How citizens can file formal complaints against Sweeny law enforcement officers and how those complaints are handled.
The Importance of Your Complaint
The Sweeny Police Department recognizes that its employees are responsible for their conduct where the public is concerned. The Department also acknowledges that, at certain times, conflicts between citizens and agency employees can arise. The proper relationship between police and citizens is necessary to gain confidence and trust, which is essential for effective law enforcement.
Police Officers must be free to exercise their best judgment and initiate action in a reasonable, lawful, impartial manner, without fear or reprisal. At the same time, they must observe the constitutional rights of all people. Law enforcement officers, while responsible for enforcing the law, must not violate the law.
The complaint process and appropriate disciplinary procedures not only subject agency members to corrective action when they conduct themselves improperly, the guidelines also protect them from unwarranted criticism when they discharge their duties properly.
A disagreement over the validity of a traffic citation is not a complaint. The determination of guilt and innocence is a judicial process. Such disagreements should be directed to the Sweeny Municipal Court for final disposition.
The Department realizes that confusion, different perceptions or the timeliness of information sometimes will result in descriptions that produce different versions of the same incident. Beyond legitimate error, however, the deliberate making of a report that the complainant knows to be false or misleading could constitute a violation of State Law.
The complaint process is designed to deal with each case factually and fairly. Citizens who file complaints are treated respectfully, and the accusations against an agency employee are taken seriously. All complaints are investigated thoroughly, and all findings are based on impartial evidence gained during the investigation.
However, many complaints can be explained satisfactorily by a visit or telephone call to the employee’s supervisor, usually a Sergeant. The supervisor will talk with you about your complaint and try to resolve it at this level. If this is unsuccessful, you may file your formal complaint in one of the ways described below.
There are a number of ways you can submit a complaint to the Sweeny Police Department.
After a thorough investigation, the complaint will be classified into one of the following dispositions.
There are five types of disciplinary action that can be recommended for a sustained case.
NOTE: The Chief of Police makes the final determination about the disposition of the case.
Although the employee named in the complaint will, at some point, be required to respond to the specific allegation made, they are not permitted access to cases under investigation. Complainants need not be concerned that they will be subject to retribution or retaliation for legitimately stating a complaint, because procedures are in place to prevent this.
Complainants who have current criminal or traffic charges pending in an incident should be aware that the internal review process deals solely with matters of Departmental policy and the conduct of agency employees and officers. Regardless of the outcome of the internal investigation, existing criminal or traffic charges must be dealt with through the proper courts.
A complaint will not be accepted after thirty (30) days from the alleged incident, unless a waiver is granted by the Chief of Police.
Employees are not permitted access to cases under investigation.
You will be notified, in writing, of the disposition and/or disciplinary action taken by the Department not later than the tenth (10) business day after the disposition. All dispositions are final.
We have provided our cover letter (which is brief explanation of our complaint procedure and philosophy) and the complaint form below. Please choose a format compatible with your computer system. Once completed, remit the Complaint Form to our office either in person or via mail.
Our address is:
Sweeny Police Department 123 N. Oak Street Sweeny, TX 77480
If you have any questions regarding the complaint procedures, how to complete the form, or any other questions, please contact Lt. Chad Makara at 979-548-3112 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
123 N. Oak Street, Sweeny, Texas, 77480, USA
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Last updated on 09-23-2015
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