Citizen Complaint Investigative & Hearing Process

Types Of Complaints

The Citizen Complaint Authority is charged with investigation of serious interventions by City of Cincinnati police officers, including but not limited to:

  • Discharge of Firearms: Any and all discharging of a firearm by a Cincinnati Police Officer either intentional or accidental. This includes accidental discharge of a firearm whether the projectile strikes anything or not, and intentional shooting at a person or animal.
  • Death in Custody: A person who dies while in police custody whether or not the police officer's action contributed to the death. "In Custody" is defined as under the control of the police. The control does not have to be an arrest or physical possession of a person.
  • Improper Pointing of Firearms: When an officer draws his firearm (weapon) from the holster and points it in the direction of or at a person(s).
  • Improper Search: The search of one's property (residence, vehicle, etc.) or person without just cause or a search warrant. The search is not unreasonable if it is incident to an arrest or written permission is granted to conduct the search. The courts have granted exceptions to search without a search warrant and each specific incident should be reviewed.
  • Improper Seizure: The seizure of one's property without the permission of the owner/possessor or a warrant. The courts have granted exceptions to a seizure without a search warrant and each specific incident should be reviewed.
  • Discrimination: Contact or action by an officer that was motivated by the race, sex, gender or age of a person.
  • Use of Force: Officer(s) use of some type of force whether physical, instrumental, or physical contact restricting the movement of a person.
  • Excessive Force: Officer(s) use of some type of force whether physical or by instrument that is beyond what is reasonably necessary.

Citizens can file a complaint in person, by telephone, by mail, or on our website. CCA will accept complaints on behalf of third parties.


All complaints within CCA's jurisdiction will be investigated and assigned to an investigator within 48 business hours. Each complaint, excluding allegations of criminal misconduct against an officer, will be directed to CCA regardless of where it was filed initially.

A complaint that does not fall within its jurisdiction may be referred to the Cincinnati Police Department's (CPD) Citizen Complaint Resolution Process (CCRP). 

Click here to view a chart showing the CCA and CCRP flow process.