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2021 Internal Affairs Investigations

The Michigan State Police (MSP) expects its members to adhere to department policy and conduct becoming of a law enforcement officer at all times.  

It is the responsibility of the MSP Professional Standards Section (PSS) to ensure that allegations of misconduct made against department members are thoroughly investigated. Through the internal affairs investigation process, complaints may be referred to a worksite commander to address or assigned to a member of the PSS for a full internal affairs investigation.  

Based on the finding(s) of the investigation, complaints are closed with one of the following dispositions:

Sustained: At least one allegation was proven through the investigation.

Not sustained: The investigation was unable to clearly prove or disprove allegations.

Unfounded: The alleged misconduct was proven not to have occurred.

Exonerated: The accused member's actions were justified, legal and proper.

Field Referral: The complaint was referred to the worksite commander for follow-up.  

Non-Actionable: The complaint was against an employee of another agency, did not involve any allegations of policy violation(s) against a member(s) of the MSP, or was made against a former member of the MSP. 

2021 Summary

The PSS received 488 complaints from members of the public in 2021.

  • 60 complaints were referred to a worksite commander for corrective action against a member. These complaints included allegations such as discourtesy or improper driving of a patrol car.
  • 22 complaints resulted in a finding of sustained and were referred to the labor relations process for corrective action. In five cases, the investigation did not find evidence to support the original allegation made by the complainant; however, the internal investigation identified auxiliary violations of MSP policies. 
  • 245 complaints were non-actionable did not require investigation because it was determined the action was either not misconduct or the complaint did not involve a member of the MSP.  
  • 136 complaints were closed as unfounded after a review of independent evidence, such as in-car video or witness interviews, failed to reveal evidence of misconduct.
  • 15 complaints were closed as not sustained as the investigation could not prove or disprove the allegations made against the member.
  • Eight complaints were closed as exonerated as the investigation determined the accused member’s actions were justified, legal, and proper.
  • Two complaints are either being actively investigated or suspended. Investigations are suspended when the complaint involves a criminal investigation against the member, or when the member is on extended leave.

Complaint Dispositions: Non-actionable: 50%, Field Referral: 12%, Not Sustained: 3%, Sustained: 4%, Unfounded: 28%, Exonerated: 2%, Open/Suspended: 1%.


In addition to the 488 complaints made by members of the public, the PSS also investigated 139 internally generated complaints of misconduct in 2021.

  • 79 of these complaints, or 57%, resulted in a disposition of sustained, and were referred to the labor relations process for corrective action.