Public Safety Liaison Committee
About the Public Safety Liaison Committee
The Grand Valley State University Public Safety Liaison Committee is an oversight committee for the Grand Valley State University Police Department. The committee was created under the authority of Act 120 of the Public Acts of 1990 of the State of Michigan. Its primary function is to consider grievances by persons against police officers or the GVSU Police Department arising out of acts or omissions of such officers or the department. The committee may prepare and make recommendations concerning such grievances, including recommendations for disciplinary measures against a police officer who is found responsible for misconduct. Such reports shall be submitted to the President of Grand Valley State University with a copy to the vice president of finance and administration.
Who Serves on the Committee?
The committee is comprised of individuals nominated and elected by faculty and staff members and student body of Grand Valley State University. Groups are to be determined by the university president. The committee will include a minimum of two students, two faculty members, and two staff members who are neither members of the faculty nor of the Police Department. The chief of police will serve as an ex-officio and nonvoting member. No representative shall serve on the committee who has a supervisory or personal relationship with any officer or staff member of the police department.
Filing a Complaint
Every effort should be made to resolve a grievance informally with the Police Department. In the event that the complainant does not find this procedure acceptable, the complainant can obtain a formal complaint form from the Human Resources Department.
All grievances and reports made to the committee pursuant to these procedures shall be treated confidentially by the committee. Information about a grievance will not be released by committee members, except as specified in these procedures or pursuant to a proper request by a governmental agency with valid jurisdiction or pursuant to a valid court order or to his/her legal counsel.
- Grievances should be presented in writing using the committee’s standard grievance form. The complainant can obtain a formal complaint form from the Human Resources Department.
- The complainant completes the form, listing the type of alleged offense, the name of the alleged offender, and specific facts about the alleged offense (e.g., time, date, location). The complainant must sign the complaint form.
- The complainant files the written complaint with the Human Resources Department or the Police Department. Grievances submitted to these departments shall be promptly reported to the committee.
- The Public Safety Liaison Committee will convene to review the complaint. The committee will review the complaint and the accompanying facts or circumstances to initially determine if the complaint requires further investigation.
- Wherein an investigation is required, the Public Safety Liaison Committee will either (i) refer the grievance to the chief of police, or (ii) coordinate its own investigation. The complainant and the alleged offender will be notified and consulted regarding the committee’s decision, and when the complaint involves a student, the Dean of Students and other individuals will be notified as necessary.
A. The committee may refer a grievance it has received directly from the complainant to the chief of police, who shall conduct an investigation and review, in accordance with university policies and procedures. The committee may supplement the referral with any specific suggestions, recommendations, or concerns it has with regard to the issues to be investigated.
B. At any time, the committee may request, and the chief of police shall provide, an interim report on the progress of any investigation of a grievance. The report may be oral and/or in writing.
C. Upon completion of the investigation and review of a referred grievance, the Chief of Police shall report to the committee. The report shall include a summary of the steps followed, the findings and conclusion, any actions taken, and an explanation for any unreasonable delays. The report may be oral and/or in writing. The committee may accept the report as final, or it may ask the Chief of Police to investigate further and submit another report, or it may conduct a further investigation on its own.
Consideration by the Committee
The committee may conduct its own hearings of any grievance submitted to it.
A. In conducting such hearing, the committee may:
- question any commanding officer believed to have any information relevant to the hearing, and such commanding officer will be required to meet with the committee in a timely fashion and report on his or her conduct and the basis for any action taken or decision reached;
- question any officer believed to have information relevant to the hearing, and such officer will be required to meet with the committee in a timely fashion, on terms that are consistent with the university’s agreement with the Police Officers’ Association of Michigan; and
- seek information during its deliberations from whatever sources it deems appropriate to allow the committee to arrive at a conclusion.
B. If the chief of police objects to the hearing, the chief may register that objection to the committee. If, after receiving the committee’s response, the chief of police continues to object, the chief may appeal to the vice president of finance and administration. If the vice president supports the appeal, the matter will be referred to the university president for a decision.
After the completion of the investigation of a grievance, the committee
- may determine that no further action is warranted, and notify all affected persons of that decision;
- shall prepare a report containing a statement of the allegations, a list of alleged policy violations, and a statement of findings; and
- shall report its findings, including any recommendations for disciplinary measures against any officer of the Police Department, to the university president. A copy will also be forwarded to the vice president of finance and administration. No portion of any such report that contains confidential information provided to the committee shall be made public. The university president shall review the report and advise the committee of the disposition of the matter. A copy of the report and recommendation will be forwarded to the chief of police.
These procedures must be reviewed by the Office of University Counsel and approved by the university president. If the committee proposes procedures, only the university president may accept or reject them.