Q: How does an internal affairs (“IA”) investigation work?

A: The first step is for the investigator to compare the officer’s actions to the San Rafael Police Department (SRPD) current policies. The investigator will narrow the scope of the investigation to any potential or alleged misconduct, based on SRPD policy.

The first step in an IA is for the investigator to determine all the written policies related to the alleged misconduct, for example, the San Rafael Police Department (SRPD) Use of Force Policy. The investigator must also designate the scope of the investigation so they can make specific findings regarding whether the officers involved complied with the relevant established policies or not.

The investigator reviews all of the evidence, including all body-worn camera footage, photographs, and police reports. The investigator interviews witnesses (community members and employees) as well as the involved officers. Those interviews are (audio or video) recorded. The officers involved must answer the investigator’s questions or potentially face additional discipline up to and including termination.  Officers under investigation are entitled to have representation (a union representative or a lawyer) present during the interview, as long as the chosen representative is not a witness or subject of the investigation.

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