How to make a complaint.
When a citizen has a complaint against a Police Department employee (commissioned or civilian), the complaint is directed to the department's Internal Affairs Office, located at the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building, 620 W. Division Street in Arlington, 817-459-5611. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If the office is closed, you may still file a complaint with any Police Department supervisor, who will then forward your report.
Texas law requires that all complaints against police officers be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Complaints must be made within 30 days of the incident unless special circumstances exist. The person who was wronged must file the complaint; other persons may give statements as witnesses.
Internal Affairs investigators will ensure that a thorough investigation of your complaint is conducted. Just as citizens who are arrested must be told the charges against them, a police employee must be given a copy of the complaint before any disciplinary action is taken. When the investigation is completed, you will be notified of the results and action taken.
Filing a false complaint against a police employee is a violation of the Texas Penal Code, Section 37.02. If a person knowingly and intentionally makes a false statement under oath, or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made under oath, a person may be found guilty and punished by a fine up to $4,000, confinement in jail up to one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.
What happens when a complaint is upheld?
When the investigation finds that the charges against a police employee are true, the employee's Assistant Police Chief notifies the employee and may take one of the following actions:
(1) reprimand the employee verbally or in writing;
(2) suspend the employee without pay;
(3) demote the employee; or
(4) discharge the employee.
Employees can appeal the department's decision to uphold a complaint and the decision to discipline the employee.
What happens when a complaint is not upheld?
Complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. When the investigation cannot find the degree of evidence necessary to prove the employee acted improperly, the employee and the citizen are both notified in writing.
What if you are not satisfied with the outcome?
You may appeal the findings of the internal Affairs or supervisory investigation to: