Personnel Complaint Form

A proper relationship between the public and its police department is fostered by confidence and trust, which is essential to effective law enforcement.

Employees must be cognizant of the rights of all people, at all times. They also must be free to exercise their best judgment and initiate action in a reasonable, lawful and impartial manner, without fear of reprisal or undue criticism or restraint.

Therefore, pursuant to California Penal Code 832.5, it is the policy of this department to accept and thoroughly investigate all complaints of alleged misconduct of personnel. All complaints (including those made anonymously) are investigated, regardless of the means by which they are communicated, whether by letter, telephone, or in person, or by any other means or device which lends itself to intelligible communication.

This complaint process provides for the proper, effective, and reasonable investigation of all complaints, resulting in corrective action being taken when warranted. This process also has the built-in protective measures to shield an employee from unjust criticism or penalty when they have properly discharged their duties.

Furthermore, the purpose of the process is to ensure the upholding of the integrity of the Police Department, by prompt and thorough investigation of actual or alleged misconduct (which shall include the violation of any department policy, rule, regulation, or order).

Our goals are to:

  1. Maintain a constant check on the efficiency and fairness of our policies and procedures.
  2. Absolve the innocent.
  3. Establish responsibility for improper conduct when and where it exists.
  4. Facilitate prompt and just discipline in accordance with the City’s Personnel Rules, Regulations, and Policies and the Police General Orders Manual.

Community involvement in this constructive airing and resolution of differences helps us maintain the highest quality of police services possible.

The following are answers, to some commonly asked questions, regarding the complaint process.

    • DO I HAVE TO FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO EXPRESS MY DISSATISFACTION? No. Frequently complaints are based on simple misunderstandings. These can often be resolved by informally meeting with a supervisor who can explain the basis for an action or inaction.
    • WHO SHOULD I TALK TO FIRST? If you have a complaint regarding procedures, policies, services, or an employee’s personal conduct, it is best to begin by asking to speak to the supervisor who is responsible for the service area or employee which is of concern to you. If for some reason that supervisor is not available, an on-duty supervisor is usually available to help you. (If you are under the age of 18, you will need to have a parent, guardian, or responsible adult accompany you.)
    • WILL I HAVE TO WRITE OUT MY COMPLAINT? No. When you talk to the supervisor, your complaint will be put in writing, either by yourself or by the supervisor receiving the complaint.
    • DO I HAVE TO COMPLAIN IN PERSON? No. Although we would prefer to have complaints made in person, we will accept a complaint by telephone or letter, if necessary. All complaints, regardless of how a complaint is received, are investigated in the same thorough manner. As per the department complaint procedures, the assigned investigator will investigate the case and submit a complete investigation report.
    • WILL THERE BE ANY REPERCUSSIONS FOR MAKING A COMPLAINT? You should have no fear of any action, legal or otherwise, being taken against you, if you are making a complaint in good faith. We are only interested in prosecuting those who make malicious or false allegations. We would not (and could not) bring charges against any person who has acted in good faith.
    • WHO ELSE WILL SEE THE COMPLAINT BESIDES THE SUPERVISOR I TALK TO? Immediately after receipt of the complaint report and after entry into the complaint registry, the report will be sent to the Chief of Police. In cases, which include complaints about employees, a copy of the report will be given to the accused employee(s), except when such an action may impede the investigation or cause the destruction of evidence.
    • WHO WILL INVESTIGATE MY COMPLAINT? In most cases, a supervisor assigned by the Chief of Police will promptly conduct the investigation.
    • HOW LONG WILL THE INVESTIGATION TAKE? Every investigation of a citizen complaint will be completed within 30 calendar days of the filing of the complaint. If the investigation cannot, for good cause, be completed with this time period, the investigator may be granted an extension (not to exceed 15 days) by the Chief of Police.
    • WILL I BE ADVISED OF THE OUTCOME? Yes. If a justifiable complaint is sustained by sufficient evidence to clearly prove the allegation, the department will take appropriate action to correct or alleviate the deficiency. In other cases, the Chief of Police will enter one of the following dispositions: unfounded, exonerated, not sustained, or no finding.

Personnel Complaint Form

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