Year to date, the Gardner Police Department has received no formal citizen complaints regarding officers, said James Pruetting, chief. However, there is an established complaint protocol and forms are available at the police station.
Complaints made by the public would be taken seriously, Pruetting said.
“Although not required, complainants are encouraged to file complaints in person so that proper identification, signatures, photographs or physical evidence may be obtained as necessary,” said Pruetting.
All complaints will be courteously accepted by any department member and promptly given to the appropriate supervisor. Although written complaints are preferred, a complaint may also be filed orally, either in person or by telephone. Such complaints will be directed to a supervisor. If a supervisor is not immediately available to take an oral complaint, the receiving member shall obtain contact information sufficient for the supervisor to contact the complainant.
Complaints are investigated internally, either by a supervisor or a detective depending on the circumstances and nature of the complaint.  The chief makes that determination.
Routine complaints are typically handled by the officer’s supervisor.  If a violation of policy is identified, a recommendation on corrective action, whether that be informal counseling or disciplinary action, is forwarded up the officer’s chain of command.
According to the department’s policy:
The Gardner Police Department takes seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by the Department and the conduct of its members.
The Department will accept and address all complaints of misconduct in accordance with this policy and applicable federal, state and local law and municipal and county rules and the requirements of any employment agreements.
It is also the policy of this department to ensure that the community can report misconduct without concern for reprisal or retaliation