Office of Professional Standards

The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for overseeing 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, email, 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.  The complaint form links are below:

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. 
  • Formal Inquiries
    • The Office of Professional Standards personnel will determine if the complaint should rise to a formal investigation. OPS will interview and obtain statements from the citizen and all available witnesses. All relevant material and evidence will be made part of the investigation.
    • When the investigation is complete it 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 City Attorney.
    • 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 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
400 East 14th St, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone 515-281-4121

Citizen Aide/Ombudsman's Office
1112 E Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Phone 515-281-3592

Federal Bureau of Investigation
4401 Westown Pkwy
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Phone 515-223-4278