Professional Standards

Citizen's Commendation and Complaint Procedures


It is the policy of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office to recognize outstanding law enforcement performance through the formal use of commendations.

Expressions of appreciation for services or actions by employees are greatly appreciated. Letters recognizing employees or citizens for their actions are encouraged and may be forwarded to the Sheriff at Manatee County Sheriff's Office 600  301 Boulevard West, Bradenton, 34205

Professional Standards Section

A proper relationship fostered by confidence and trust between the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the citizen's of Manatee County, is essential to effective law enforcement.

The function of the Professional Standards Section is to foster this relationship and provide citizens with a fair and effective means for lodging legitimate complaints against Sheriff's Office employees.

The complaint procedure and disciplinary process not only subjects the employee to corrective action following any improper conduct, it also protects the employee from criticism when they properly discharge their duty.

Some types of misconduct are:

  • Rudeness/Discourtesy
  • Excessive force
  • Misuse of authority
  • Neglect of duty
  • Harassment
  • Improper personal conduct
  • Any unlawful conduct

Reporting Procedure

Complaints are often the result of a misunderstanding or disagreement with the application of law or Sheriff’s Office procedures.

Complaints of misconduct can be accepted by any employee or supervisor.  The Complainant may also contact Professional Standards directly. Complaints may be made in person at any of the district offices or by telephone, facsimile or letter. During non-business hours, complaints may be directed to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Telephone Reporting Unit or any Manatee County Sheriff's Office employee.

While the Manatee County Sheriff's Office encourages citizens to report legitimate complaints of misconduct, it also assumes and expects that citizens will not file frivolous, vindictive or false complaints against employees who have properly performed their duties. State law forbids the intentional filing of a false report to law enforcement and also prohibits anyone from lying under oath.

Complaint Investigation And Disposition Process

All formal complaints are thoroughly investigated and the complainant, the accused, and all witnesses are interviewed under oath and a report is prepared that includes these interviews and all other evidence that can be documented.

The report will contain the facts of the case in order to present an unbiased picture of the incident as it actually occurred and will not reflect the opinions of the investigator. This permits a supervisor to make a fair recommendation based on the facts that can be verified and proved. The employee is notified of the completion of the investigation.

The report is forwarded through the employee's chain of command for review and recommendation. If the allegation is sustained, the report is forwarded to the Sheriff who has the final decision on all disciplinary actions.

Complaint Disposition

The disposition of all complaints are classified as follows:

  • Not-Sustained -- Insufficient evidence exists to support the allegations in a complaint.
  • Sustained/Sustained -In-Part -- Sufficient evidence exists to support the allegation in a complaint. If one or more, but not all, allegations are made against the employee are found to be true, then a Sustained-In-Part ruling would apply.
  • Exonerated -- An investigative finding that an action did occur, but was reasonable, proper, and lawful.
  • Unfounded -- Either the allegation is demonstrably false, or there is no credible evidence to support it.
  • Policy Failure -- When the action of the employee is in compliance with directives, but the directives are faulted.

In all cases, the complaint and accused employee are notified of the final disposition of the complaint.

What happens to the complaint?

  • Complaint initiated
  • Investigator assigned to the complaint
  • Factual report prepared
  • Chain of Command review and recommendation by employee's supervisors
  • Sheriff final disposition
  • Disposition outcome is revealed
  • Employee appeal process
  • Action
  • Complainant notification of outcome
Community Compliment / Complaint Form

Please use this form to submit your Compliments or complaints to the Professional Standards Division. This form will be processed during normal business hours. All submissions will be reviewed and someone from Professional Standards will contact you. The Professional Standards Division is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. (excluding holidays). Should you have an urgent issue which cannot be addressed during normal business hours, please contact the Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) at 941-747-3011 and ask for the on-duty division commander. They will be able to assist you or will contact a member of the Professional Standards Division.


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Where is the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Office located?

For in-person complaints or mail-in complaints,come in, call or mail to::
Professional Standards
600 301 Boulevard West
Suite 202
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-747-3011 Ext 2020

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Related Links:

NOTE: Under Florida law, all submitted information can become part of the public record. If you do not want your information released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone.