The Professional Standards Unit of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office operates in accordance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Guidelines on Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures. The Guidelines can be found at https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/directives/ag-Directive-2020-7_Internal_Affairs_Policy_and_Procedures_and_Appendix.pdf.
The Unit accepts and documents all citizen complaints against law enforcement personnel employed in Ocean County, as well as all citizen complaints against law enforcement personnel employed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. It is also responsible for investigating allegations of criminal acts committed by police officers. If a citizen’s complaint about a police officer does not rise to the level of a crime or there is insufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed, the complaint is referred back to the officer’s employer, the municipal police department, for an administrative investigation by the police department’s internal affairs unit. If a police officer is found by his or her employer to have violated a department policy or rule during the administrative investigation, then the employer may discipline the officer. However, discipline rests solely with a law enforcement officer’s employing agency. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office does not have the legal authority to impose administrative punishment on a municipal police officer but may issue a recommendation based upon the severity of the violation.
The Civilian Complaint Information Sheet can be found at Civilian-Complaint-Sheet.pdf. Any citizen wishing to file a complaint may do so by completing a complaint form OCPO-Internal-Affairs-Compaint-Form.pdf and submitting in person at our office Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; or by fax at 732-288-4777; or by e-mailing the Professional Standards Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by contacting the Unit by telephone at 732-929-2027, Ext 7878.