Office of Professional Standards

Office of Professional Standards

The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Department's complaint system.

Our goal is to respond fairly and effectively to allegations of employee misconduct. Anyone may file a complaint by phone, letter, e-mail, in person or anonymously.  This complaint can also be filed directly with the City of Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission

All complaints are taken seriously and investigated by the Office of Professional Standards.  Click here for the Office of Professional Standards complaint form.  Formulario de queja en Español


Investigative Process for the Office of Professional Standards


Informal Inquiries

Inquiries that are minor in nature and can be resolved without a formal process may be referred to the officer’s supervisors.  The supervisors will investigate the inquiry, communicate with the initial caller, and identify a resolution to the inquiry.  The Office of Professional Standards will retain the inquiries for up to one year.


Formal Inquiries


The Office of Professional Standards personnel will interview and obtain statements from the citizen and all available witnesses. All relevant material and evidence will be made part of the investigation.

The citizen will receive a letter notifying them that their complaint is under investigation.

The investigation will be forwarded to the employee's supervisor and commanding officers. The officer's chain of command will review the investigation and make recommendations to the Chief of Police.

The Chief of Police will determine the final outcome and disposition of the investigation.

The investigation and the Chief of Police's findings will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the City Manager, Human Rights Director, and Corporation Counsel.

The committee will provide advice to the City Manager. The City Manager will either concur with the disposition as determined by the Chief of Police or refer the matter back to the Police Department for further investigation and consideration.

The citizen will receive a final letter from the City Manager summarizing the department's findings.

For answers to questions concerning the Office of Professional Standards, call directly to 1-515-283-4816, or write directly to the following address:
Des Moines Police Department
Office of Professional Standards
25 E. 1st Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309


Other Agencies Authorized to Investigate Police Department Actions

Iowa Civil Rights Commission

211 East Maple, 2nd Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1858
Phone 281-4121


Citizen Aide/Ombudsman's Office

1112 E Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Phone 281-3592


Federal Bureau of Investigation

3737 Woodland Ave.
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Phone 223-4278