Confused or concerned about investigations conducted by the police department? Many are unsure of their rights in such situations. The purpose of this page is to help dispel any misconceptions you might have about a B.P.R. investigation.
Do I have the right to an FOP attorney in a BPR interview?
- NO. Under the current law in Missouri, as well as current department policy, you do not have the right to have an attorney present at your BPR interview. You do, however, have the right (by department policy) to have one of your supervisors present during the interview. Just because your attorney cannot participate in your BPR interview, do not hesitate to contact an attorney as soon as you are notified of a complaint/investigation. The earlier the better for both you and the attorney. If you think you may need an attorney, contact Lodge 15 legal counsel, Greg Kloeppel, for assistance. Greg can be reached through Lodge 15 at (314)-423-8003 or: Greg Kloeppel (314) 265-8865
Don't I have the same rights as a criminal suspect?
- Yes, you are entitled to the same rights as anyone else in a criminal investigation. But, BPR is prohibited by department policy from conducting a criminal investigation. Detectives from DCI conduct criminal investigations involving department employees.
Can I be compelled to make a statement when interviewed by BPR?
- Yes, you must make a statement when ordered to do so by BPR. You are "compelled" to answer BPR's questions. If you refuse to answer/make a statement to BPR, you are subject to discipline up to and including termination. But, just as a suspect in a criminal investigation is protected from self-incrimination without benefit of legal counsel by invoking Miranda v. Arizona, you are protected from having your "compelled" statement to BPR used against you in criminal court by invoking Garrity v. New Jersey. The St. Louis County Police Department goes a step further in protecting you by stating in the written "Complaint Review Procedure" that, "Any required (compelled) statement can be used against the employee in a disciplinary action or in an administrative proceeding, but the required (compelled) statements secured during a Bureau of Professional Responsibility investigation cannot be used and is inadmissible in any criminal action or proceeding where the employee is the object of the criminal investigation." That sentence invokes Garrity v. New Jersey for you. The key word is "required." If you are "required" (compelled) to make a statement to BPR, that statement cannot be used against you criminally. But, "voluntary" statements are not protected and may be used against you in a criminal prosecution.
Can I be compelled to submit to a polygraph examination or stand in a line up?
- Yes. You may also be compelled, as a condition of employment, to submit to blood, urine and breathalyzer tests. Finally, it is important to remember that our BPR does not have a pattern of persecuting employees or making (or supporting) false allegations. For your own benefit, please thoroughly review General Order 04-05 "Complaint Review Procedure" and the "Conduct and Discipline Manual." Please contact Greg with any questions regarding legal representation.