Never ... ever... walk into a police station by yourself to file a complaint. Civilian testers have shown that you may very well be arrested or harassed for doing so.
Police complaints are generally used to put a report of abuse onto an officer's record, so as to hopefully keep the officer from continuing to abuse his or her authority or to help show his or her superiors that there is a problem with the individual that needs to be addressed.
Police complaints will not get a victim compensated for police abuse. Police complaints are not law suits. If you file a complaint against the police and the police "clear" themselves as they so often do, the only recourse you may have is a civil law suit where you may receive compensation if you and your attorney can prove damages or civil rights violations. Contact a competent civil rights attorney if you need more information about filing a law suit for civil rights violations.
In order to file an official legal complaint against a law enforcement officer of any rank, we strongly recommend that you file your complaint through a competent attorney. An attorney is the only one who can protect you, through documentation and legal advise, from police harassment or arrest in these matters.
Another way to file a police complaint "one of less serious nature" is to send it "certified mail." You want to send your request "certified mail," to have some type of "proof" that you actually sent the complaint. If it's not sent certified mail, sometimes the letter gets lost or misplaced by someone at the police department.
Write out a statement to exactly everything that happened. The more information the better, date, time, etc. Be sure to include the who, what, when and how in your statement. Mail the letter "certified mail," to the police department or sheriffs department. The complaint will be investigated and you usually will receive a letter back from the police agency on the status of your complaint, which most times comes back in the favor of the police officer, but it will stay on the officers record.
If you're interested to know what complaints have been filed against police officers in your community, you may request a copy of that information be sent to you from that police agency. Send your request again "certified mail." Basically just request a copy of complaints of police officers in that agency be mailed to you, under the "Freedom of Information Act" and you would like this information sent to you within 10 days as required by law. DON'T ever walk into a police department ask for this information! They either start acting real stupid on the subject or they get real pissed!
Now for the bad news! Police officers don't like to have "complaints" filed on them, nor do they like for citizens to ask for copies of complaints made against police officers. For some reason police officers think they do no wrong and if they do, the public doesn't need to be aware of it. Just remember there's always that chance if you file a police complaint, there might some type of retaliation against you from a police officer.
If you do file a police complaint, again we stress that you use an attorney or go through the (DOJ) Department of Justice. Click here for the (DOJ) site. You may also contact your State Attorney General. Never file a complaint directly with a police agency, specially if the complaint is of a serious nature, see an attorney!