UW Police

Citizen Comments


Everyone enjoys receiving recognition for effort and accomplishment. Commendations, either verbal or written, are one of the best ways to let someone know that you appreciate his/her work. You can send a commendation for an employee of the University of Washington Police Department to our Chief of Police. You may also advise the employee’s supervisor. Your comments can be made by completing a Comment Form, in person, by telephone or by contacting us via mail or email.

A commendation may address any action that you deem noteworthy on the part of a UWPD employee. 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.

We formally document all commendations and notify the involved employee(s). A commendation takes only a few minutes to write or communicate and lets the personnel of the University of Washington Police Department know their efforts are noticed and appreciated by the community we serve.

Send your letter to:

Chief of Police
University of Washington Police Department
3939 15th Ave.  NE, Box 355200
Seattle, Washington 98105-6797

Comment Form


The University of Washington Police Department looks at any allegation of wrongdoing or violation of policy or procedure very seriously. All accredited police departments in the State of Washington are required to have a process by which a citizen may make a complaint against police personnel. Here are some of the questions we frequently encounter regarding our complaint procedures:

What is a citizen’s complaint?

There are two types of citizen’s complaints. The first is an informal complaint. Normally the employee’s immediate supervisor handles these complaints either over the telephone or in person.

The second type of complaint is a formal complaint. A formal complaint is submitted in writing. You may use our Comment Form to do this. You may lodge a formal complaint with any supervisor in the police department.

Who can make a complaint?

A citizen’s complaint may be made by anyone. If the complainant is under the age of 18, we require that the complainant be accompanied by a parent or an adult.

How can a citizen’s complaint be made?

You can make a complaint online, by telephone, mail, email or in person. The complaint may be made at the police department or another mutually agreed upon convenient location. The department is interested in learning about your concerns regarding police or other UWPD employee conduct or need for improvement in our services: the method of delivery for these comments is up to you.

When can a complaint be made?

A complaint may be made 24 hours a day. After normal business hours, a citizen’s complaint may be registered with any on-duty supervisor or the Watch Commander by calling 206. 685.UWPD (8973).

What happens after I file a complaint?

The complaint is received, reviewed and assigned for investigation. If the complaint is informal and can be resolved by the immediate supervisor to your satisfaction, you will not need to do anything further.

If the allegations are of a serious nature, the supervisor can recommend that the complaint become formal. No complaint will be formally investigated until a supervisor contacts the complainant in person or by telephone to determine if a formal complaint is warranted. If the allegations are found to be true and a violation of policy and/or procedures, the complaint will be forwarded to the Major of Professional Standards & Training for a formal recommendation and then to the Chief of Police for a final determination. We will notify you in writing concerning the disposition of your complaint.

Will I have to testify if I make a complaint?

A complainant does not normally have to testify in any formal hearing. During the investigation, however, the UWPD will interview you and all witnesses concerning the incident to obtain relevant factual information.

What happens if I file a false criminal complaint?

We invite citizens to bring their concerns regarding police practices and services to our attention, however, anyone who alleges that a crime was committed and reports that to a police officer, knowing the report to be false, could be charged with a gross misdemeanor (RCW 9A.76.175).

Comment Form

If you have a complaint and are not sure how to proceed, please call any on-duty supervisor at 685.UWPD (8973) or 543.0507, or email us at uwpolice@uw.edu.