The Chief of Police has the legal mandate to insure that a well-defined procedure exists for the investigation of complaints against-Department personnel. The employees of this Department are carefully selected, highly trained and serve with a pride of professionalism. However, in any organization, deviations from ideal performance occur. Allegations of misconduct against Department personnel are investigated thoroughly and objectively, with the goals of maintain the integrity of the Department and the confidence of the public.
Every citizen has a right to make a complaint against any employee of the Police Department. The complaint may be made to any supervisor. A complaint may be made in person, by telephone, by mail, by email, or by a person not directly involved in the incident. Complaints may also be made anonymously. Once a complaint is received, the following procedure is followed:
- A thorough investigation of the allegations will be conducted by a supervisor.
- Upon completion, the case will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for final disposition and appropriate action.
- After final disposition of the case, the complainant will be sent a letter advising of the disposition of the investigation.
California State law requires the following admonishment:
You have the right to make a complaint against any police officer for any improper police conduct. California law requires this agency to have a procedure to investigate citizen's complaints. You have a right to a written description of this procedure. This agency may find after investigation that there is not enough evidence to warrant action on you complaint; even if that is the case, you have the right to make a complaint and have it investigated if you believe an officer behaved improperly. Citizen complaints and any reports or findings related to complaints must be retained by this agency for at least five years.
It is against the law to make a complaint that you know to be false. If you make a complaint against an officer knowing that it is false, you can be prosecuted on a misdemeanor charge. (Penal Code 148.6)