Citizen Complaint & Commendation Process
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR COMPLAINT
|The Kerrville 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. It is essential to the safety of our community that the relationship between police and citizens be built on confidence and trust. Law enforcement can not be effective without this vital conviction by both entities.
Police Officers must be free to exercise their best judgment and initiate proper action in a reasonable, lawful, impartial manner, without fear of reprisal. At the same time, they must observe the rights of all people. 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. Such disagreements should be directed to the court that has jurisdiction in the matter.
The Police Department realizes that confusion, different perceptions, or the timeliness of information sometimes will result in descriptions that produce different versions of the same incident.
|The complaint process is designed to deal with each case factually and fairly. Citizens who file complaints are treated respectfully, and their accusations 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 calls to the employee’s supervisor, usually the Sergeant will talk with you about your complaint and try to resolve it.
The Chief of Police is usually available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.—5 p.m. to discuss your complaint about any member of the department.
There are two classes of complaints. The first and most serious, a Formal complaint alleges the violation of a law or such other serious allegations as excessive force (being hit, slapped, kicked, or struck by an object) causing pain or visible signs of bodily injury. The second class, an Administrative complaint includes allegations of a less serious nature and may concern violations of departmental policy.
Either class of complaints may be lodged as a Formal or Informal Complaint. The Formal Complaint must be in writing, signed by the complainant. The Information Complaint may be written or oral.
All complaints will be dealt with in the same manner. Formal Complaints will be responded to in writing once the investigation is completed.
|Any complaint can be made anonymously without giving your name. However, you cannot be informed of the internal review’s results if you choose to remain anonymous. After a thorough investigation, the complaint will be classified into one of the following dispositions.
Unfounded: the investigation determined the act or acts complained of did not occur.
Exonerated: the investigation revealed that the act or acts complained of occurred but were justified, lawful and proper.
Inconclusive: the investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
Sustained: the investigation disclosed a preponderance of evidence in support of the allegation made in the complaint.
Sustained allegations could result in additional training, counseling, written reprimand, suspension or termination.
Although employees named in a complaint will at some point be required to respond to the specific allegations, they are not permitted access to cases under investigation. Complainants need not be concerned that they will be subject to retribution for legitimately stating a complaint because procedures are in place to prevent this.
Complainants who have current criminal or traffic charges pending should be aware that the internal review process deals solely with department police matters and the conduct of agency employees. Regardless of the outcome of an internal investigation, existing criminal or traffic charges must be dealt with through the proper courts.
FINAL DISPOSITION ABOUT ANY COMPLAINT WILL BE MADE BY THE CHIEF OF POLICE.
Complimenting an Employee
|As we recognize that conflicts between citizens and agency employees can arise, we also realize that there are times when employees go above and beyond their call of duty. Law Enforcement employees, like everyone else, appreciate it when their good deeds are noticed. Too often they are remembered for the traffic tickets they issue or the arrest they have to make, and not for the thousands of helping hands they extend.
If an Officer or Employee of the Kerrville Police Department provides services that you feel they should be commended for, please write the Chief a letter or note to that effect, giving your feelings on what the Officer or Employee has done that deserves commendation. The Chief will see that it gets to the employee and that a copy is placed in the employee’s personnel file. This boosts their morale and encourages them and all other Officers and Employees of the Department to be more positive about themselves and the service they provide. We are proud of the good relationship we share with the community.
The Kerrville Police Department is dedicated to the protection of life and property, the preservation of peace and the prevention of crime in our community. We believe in proactive enforcement and community problem solving to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Kerrville.
The Department’s vision is to ensure a safe and secure community for all of our citizens.
Treat everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect.
Provide impartial service to the law.
Always do the right thing.
| DAVID J. KNIGHT
CHIEF OF POLICE
KERRVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
429 SIDNEY BAKER
KERRVILLE, TEXAS 78028
Telephone: (830) 257-8181