Transparency and Accountability
The Scottsdale Police Department participates in numerous department wide programs to foster public accountability and provide transparency. This includes Uniformed Crime Reporting, International Accreditation, data analytics, policy management, and the Strategic Plan for the Scottsdale Police Department.
The Scottsdale Police Department has maintained status as an internationally accredited law enforcement agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies , achieving reaccreditation eight times since accreditation was initially awarded in 1994.
Every year, the Scottsdale Police Department voluntarily submits to a rigorous review of departmental policies and procedures that address compliance with over 460 standards. A department-wide assessment, including interviews with City Leadership and the community, is completed every four years by external assessment teams.
The accreditation process ensures accountability within the department in meeting or exceeding the gold standard expectations of policing.
Performance and Reporting
Policies and Practices
The Scottsdale Police Department Policies – General Orders and Field Orders
The Scottsdale Police Department has an overarching list of the General and Field Orders for the police department. These policies are the current policies of the department and are continuously reviewed and updated through an extensive policy review process.
While most policies are published here, not every policy is available through the website to preserve tactical, officer safety, and other security concerns. Under the Arizona Public Records laws, such release or withholding must be evaluated pursuant to the Carlson balancing test. If you would like a policy listed in the Table of Contents that is not available on the website, please make a public records request to see if a redacted version can be released.
Use of Force Documentation and Review
The Scottsdale Police Department has an extensive use of force review process, including documentation of all interactions that exceed typical handcuffing. Reported incidents are reviewed by a supervisor, sent to Internal Affairs, and may also be reviewed by the Use of Force Review Board or the Major Incident Review Board. In addition, the department completes an annual analysis on a department-wide level, looking for any trends or patterns in use of force that might require a review of policy, training, or equipment. Incidents are reviewed multiple times to ensure compliance with department policy and procedure.
The Use of Force policies are included in Field Order Chapter 1200, which provide an overview of department expectations regarding use of force and the process in which incidents are documented. In addition, an external use of force review concerning practices and procedures occurs annually as part of the CALEA re-accreditation process to ensure the department is complying with national best practices regarding use.
Values and Customer Service Standards
Excellence: Scottsdale Police Department employees are committed to:
- Efficient and effective delivery of police service throughout the community.
- Enhancing the quality of life in Scottsdale by creating and preserving a safe environment so citizens may freely pursue their goals without infringing on the rights of others.
- A professional and responsive organizational structure that aggressively and creatively confronts anticipated community crime and service problems.
Initiative: We recognize that the community and the police profession are ever-changing entities requiring the most dynamic approaches to citizen service and crime prevention to meet challenges through initiative in:
- Proactively allocating resources to remain fiscally responsible, yet reflect visionary police programs and technology.
- Recruiting, selecting, and retaining the most highly qualified people and training, educating, and advancing those people to promote employee growth and development.
- Committing to contemporary professional management within the supervisory ranks where managers are accountable for high standards of responsibility commensurate with their authority.
- A management dedicated to positive supervision, open communication, and participatory decision-making
- Recognizing that department employees are the most important asset and are fairly compensated and treated with equity and dignity.
Integrity: Department employees provide an honest and open approach to police and community needs free from conflict of interest, impropriety, or anything less than the fair and equitable treatment of all citizens through integrity by:
- Being sensitive to community needs and actively seeking citizen involvement in the policing process by emphasizing crime prevention as a cooperative effort.
- Being advocates and maintaining open relationships with the media.
- Adhering to a policy of inspiring public trust and confidence in every facet of police service.
PRIDE: Scottsdale Police Department Customer Service Standards
The Scottsdale Police Department has adopted five service standards to practice while serving the community and adhering to our values.
- Listen with empathy, collaborate as a team, provide options for resolutions, be accountable and act with integrity, project a professional image in attitude, appearance, attendance, and punctuality.
- Listen, clarify or investigate further, understand the issues, handle exigent/critical circumstances immediately, meet citizen or fellow employee needs in an appropriate time frame, keep citizens or fellow employees aware of status, meet due dates.
- Look for innovative solutions or workable compromises, recognize and apply community-policing philosophies, manage risk.
- Treat everyone with dignity regardless of the circumstances, recognize and value diversity.
- Communicate verbally and in writing in a clear, concise, and logical manner, produce high-quality work.
The Scottsdale Police Department Internal Affairs Section reports directly to the Office of the Chief of Police, and is responsible for providing fair and impartial investigations of allegations of misconduct by department employees from complaints within the department, as well as external investigations, which come from the public. Each year, Internal Affairs completes an annual report of its activities.
It is the policy of the Scottsdale Police Department to vigorously and thoroughly investigate each complaint against its employees to preserve the public confidence of our employees. All such investigations are conducted in a fair and expeditious manner in accordance with department, state, and federal laws and regulations.
Any person who witnesses or has direct knowledge of police employee misconduct may make a complaint with the Scottsdale Police Department. The complainant need not have been personally involved in order to advise the department of misconduct. The Scottsdale Police Department will investigate any employee actions that are contrary to department policy, are a violation of city, state, or federal law, or involves the use of excessive force or discourteous treatment.
Generally, complaints are filed through the supervisor of the involved employee. If you do not know the employee’s supervisor you may file the complaint by advising any Scottsdale Police Supervisor or the Internal Affairs Unit. A complaint may be submitted in person, by telephone, mail, email or anonymously through our online comment form. Be prepared to furnish essential information such as employees’ names, locations, report numbers, dates and times.
When making a complaint simply relay the facts as you know them and be mindful that you will be asked specific questions regarding the incident. In order to establish reasonable time limits for investigating employee misconduct, complaints on personnel are not accepted more than ninety days after the incident is alleged to have occurred, with the following exceptions:
- When the complaint involves a criminal violation, the criminal statute of limitations prevails. However, such limitations will not prevent the department from accepting the complaint or taking disciplinary action deemed necessary to preserve department integrity for policy, procedure, or rule violations.
- When the complainant can show good cause for not making the complaint within the specified time limit.
- At direction of an Assistant Chief or Division Commander/Director based on findings of a preliminary investigation.
In most cases, the supervisor of the employee will conduct an inquiry into the alleged misconduct. In instances of severe allegations of misconduct, the Internal Affairs Unit will conduct and prepare the investigation. City, state, and federal personnel laws govern an employee’s privacy rights. Disciplinary records may not be subject to public disclosure without a court order. Complainants are advised of the investigation’s findings and whether disciplinary action will be taken within set timeframes. There is more information regarding the Internal Affairs Investigation process in the General Orders
Internal Affairs also maintains a history of commendations from the public. When you receive service from our department that you feel is worthy of a commendation, we would like to hear about it. The best way to commend a Scottsdale Police employee is to fill out a comment form. Or, you may also write a brief letter (or email message describing the incident and the actions you feel were exceptional. Including the date, time and location will help us identify the employee if you do not know his or her name. If you choose not to write you may call the department and speak to Internal Affairs or the employees supervisor.
Commendations are forwarded through the Office of the Chief to the employee with a copy placed in his or her personnel file. Although our employees do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition of exceptional service is always appreciated. This kind of feedback helps us to know if we are doing a good job.