The Commission Investigator, although housed at the Human Relations and Community Services Department, works for the Board of Police Commissioners. The Lansing City Charter vests the authority to investigate Citizen Complaints with the Board of Police Commissioners. It also gives the Board "subpoena power" which, in some measure, allows the Board to compel the presence of witnesses or potential witnesses. By virtue of the position's relationship with the Board, the Commission Investigator is responsible for the investigation of all complaints lodged against employees of the Lansing Police Department.
At the completion of each investigation, the Commission Investigator reviews the file to ensure that a complete, concise and fair investigation was conducted. A synopsis of each case is prepared and, at the monthly meeting of the Board's Complaint Committee, each case is presented to members of the committee for their perusal and approval. It should be noted that the Complaint process is separate and distinct from the Disciplinary process. The entire "Disciplinary process" is operated and controlled by the Chief of Police. Neither the Board nor the Commission Investigator has any input into the Disciplinary process.
Once complaints are investigated, the disposition is forwarded to the Complaint Committee. If members of the committee agree with the findings and are satisfied with the thoroughness of the investigation, the case is closed and the person making the complaint is notified of its outcome in writing.
Each year, a report is generated by both the Police Department and the Commission Investigator regarding the number of complaints received and investigated and their dispositions. These reports are forwarded to the Mayor, City Council and other interested parties for their perusal.