Police Deparment Citizen Complaint Review Board

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The Review Board is charged with the responsibility to review the Police Department’s investigation of most citizen complaints, and provide an independent review to the Police Chief.  Annually, the Board prepares and submits a report to the City Council of its activities.  The creation of the Review Board is intended to ensure continued and on-going confidence in Police Department personnel and operations.  It is the only such board in Tulare County.  (Note: as with all other city departments, complaints are investigated by the department and disciplinary matters are determined by the department head [the Police Chief])

 Scope and Authority for Review

The Board has the authority to receive citizen complaints regarding alleged Police Officer misconduct in the areas of:

                                                Misuse of Force                               Use of racial or ethnic slurs

                                                False arrest                                      Abuse of authority

                                                Discrimination                                  Extreme discourtesy

                                                Criminal conduct                              Serious misconduct

Filing of Citizen Complaints

Citizen complaints of alleged police officer misconduct in one or more of the eight areas above may be submitted, in either oral or written form, to either, the Police Department, the City Clerk or the Board.  However, in order for the complaint to be reviewed by the Board, the complaint must be completed in writing on the Police Department approved form, available at the Police Department or the City Manager’s Office.

The complaint form can be filed in person or by mail, and must be signed by the complaining party.  The complaint must be filed within 60 days of the occurrence of the alleged misconduct.

Investigation of Complaints

Within 30 days after receiving the complaint form, a Police Lieutenant or other person assigned by the Police Chief reviews the complaint and conducts an investigation.  In some circumstances, the investigation may take longer than thirty days.

Board Review

After the in-depth investigation is complete, the Investigations Captain submits the investigation to the Review Board.  At their regular meeting, the Board reviews the complete in-depth investigation and, by majority vote, either agrees of disagrees with the findings or can request addition investigation be conducted.

Once the Board has completed the review process, a report is sent to the Police Chief regarding the Board’s decision.  The Board sends a notice to the complainant advising that the complaint has been reviewed by the Board and a report sent to the Police Chief.  The Police Chief also sends a notice to the complaining party regarding the status of his/her complaint.

Because the actions of the Board are considered part of the city’s personnel system/process, as well as requirements of the California Police Officer Bill of Rights, no information can be released regarding the findings of the Board or any action taken or not taken against the Police Officers.