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Commendations & Complaints
Officer Commendations
It is the policy of the Watertown Police Department to recognize agency personnel who demonstrate dedication, courage or superior initiative in the performance of their duties, or while providing exceptional service to the agency and/or community. Positive input from the community may result in an employee receiving recognition in a variety of forms, ranging from a letter of commendation to an award bar worn by the officer above his/her nameplate.

To report outstanding or exceptional performance by a member of the WPD, please call (605)882-6210 or use the online Commendation Form. Please be prepared to provide:
  • Your name and contact information
     Compliment and Employee
  • The date and time of the incident/event
  • The officer’s name (if known)
  • Full details of the event


Officer Complaints
As the caretaker of the public safety, it is the policy of the Police Department to properly investigate all complaints against the Department or its personnel; to equitably determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid; and to initiate appropriate closure and /or corrective action as deemed necessary.

Complaints against the Police Department or its personnel may be made by any person. Initial complaints may be made in person, by telephone, in writing, or online using the Complaint Form.  To expedite the complaint investigation process, please be prepared to provide the following information:
  • Your name and contact information
     Make a Complaint
  • The date and time of the incident/event
  • The officer’s name (if known)
  • Full details of the event

Complaints involving allegations of criminal misconduct will be referred to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Complaints involving allegations of non-criminal misconduct (policy violations) will be investigated by a competent authority within the department and will result in a finding (conclusion) as provided in the following ranges: 

  1. Not Sustained - the investigation fails to disclose sufficient information to clearly prove or disprove the allegation.
  2. Sustained - the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did occur, and that they constitute misconduct.
  3. Exonerated - the investigation reveals that the alleged act(s) did occur, but that the employee’s actions were justified, lawful, and proper.
  4. Unfounded - the investigation reveals conclusively that the alleged acts did not occur.
  5. Other/Policy Failure - the investigation reveals that the alleged act was not misconduct, however there exists administrative concerns related to policy failure that merits attention and/or further review.