Internal Affairs Commander

Det. Captain Forest Lyons

(201)652-3900

(201)670-5500 x 412

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Internal Affairs Unit

(201)652-3900

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Internal Affairs Detective

Det. Jeffrey Casson

(201)652-3900

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The Ridgewood Police Department is committed to providing law enforcement services that are fair, effective and impartially applied. Toward that end, officers are held to the highest standards of official conduct and are expected to respect the rights of all citizens.  Officers' adherence to these standards, motivated by a moral and professional obligation to perform their job to the best of their ability, is the ultimate objective of this agency.

The Internal Affairs process shall also be used to identify and correct unclear or inappropriate agency procedures.  In addition, it will highlight organizational conditions that may contribute to any misconduct, such as poor selection and recruitment procedures or inadequate training and supervision of officers.

It is the policy of the Ridgewood Police Department to accept and investigate all complaints of alleged officer misconduct or wrongdoing from any internal agency, external agency, citizen and/or anonymous source(s).  Following a thorough and impartial examination of the available factual information, the investigation against the officer shall receive one of the following dispositions: administratively closed, exonerated, sustained, not sustained, or unfounded.  Discipline shall be administered according to the degree of misconduct and any prior disciplinary action.

The dispositions may include:

  • Exonerated: The alleged incident did occur but the actions of the officer were justified, legal, and proper.
  • Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to prove the allegation, and the actions of the officer violated a provision of the agency's rules and regulations or procedures.
  • Not Sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Unfounded: The alleged incident did not occur.

If the charge(s) is sustained, you may be required to testify in a Departmental or Administrative Hearing.


If you wish to start the complaint process, you can either visit the Ridgewood Police Department at:

Village Hall

131 North Maple Avenue, Floor 2

Ridgewood, NJ 07450

or you can call the Ridgewood Police Department’s main number (201)652-3900 and follow the prompts to speak with the desk officer.  Complaints in writing are also accepted and will be investigated.

Any citizen who believes that a police officer has violated the law, his/her rights, or the rights of another, may make a complaint.  Internal Affairs accepts 3rd party and anonymous complaints.

NOTE: It is a criminal offense to provide a statement that you do not believe to be true.  Persons who knowingly provide a false statement regarding an Internal Affairs complaint may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Internal Affairs Unit Do?

The Internal Affairs Unit has the responsibility to investigate all allegations of misconduct by members of the department, and to review and adjudicate all minor complaints which are handled by supervisors. In addition, the Internal Affairs Unit will review all firearms discharges by Ridgewood Police personnel that are not related to training, all use of force incidents, all vehicle pursuits undertaken by our personnel and all collisions involving police department owned vehicles.

How do I file a complaint against an Officer or Employee of the Police Department?

Complaints will be accepted in person, by telephone, by letter or email. It is preferred that the complaint be made in person by the individual who is directly involved in the allegation against the Ridgewood Police Department employee, so we can ascertain as much information as possible to effectively investigate the complaint. Usually a Supervisor will take the initial report but any law enforcement officer of the police department must take your complaint.

How are complaints Investigated?

Your complaint will be sent to a member of the Internal Affairs Unit, staffed with officers specially trained in the investigation of Internal Affairs complaints. You might be asked to help in the investigation by giving a detailed statement about what happened or by providing other important information. All complaints against law enforcement officers are thoroughly investigated. You will be advised in writing of the outcome.

If our investigation shows that a crime might have been committed, the county prosecutor will be notified. You might be asked to testify in court. If our investigation results in an officer being charged with a violation of department rules or regulations, you might be asked to testify in a departmental hearing. If our investigation shows that the complaint is unfounded or that the officer acted properly, the matter will be closed. All disciplinary hearings shall be closed to the public unless the defendant officer requests an open hearing.

Are there any risks in making a complaint agains a member of the department?

NO!

But if a person deliberately makes a false complaint and statement against a member, that person may be criminally prosecuted or held civilly liable.


N.J.S. 2C:28-3 Unsworn Falsification to Authorities states, ” A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he makes a written false statement which he does not believe to be true, on or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable.” Those who provide false information to members of the Internal Affairs Unit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Also keep in mind that internal affairs will not lead to a dismissal of traffic tickets or criminal complaints.

What happens when the investigation is over?

Once the investigation is concluded, you will be advised of the outcome in written form. Complaints from the public, whether substantiated or not, increase the awareness of the leadership of this agency to actual or potential problems, as well as the perceptions of the community. This feedback will ultimately assist in determining whether the mission statement and goals of this agency are being attained

2018 Internal Affairs Summary Report

This 2018 Internal Affiars Summary Report is being made available to the public for reference purposes only.  Any misuse of this information for unlawful purposes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  

If you require any further information regarding Internal Affairs complaints, please call our Public Information / Community Relations Unit.

Copyright © 2019 Village of Ridgewood Police Department.
All Rights Reserved.
Location: 131 N Maple Ave
Non Emergency Phone: (201) 652-3900

Emergency Dial 9-1-1