How to File a Complaint & FAQs

PARC Executive Director

Clarence Vaughn III
cvaughn@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3869
Cell: (865) 679-2987

400 Main St., Room 538
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Who may make a complaint?

Complaints can be made by any person who is a victim, a witness, or who has knowledge of alleged police misconduct. 

How does one make a complaint?

A complaint may be filed by telephone, online, consultation, and/or scheduling an apppointment with the PARC Exective Director at 865-215-3869 or 865-679-2987. Another method is to write to: Police Advisory & Review Committee, Attn: Executive Director, P.O. Box 1631, Knoxville, TN 37901.
File a Citizen Complaint Online
Print a Citizen Complaint Form

What happens to the complaint?

If the alleged incident has already been referred to the KPD Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), no review will be done until the completion of that investigation. If the complaint has not been referred to the KPD IAU, the complaint may be reviewed by the Executive Director of PARC or it may be turned over to IAU for investigation. The Executive Director receives regular reports from the KPD IAU of the cases being investigated and monitors their progress. At the completion of an IAU investigation, every matter is reviewed by PARC for completeness. If additional investigation is needed, it may be requested. 

Are there alternatives to filing a formal complaint?

Yes. After you contact PARC, every effort will be made by the Executive Director to mediate the matter between the offended party(ies) and the KPD. If the mediation is unsuccessful, a complaint can still be filed in the fashion described earlier. 

What happens if the KPD officer(s) is/are found to have acted improperly?  

Under the City Charter, any disciplinary action, including termination, is handled by the Chief of Police. 

Is PARC independent from the KPD IAU?

Yes! The Executive Order gives PARC the authority to issue subpoenas and conduct its own investigation to satisfy itself that any complaints have been completely investigated. 

What happens if the officer(s) is/are found to have acted in accordance with KPD policy and the policy is thought to be wrong?

PARC has the authority under the Executive Order to review KPD Policies and Procedures and to make recommendations where it is thought to be appropriate. 

What happens if you do not agree with either the KPD IAU or PARC?

You always have the right to discuss your case with an attorney and seek any recourse available under the law. 

What should you do if stopped by the police?

The KPD has the very difficult and dangerous assignment of enforcing the laws and sometimes dealing with very violent people. It is quite possible the officer who comes into contact with you does not know you personally. Consequently, he must approach you with caution to ensure both his and your safety. You are expected to treat a KPD officer in the same manner the officer is expected to treat you; with courtesy and respect. Police officers have the authority to conduct a limited search of you for concealed weapons, if reasonable suspicion exists. You should remain calm and follow the instructions of the officer. If you are in a car and see flashing blue lights on a police car, you should: 
  • slow down 
  • activate your turn signal indicating you are going to comply and 
  • pull over as soon as you feel it is safe, such as into a well lighted area. If questioned, explain to the officer why you did not stop immediately. 
  • You should not argue with, challenge, threaten, ignore or be offensive to the officer. 
  • Under no circumstances should you provide the officer with false information. 
If you think you have been unjustly treated, respectfully request to speak to the officer's supervisor or request the officer's name and badge number and file a complaint with the KPD Internal Affairs Unit at 865-215-7361 or PARC at 865-215-3869. 

How can you bring good officer conduct to the attention of the KPD?

If you would like to compliment the conduct and/or actions of a KPD officer, this can be accomplished by calling the Chief of Police's office at 865-215-7229 and reporting your information. Another method is writing to the Chief of Police, Knoxville Police Department, P.O. Box 3610, Knoxville, TN 37927.