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Professional Standards
Foreword
Chal. Coin

A citizen’s complaint, and its subsequent investigation, causes the Department to examine the service that we provide to our community and to make necessary improvements in the delivery of those services.


How Do I file a Complaint?

If you have a complaint, you may do one of the following:

  1. Call the Office of Professional Standards at 210.659.1999.
  2. Come to the Police Department located at 162 Loop 539 East and speak with any supervisor.
  3. Fill out a Complaint Form available in the Police Department lobby.
  4. Download a Citizen's Complaint Form (sworn affidavit)

Each complaint will be reviewed and appropriate follow-up actions taken

What is the law regarding making a complaint on a police officer?
Texas Government Code § 614.022. Complaint to be in Writing and Signed by Complainant To be considered by the head of a state agency or by the head of a fire or police department, the complaint must be:
1. in writing; and
2. signed by the person making the complaint.

Texas Government Code § 614.023. Copy of Complaint to be given to Officer or Employee
1. A copy of a signed complaint against a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or police officer shall be given to the officer or employee within a reasonable time after the complaint is filed.
2. Disciplinary action may not be taken against the officer or employee unless a copy of the signed complaint is given to the officer or employee.

Texas Penal Code § 37.02. Perjury


1. A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning:
a. he makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; or
b. he makes a false un-sworn declaration under Chapter 132, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
2. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

What does the Department do with a complaint?
Once received, a complaint is assigned to a Supervisor for investigation. It is then issued a control number and is assigned to an investigator for thorough investigation.
 
Once the investigation is completed, the file is forwarded to the Chief of Police for review. The Chief assigns a disposition to the file and determines any disciplinary action deemed appropriate.

How are cases closed?

After a case has been investigated and reviewed, it is given one of five dispositions:

  • Sustained: There is enough evidence to prove the allegations.
  • Not Sustained: The evidence neither proves nor disproves the allegations.
  • Unfounded: The incident either did not happen, or the officer was not involved.
  • Exonerated: The incident occurred, but the officer acted properly.
  • Policy Failure: The evidence supports a finding of misconduct, but the actions of the officer were consistent with policy. Or the evidence does not support a finding of misconduct, but the actions of the officer were in violation of policy.

What happens when a complaint is sustained?

The range of disciplinary action available to the Chief in a sustained investigation is:

  • Training
  • Counseling
  • Written Reprimand
  • Suspension and/or Demotion
  • Termination of Employment

These disciplinary actions may be used individually or combined as appropriate to the specific circumstance.


How are the people involved notified?

The Department will notify the complainant that their complaint has been received for investigation and supplies them with information on how to monitor the progress of their investigation.

Additionally, a letter with the findings or disposition of the investigation is sent to the complainant. The officer involved and the officer's supervisor receive a written notification that describes the finding and disposition of the investigation. The letter is also filed with the employee's complaint history file within the Police Department. The employee involved can also appeal any formal disciplinary action.