If you would like to commend an employee of the Rhinelander Police Department, please complete the Rhinelander Police Department EmployeeCommendation Form. You may either mail, e-mail, or return this form in person to the Rhinelander Police Department. Verbal commendations may be given to any Rhinelander Police Department Supervisor. Your comments will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the commended employee.
You may also commend an employee by writing a letter to:
Employee Complaint Procedure
Thank you for contacting the Rhinelander Police Department to express your concerns. The Rhinelander Police Department is committed to investigating complaints in an open, fair and objective manner with determining the truth as our primary objective. It is important to note that depending upon the nature of your complaint, it may not be necessary for you to submit your complaint in writing. Many citizen complaints can be more efficiently and appropriately addressed by speaking directly with the employee’s supervisor or the Chief of Police.
To assist us with a timely investigation, please provide as much information as possible, including specific dates, times and the names of officers involved. State the reasons you believe the officer’s conduct was inappropriate and provide us with the names of witnesses and how they can be contacted. It is especially important that you provide us with your contact information as well. You may use additional paper as needed.
Before completing and signing your statement, please read the section regarding confidentiality and select the statement of your choice. Your complaint and related documents are a public record and subject to disclosure upon a request for documents from the news media or any other person. If you request confidentiality, the department will make every legal effort to respect your request. However, it is not possible to guarantee confidentiality.
If you choose to submit your complaint in writing, you may email the form, mail it or drop it off in person at:
You may also contact the Chief of Police or Captain to discuss the nature of your complaint. Lastly, the department is required by State law to inform you that, “Whoever knowingly makes a false complaint regarding the conduct of a law enforcement officer is subject to a Class A forfeiture.”
Lloyd J. Gauthier, Chief of Police
Disposition of Complaints
The Chief of Police shall make the final disposition of the complaint as may be appropriate. No disposition involving disciplinary action will be made without first confronting the employee involved with the results of the investigation and affording the employee an opportunity to respond. The Chief of Police shall inform the employee in writing of a disposition of the complaint.
The case disposition classifications shall be as follows:
1. Unfounded: Investigation indicates that the allegations are false. If found to be a false accusation, the Chief of Police shall take such action against the complainant as is appropriate under Wisconsin State Statute 946.66, which prohibits individuals from making a false complaint of police misconduct.
2. Not Sustained: Insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegations.
3. Sustained: The allegations are supported by sufficient evidence to conclude they are true and an appropriate departmental action was imposed. If sustained, the Chief of Police shall take such action against the employee as is appropriate, which may include disciplinary action against the employee pursuant to Wisconsin State Statue 62.13(5).
4. Exonerated: Investigation indicates that the incident occurred, but was justified, lawful, and proper under the circumstances.
5. Policy Failure: The investigation reveals that the allegations are true, however; the employee was acting in accordance with established Department policy. The Chief of Police will conduct a review of the policy to determine areas in need of modification or clarification.
6. No Finding: Circumstances dictate a disposition of no finding. These can include: a complaint received outside of the 90 day time limit; a complainant wishing to withdraw the complaint; a complainant no longer available or not cooperating with the investigation; a complaint received on a retired employee, or on a person not employed by RPD; or a minor complaint informally resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.
The Chief of Police reviews all findings. When a finding of “sustained” is reported, the Chief will decide what immediate corrective action is necessary. Appropriate corrective action, which may include counseling, training, oral reprimand, written reprimand, suspension, demotion, or dismissal, may be taken. The Chief of Police will make the final determination with the approval of the Police and Fire Commission if necessary.
Notification of Disposition
The Chief of Police or designee shall inform the complainant named in the complaint, in writing, of the disposition and the reasons therefore within a reasonable amount of time.
B. Police and Fire Commission
The Chief of Police shall notify the President of the Police and Fire Commission of any disciplinary action taken with respect to a citizen complaint.
C. As a part of the written notification of the disposition of the complaint, the Chief of Police or designee shall inform the complainant that if not satisfied with the results of the investigation, he/she may, within thirty (30) days of the date of such notification, file a written request with the President of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, for a formal hearing on the complaint before the Board.
The Board of Police and Fire Commissioners shall review all investigative reports of the incident and any supporting or conflicting documentation, and in its discretion either schedule a formal hearing before the Board or place the complaint on file.
D. A sworn law enforcement officer shall have the right to request a hearing before the Police and Fire Commission (pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 62.13(5)(c) regarding disciplinary action imposed by the Chief of Police.
Employee Commendation Procedure