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Internal Affairs Investigations: Legal Liability and Best Practices

Internal Affairs Investigations: Legal Liability and Best Practices

  • Matt Dolan
    Attorney & Director, Dolan Consulting Group, NC
  • Live Streamed, N/A
  • Jul 14, 2022 - Jul 14, 2022
Course Length:
  • 1-day
Registration Fee:
  • Individual: $195.00 for the first attendee – $95.00 per each additional attendee.

    Agency: Please contact us for an agency-wide pricing quote

In an era of unparalleled transparency and calls for police accountability to the public they serve, internal affairs investigations are more vital to agency operations than ever before. This training is geared towards any investigators and/or supervisors who are involved in the process of investigating officers for potential wrongdoing, making disciplinary decisions and/or defending those findings and decisions in court, arbitration or civil service proceedings.

This training will help prepare investigators and supervisors to conduct investigations in a way that avoids common pitfalls, utilizes best practices and proceeds in a manner that is defensible in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

Case studies will be utilized in this training to help attendees in balancing officers’ rights to fair treatment along with the organization’s obligation to maintain the highest standards of conduct for the men and women who protect and serve.

The damage caused by police misconduct—to the organization and to the public

  • Organizational failures to address performance issues before isolated instances become habitual misconduct
  • Getting back to Peelian Principles—understanding and reflecting community priorities
    Early intervention as a part of IA operations
  • Complaint intake, transparency and the public trust

The complainant’s perspective in IA investigations

  • The challenge of maintaining objectivity in internal investigations
  • Laying investigative foundation through pre-interview information collection
  • Focusing on issues material to the investigation and avoiding “rabbit holes” and “fishing expeditions”
  • When a citizen complaint is better than a lawsuit—a sense of urgency in addressing routine complaints

Officers’ rights in IA investigations

  • Officers’ rights under the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Garrity
  • Distinguishing between administrative and criminal investigations regarding internal affairs
  • Investigating off-duty conduct, including social media
  • Maintaining fairness and a sense of “procedural justice” for officers subject to investigations

Making Discipline Stick in Law Enforcement

  • The most common supervisor errors in investigations and disciplinary decisions
  • Inconsistent discipline
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Due process violations
  • Employee’s past record of performance


Hiring and Retiring Healthy

  • “Thank you for doing this training! Every law enforcement & their families should have this training! SO IMPORTANT!”

-Detective, Utah

Verbal De-escalation: Surviving Verbal Conflict

  • “…Lt. Nieters’ ability to teach this class truly gripped me into seeing [that] I need a change. Hope to attend further training.”

-Patrolman, South Carolina

Improving Public Perception of the Police

  • “Harry Dolan was one of the best instructors I have encountered in 28 years of service.”

-Lieutenant, Wisconsin

Courageous Leadership for Today’s Public Safety

  • “Chief Dolan seamlessly fused his knowledge of history, law enforcement and leadership to provide a wealth of information on this topic. Two days flew by, great course!”

-Officer, Pennsylvania

Homicide Investigation

  • “This course was one of the best & most informative courses I have ever taken. Capt. Babcock’s expertise in the course matter is excellent.’

-Deputy, Florida

Making Discipline Stick

  • “I would consider Matt to be a master orator. Kept a serious topic interesting with his unique and fantastic sense of humor.”

-Detective, South Dakota

Verbal De-escalation

  • “One of/if not the best training I’ve attended. Chief’s lectures were relatable, accurate, and captivating. I really enjoyed the entire week.”

-Officer, Virginia

Taking the Lead: Courageous Leadership

  • “Very well done. [I] look forward to sending my police leaders to future Dolan Consulting Group trainings!

- Chief, Pennsylvania

Evidence-Based First-Line Supervision Training

  • “This should be required for ALL leaders (or people in command) across the nation.”

-Sergeant, Texas

Verbal De-escalation: Surviving Verbal Conflict

  • “I’ve sent 2 of my team members to Verbal De-Escalation. I’ve had it & it’s an amazing class. After encounters, I see the 180 degree difference in these young officers! I will petition to send all of them.”

-Attendee, North Carolina

Developing Organizational Performance Leadership