There are two types of complaints that may be made against members of the police department:
- Informal Complaints typically involve employee behavior. Informal complaints are usually investigated by the immediate supervisor. Informal complaints may be in person, by telephone or letter.
- Formal Complaints typically investigated by the Professional Standards Unit, involve more serious alleged acts such as criminal behavior, a violation of Department Policy, or a violation of the Town of Prosper’s Rules and Regulations. Formal complaints must be reduced to writing.
The Complaint Process
If your grievance falls within the types listed as being of an informal nature, you can call the police department at any time and ask to speak with the Assistant Chief. The Assistant Chief may be able to quickly resolve your concerns.
Once you have discussed your concerns you may decide you want the Assistant Chief to handle your complaint. Or, you may request to have your complaint investigated. If so, the Assistant Chief will prepare a written explanation of your grievance and it will be forwarded, through the chain of command, to the Chief of Police.
If your complaint is of a more serious nature, a formal complaint may be warranted. In that case you would be required to complete a written complaint in a sworn affidavit form.
Can I get in trouble for making a complaint?
Not if what you’re telling us is the truth. We would not and could not bring charges against a person who has acted in good faith. However, citizens should be aware that making a false complaint is a violation of the Texas Penal Code. A person convicted could be punished by a fine and confinement in jail.
The Investigation Process
After the Chief of Police has received a written complaint, an investigator will be assigned to look into the matter. During the course of the inquiry the investigator will speak with everyone involved in the complaint. The use of a polygraph examination may be necessary -for an adequate investigation.
Generally, no employee will be required to take a polygraph examination until the person making the complaint has taken and passed his or her test.
Investigations will be completed within thirty (30) days unless the Chief of Police extends the time limit. Once the complaint has been fully investigated, the findings are summarized into a report. The report is then forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and a final disposition.
The final disposition of each allegation will be classified in one of the following ways:
- Not sustained
All complaints and resulting investigative findings are confidential. City policy and rule of law regulate access to sensitive information.
If an allegation is sustained, the person making the complaint will be informed by a letter from the Chief of Police. The letter will include whether appropriate disciplinary action was taken.