Police Employee Complaint Procedure
The Weatherford Police Department is dedicated to providing exceptional service to its employees and citizens. Police employees are carefully selected, held to the highest standards, and provided with the best training available. In addition, the Weatherford Police Department emphasizes a commitment to the phrase:
"Our citizens are our most important resource."
We are interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking immediate action when our employees have been found to have violated department policies or statutes. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
Complaints against employees are handled through the Department's complaint investigation policy and procedures.
The purpose of the investigation procedures is the diligent pursuit of the truth. We are committed to that objective, recognizing that our agency's credibility depends upon the community's knowledge that we can police ourselves.
Types of Complaints
There are two types of complaints that can be filed: Level I and Level II.
Level I complaints may include but are not limited to criminal conduct, such as bribery, theft, perjury, etc. They also include serious rule infractions such as excessive force, improper search/seizure, false statements, dereliction of duty, etc.
Level II complaints may include but are not limited to demeanor such as gestures, language, or other offensive/inappropriate actions. They also include faulty driving and failure to comply with established Department or City policies and procedures.
Citizens making a complaint against an employee will be referred to any available supervisor, if on duty, or the highest ranking supervisor on duty at the time. That supervisor will interview the citizen to obtain all pertinent information in order to document the circumstances of the incident.
The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall examine the content of the complaint to determine if it meets the requirements of a complaint and determine if it is a Level I or Level II complaint. He will then designate an investigator to examine the allegation.
Level II complaints will be given to the employee's immediate supervisor who will then conduct a complete and thorough review of the allegations and make a decision regarding what action will be taken. After a detailed report is completed, each employee supervisor will review the report and forward it through the normal progression of the employee's chain of command until it reaches the Chief of Police. no disciplinary action is final until approved by the Chief of Police and all approved appeal rights have been exhausted and/or completed.
A Level I complaint will be formally investigated by personnel as assigned by the Chief of Police and shall be subject to investigation through the Department's Internal Affairs Process.
How do I file a complaint?
A person wishing to file a complaint should first contact a supervisor at the Weatherford Police Department. The supervisor will give you a Weatherford Police Department Personnel Complaint Form. If you are unable to come to the Weatherford Police Department, a form will be mailed to you, or if you live in the city we can hand deliver a form.
Minor complaints of misconduct must be filed within thirty days of the occurrence.
You are required to submit a complaint form accompanied by your signature. A notarized form is preferred but not required. You must then return the complaint form to the Weatherford Police Department in person.
The investigation will be conducted as thoroughly as possible. You may be required to supply additional information and submit to a polygraph examination.
What happens when a complaint is substantiated?
The department may take the following actions, depending on the nature and severity of the violation:
- Oral Reprimand
- Written Reprimand
- Reduction in Rank
- Suspension or Administrative Leave With or Without Pay
The exception to this rule would be a confidential investigation to determine if a member or employee is violating a directive, policy or law.
What happens when a complaint is not substantiated?
If there is not sufficient evidence to support the allegation, the investigation is closed and no further action is taken.
Please be aware that making a false complaint against a police employee is a violation of the Texas Penal Code, section 37.02. A person convicted of making a false claim can be fined up to $2,000 and/or risk confinement in jail up to one year.
For additional information
Please contact Cmdr. Stewart Chalmers 918.598.4317, Professional Standards, or any on-duty supervisor at 817-598-4310.