Citizen Complaint Process

The department will hear all complaints against its members, which have been initiated by any person that is found to have standing for such a complaint.

Complaints may be reported by phone, mail, in person, or may be accessed online (PDF). All complaints will be addressed. Following the first report of your complaint, you will be asked to provide a written statement and following that, the complaint will be investigated. All investigations of citizen complaints will be conducted in a timely matter. Depending on the nature of the complaint, some will take longer than others to investigate. Upon conclusion of the investigation you will be notified of the disposition of your complaint.

Complaint Process
The complaint process is a tool used to evaluate citizen concerns with regards to the performance and actions of our personnel and the agency itself. The process is not used to determine guilt or innocence or to debate the outcome of any legal proceeding; the appropriate court of venue will handle these legal proceedings.

Types of Citizen Complaints
Generally there are 2 types of citizen complaints: those regarding a particular police service and those involving police personnel.

Police Service Complaints
These are made regarding any service performed by the Dickinson Police Department, and not specifically directed at an employee.

Police Personnel Complaints
These are made regarding the performance of duties, or behavior of departmental personnel, which include, but of course are not limited to, violations of federal, state, and local laws, and/or established departmental policies and procedures.

These types of complaints are generally subdivided into 2 categories:
  • Complaints handled by the immediate supervisor
  • Complaints handled by the Office of the Chief of Police
Examples of complaints handled by the immediate supervisor would be “rudeness” or “minor driving violations” etc. Examples of complaints handled by the office of the Chief of Police would be, violation of federal, state or local laws, excessive force, etc.

Key Reasons for Monitoring Employee Performance
Protection of the Public
The public has the right to receive fair, efficient, and impartial law enforcement. We can help to ensure this through the detection, investigation, and adjudication of employee misconduct.

Protection of the Department
We are often evaluated and judged by the conduct of our individual employees. Therefore, it is imperative that the organization as a whole be free from public censure based upon the misconduct of a few. The community must be confident that the department will fairly and honestly police its own members. We recognize that we have an obligation to not only protect the public from abuse, but to protect the City of Dickinson and its employees from civil litigation that could stem from any misconduct.

Protection of the Employee
Our employees must also be protected against false allegations of misconduct. This can only be accomplished through a consistently thorough investigative process that ensures their rights are protected and all available evidence is appropriately collected.

Corrections of Procedural Problems
We are constantly seeking to improve efficiency of the department, and occasionally, administrative investigations disclose faulty procedures that would otherwise have gone undetected.

Removal of Unfit Personnel
Personnel who engage in serious acts of misconduct, or who have demonstrated that they are unfit for the law enforcement profession, must be removed for the protection of everyone involved.

Law Regarding Complaints
Texas Government Code § 614.022. Complaint to be in Writing & 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
(a) 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.
(b) 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
(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning:
(1) 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
(2) he makes a false unsworn declaration under Chapter 132, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.