Internal Affairs Unit

General Information

Message from Sheriff Terry Maketa

“The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the nation. We are proud of the high quality of service we provide to the citizens of El Paso County. To maintain this reputation, we must constantly strive for excellence.  It is essential that all allegations of employee misconduct are thoroughly and objectively investigated to assure the public that employee misconduct will not be tolerated and at the same time provide a vehicle whereby employees unjustly accused can be cleared of misconduct. The responsibility and authority for these investigations within the El Paso County Sheriff's Office are vested within the Support Services Bureau, Internal Affairs Unit.”


~Sheriff Terry Maketa


The major function of the Internal Affairs Unit is the receiving, processing and investigation of complaints made against members of the Sheriff's Office. To ensure public trust and maintain the integrity of the Sheriff's Office, the Internal Affairs Unit conducts immediate, thorough and objective investigations of all complaints. All investigations will stand a test of fairness and all members of the Sheriff's Office will be treated equally regardless of rank.

Anyone may file a complaint against a member of the Sheriff's Office.  Complaints will be accepted in person, by phone, in writing, mail, and email.  An Internal Affairs Investigator will meet with the complainant in order to obtain any additional information and to fully explain the investigation process.  The complainant will be provided with a copy of their complaint and any questions they may have will be addressed by the investigators.

The following statistics were collected from the year 2013, regarding investigations of internal and external complaints. The statistics show the percentages for each disposition as stated in our Policy and Procedures Manual. These dispositions are defined below.

  • Sustained: The allegation is substantiated, the misconduct did occur, and disciplinary action will be taken.
  • Sustained with no penalty: The allegation is substantiated, the misconduct did occur, and corrective action will be taken.  
  • Not-sustained: The allegation is not substantiated. There is not sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Unfounded: The allegation is false, or not factual; no misconduct; the incident did not occur or involve the accused employee.
  • Exonerated: The incident occurred but the accused employee acted lawfully and properly.

Thirteen (13) of the 97 complaints or approximately 14% were external.

Findings on Those Complaints
Sustained: 6 or 46%
Sustained No Penalty: 0 or 0%
Not-Sustained: 2 or 15%
Unfounded: 2 or 15%
Exonerated: 3 or 24%

For additional information see Policy 315

Internal and External Complaints

Combined Findings on Those Complaints
Sustained: 61 or 63%
Sustained No Penalty: 23 or 24%
Not-Sustained: 3 or 3%
Unfounded: 4 or 4%
Exonerated: 6 or 6%

For additional information see Policy 315