the district offices or by telephone, facsimile or letter.
During non-business hours, complaints may be directed to the Manatee County Sheriff's
Office Telephone Reporting Unit or any Manatee County Sheriff's Office employee.
While the Manatee County Sheriff's Office encourages citizens to report legitimate
complaints of misconduct, it also assumes and expects that citizens will not file
frivolous, vindictive or false complaints against employees who have properly performed
their duties. State law forbids the intentional filing of a false report to law
enforcement and also prohibits anyone from lying under oath.
Complaint Investigation And Disposition Process
All formal complaints are thoroughly investigated and the complainant, the accused,
and all witnesses are interviewed under oath and a report is prepared that includes
these interviews and all other evidence that can be documented.
The report will contain the facts of the case in order to present an unbiased picture
of the incident as it actually occurred and will not reflect the opinions of the
investigator. This permits a supervisor to make a fair recommendation based on the
facts that can be verified and proved. The employee is notified of the completion
of the investigation.
The report is forwarded through the employee's chain of command for review and recommendation.
If the allegation is sustained, the report is forwarded to the Sheriff who has the
final decision on all disciplinary actions.
The disposition of all complaints are classified as follows:
- Not-Sustained -- Insufficient evidence exists to support the allegations in a complaint.
- Sustained/Sustained -In-Part -- Sufficient evidence exists to support the allegation
in a complaint. If one or more, but not all, allegations are made against the employee
are found to be true, then a Sustained-In-Part ruling would apply.
- Exonerated -- An investigative finding that an action did occur, but was reasonable,
proper, and lawful.
- Unfounded -- Either the allegation is demonstrably false, or there is no credible
evidence to support it.
- Policy Failure -- When the action of the employee is in compliance with directives,
but the directives are faulted.
In all cases, the complaint and accused employee are notified of the final disposition
of the complaint.
What happens to the complaint?
- Complaint initiated
- Investigator assigned to the complaint
- Factual report prepared
- Chain of Command review and recommendation by employee's supervisors
- Sheriff final disposition
- Disposition outcome is revealed
- Employee appeal process
- Complainant notification of outcome
Where is the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Office
For in-person complaints or mail-in complaints,come in, call or mail to::
600 301 Boulevard West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-747-3011 Ext 2020
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
NOTE: Under Florida law, all submitted information can become part of the public
record. If you do not want your information released in response to a public-records
request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office