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Commendations and Complaints


Everyone enjoys receiving recognition for their efforts. Commendations, either verbal or written, are one of the best ways to let someone know that you appreciate their work. A commendation for an employee of the Sonoma Police Department or the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is most often sent to the Sheriff. You may also advise the Chief or the employee’s supervisor or Watch Commander.

A commendation may address any event that you deem noteworthy on the part of an employee whom you believe should be recognized. This may range from the display of unusual courtesy or compassion to significant life-saving measures or heroic acts. We are interested in hearing about your observations of any commendable act or behavior.

All commendations are formally documented and the affected employees will be notified. A commendation takes only a few minutes to write or communicate. It can go a long way to let the personnel of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office know how you feel about them and their service.

Your comments can be made:

In-person at:

Sonoma Police Department
175 1st Street West
Sonoma, Ca 95476

By calling:

(707) 996-3602

Personnel Complaints

All police departments and sheriff's offices in the State of California are required by law to have a process by which a citizen may make a complaint against Sheriff’s personnel. This pamphlet, available for download in English and Spanish, will assist anyone who has occasion to make a complaint against any member of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

To submit a complaint:

Or mail letters to:

Chief of Police, Orlando Rodriguez
Sonoma Police Department
175 1st Street West
Sonoma, Ca 95476

Personnel Complaint Frequently Asked Questions

A citizen’s complaint is your opportunity to address whatever issue or concern you may have about a Sheriff’s Office member’s performance. You can make a complaint about anything that concerns you. It will be taken seriously and handled appropriately by supervisory staff.

A personnel complaint may be made by anyone. However, if the complainant is under the age of 18, we require that the complainant be accompanied by a parent or an adult.

A complainant does not normally have to testify in any formal hearing. During the investigation you, along with all witnesses, may be questioned concerning the incident. It is essential to any investigation to ask all pertinent questions and obtain factual information. Once an investigation is concluded, a disposition will be determined.

Employees of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office have the right to appeal any discipline recommended or imposed. In some cases these

A complaint may be made by telephone, by mail, or in person. The complaint may be made at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office or another mutually convenient location. The Sheriff’s Office is primarily interested in learning of your concerns about law enforcement conduct or a need for improvement in our delivery of services.

A complaint may be made 24 hours a day. After normal business hours, a personnel complaint may be registered with any supervisor or the on-duty Watch Commander, or by calling (707) 565-2650.

The complaint is received, reviewed and assigned to a supervisor for further investigation. If the supervisor is able to resolve the complaint after examining all the facts and circumstances, you will be notified.

If the complaint requires further review, it will be forwarded to the Administration Division Captain for a formal recommendation and then to the affected division’s Assistant Sheriff for a final determination. You will be notified in writing the disposition of the complaint.

We invite citizens to bring their concerns regarding law enforcement practices and services to our attention, however, anyone who alleges that a crime was committed and reports that to a peace officer, knowing the report to be false, could be charged with a misdemeanor.

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