File a Citizen Complaint about a Police Officer

A complainant is a citizen that reports a legitimate concern or grievance regarding employee misconduct. A legitimate concern or grievance is one that is defined as being, "real, valid, or genuine," 1 and "neither spurious nor false." 2 Citizens are encouraged to report legitimate concerns or grievances by submitting a Citizen Complaint Form to the Charlottesville Police Department in person or by mail to the following address:

Charlottesville Police Department
Internal Affairs Unit
606 E Market Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

If you choose to fill out the form electronically, it will be submitted directly to the Office of Professional Standards' new email address. This email will be automatically received by the Internal Affairs Unit, the Chief and Assistant Chief, and the Executive Director of the Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board.

Citizens may also obtain a Citizen Complaint Form from the police department Customer Service Window. You may call (434) 970-3600 or contact Sgt. Greg Wade at (434) 970-3287.


The Department is committed to conducting thorough and timely administrative investigations. All complaints are forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards for documentation and assignment. You will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint and a supervisor will contact you in the near future, investigate your complaint, and make a disposition recommendation to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police determines the final disposition of all complaints.

It is imperative that our employees and private citizens feel free to voice concerns and to document complaints against Charlottesville Police Department personnel; therefore, these files are kept strictly confidential. In addition to commonly used exemptions noted on the City’s FOIA webpage, CPD also commonly exercises the exemption allowed by 2.2-3706(B)(9) (records of (i) background investigations of applicants for law-enforcement agency employment, (ii) administrative investigations relating to allegations of wrongdoing by employees of a law-enforcement agency, and (iii) other administrative investigations conducted by law-enforcement agencies that are made confidential by law.

Accordingly, we do not release the results of such investigations, however, once the Department concludes its investigation, you will be notified by letter.

Additional Resources

Citizens may also telephone one of the following numbers to speak to a supervisor in reference to a service issue.

  • Internal Affairs Unit Phone: 434-970-3600
  • Patrol Division Commander Phone: 434-970-3960

False Complaints

The intentional filing of a false complaint could result in legal action against the complainant.