Police Complaint Procedure
The University of Pennsylvania Police Department's goal is to improve the quality of services provided, to promote a high level of public confidence, and to enhance and maintain the professional integrity of this department and its members. That is, the UPPD and its members will perform their duties within the boundaries of established contemporary legal and ethical standards. The department has established and promoted these standards through clear, written policy statements, rules and regulations, and through the thorough and impartial investigation of all allegations of misconduct or complaints regarding the directives of the department.
A formal procedure to receive, document and investigate all citizen complaints allows the department to monitor and enforce standards. Behavior deviating from these adopted standards will not be tolerated. With a meaningful and effective procedure for handling citizen complaints, we believe citizen confidence in the integrity of the department and its employees has been achieved and maintained.
It is the policy of the department to accept, document, review, and investigate all instances of alleged misconduct. The focus of these investigations is to equitably determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid and to take appropriate action. All allegations of misconduct will be investigated, regardless of whether initiated by citizen complaint, other external agencies, internally generated, or discovered through the internal review and administrative processes of the department.
It should be understood that the department expects and receives the highest degree of integrity from its members. Anonymous complaints, or complaints from citizens who wish their names to be held in confidence, shall be accepted for investigation. Citizens offering anonymous complaints are advised that our ability to investigate the complaint may be limited by their anonymity.
Procedures for Filing a Complaint Against Police
All citizen complaints concerning alleged officer misconduct shall be documented and investigated by the department. Citizens who have complaints should expect action. All complaints shall be accepted in a courteous, understanding, and professional manner.
Forms are available in the following locations:
- Division of Public Safety headquarters, 4040 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
- Division of Public Safety website: Police Complaint Form
- Campus Resource Centers:
- Greenfield Intercultural Center
- La Casa Latina
- Penn Women's Center
- LGBT Center
- African American Resource Center
- Student Intervention Services
- Career Services
- Office of the Vice Provost for University Life
- Counseling & Psychological Services
- Office of the Ombudsman
- Office of Health Education
Complaints may be submitted: in person, by telephone, fax, in writing, or submitted electronically from the DPS website.
- In person: Please hand deliver to the Division of Public Safety headquarters, located at 4040 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
- Mail: Send to the Office of the Chief of Police at the same address.
- Fax: Use the following number - 215.573.7042
- Electronic Submission: Please go to the Police Complaint Form to fill out an electronic submission
Investigation of Complaints
Upon receipt of a citizen complaint, the Office of the Superintendent of Police shall contact the citizen and advise him/her that the matter is under investigation. If necessary, the citizen shall also receive periodic status reports regarding the investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the citizen will receive written notice of the final disposition of the case from the Office of the Superintendent of Police.
Questions regarding the UPPD Citizen Complaint Process may be directed to the Office of the Superintendent of Police, 215.898.7515.
View the University of Pennsylvania Police Department's tracking document for complaints and internal investigations for the last three years:
Useful Telephone Numbers
The below Penn offices may be contacted should you have questions about this process or need assistance.
- Office of the Vice President, Division of Public Safety
- Penn Police, Division of Public Safety
- Office of the Superintendent of Police: 215-898-7515
- Emergencies & 24/7 Service: 215-573-3333 or 511 from campus phone
- Penn Detectives: 215-898-4485
- Special Services, Division of Public Safety
- 215-898-4481 or 215-898-6600 (off-hours)
- Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
- General Phone Number: 215-898-7021
- Emergencies & After Hours: 215-349-5490
- Student Health Services
- Office of Student Conduct
- Office of the Chaplain
- Vice Provost for University Life