COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE OFFICERS & FIREFIGHTERS, INCLUDING RACIAL PROFILING COMPLAINTS
Filing a Complaint
The Pantego Police and Fire Departments take a very serious view of investigating any allegation of wrongdoing among its force. Your complaint will be given a fair and thorough investigation and you will be notified in writing of the results of the investigation.
Who can make a complaint?
Any person who believes they have been the victim of unprofessional or illegal treatment or who believes that they have been subjected to racial profiling by a police officer, may file a complaint, in writing or by telephone or electronic mail (Email); other persons may be asked to provide statements as witnesses.
What is Racial Profiling
As defined by Texas Law, “’racial profiling’ means a law enforcement-initiated action based on an individual's race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual's behavior or on information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity.”
How to make a complaint
When a citizen has a complaint against a Police or Fire Department Employee (sworn or civilian), they may contact the Chief of Public Safety. Complaints that are relatively minor in nature will be directed to the employee's supervisor. Allegations of serious misconduct, including racial profiling, will be forwarded to the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Department.
Texas Law requires that all complaints against public safety officers, which may result in disciplinary action, be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Complaints of misconduct that are less serious in nature need not be in writing. Complaints should be made within 30 days of the incident unless special circumstances exist. The Town of Pantego takes all complaints seriously and will fully investigate each complaint received. Please contact the Police Chief, Jon C. Coulter at (817) 274-2511 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to report a complaint on a Police Department employee. Contact the Fire Chief, Randy Fulton, at (817) 617-3710 or at email@example.com to report a complaint on a Fire Department employee.
Filing a false complaint against a police or fire department 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 $4000, confinement in jail up to one year, or both fine and punishment.
What happens when a complaint is upheld?
When the investigation finds that the charges against a police or fire department employee are true, the Chief of Public Safety notifies the employee and may take one of the following actions:
Employees have the right to 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 department to: