Public Compliment or Complaint Process
The Farmers Branch Police Department is dedicated to providing the highest quality police services to residents of and visitors to Farmers Branch. Compliments and complaints are important to the Police Department, and are appreciated.
Complaints can be made at any time.
The public can file a complaint in person any time of the day or night by contacting an on-duty supervisor. Every complaint of misconduct will be reviewed by the supervisor of the employee for a preliminary investigation.
Generally, complaints of a routine nature will be assigned to the employee’s supervisor or commander. More serious or complex matters will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Supervisor.
To help ensure that evidence is still available and recollections of the incident are fresh, complaints should be made within a reasonable time after the alleged misconduct occurred.
Anyone can submit a complaint.
Normally, the person most directly affected by the alleged conduct should be the person to complain. For example, a complaint of rudeness to a driver must be made by the driver, not by a passenger in the vehicle. Exceptions would include a parent filing a complaint for a minor child or similar situations. Under certain circumstances, third party complaints will be accepted.
Complaints should be concise and specific.
Describe the conduct of the employee that was found to be improper:
- Provide the specific words or phrases used
- Describe the employee’s tone of voice
- Cite particular acts of behavior
Identify the employee as much as possible by providing:
- Employee’s name, badge number and patrol vehicle license number
- Date, time and location of the incident
Farmers Branch Police Department employees are required by policy to properly identify themselves, upon request. If available, include the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
The focus of Farmers Branch Police Department complaint procedures is on alleged misconduct by an employee which encompasses violations of laws or department rules and regulations.
A disagreement regarding a policy or law, or with the application of a policy or law, is not considered a complaint and will normally be referred to the supervisor most directly involved with the policy or law in question for response.
Anonymous complaints are not investigated, as directed by State law.
Texas State law requires complaints against an officer to be in writing and signed by the complainant. The department encourages individuals with allegations of misconduct by the Farmers Branch Police Department employees to identify themselves and submit to an interview.
Disposition of the Investigation
The Farmers Branch Police Department uses the following terminology when resolving complaints:
- Sustained: Allegation is supported by sufficient evidence.
- Not substantiated: Insufficient facts exist to either prove or disprove the allegation(s) made.
- Unfounded: The facts substantiate the allegation(s) made are false.
- Exonerated: Incident complained of did occur, but was lawful and proper.
If the investigation indicates that an employee has committed an offense, under the Farmers Branch Police Department Rules and Regulations, disciplinary action will be taken commensurate with the severity of the offense (mitigating circumstances may be considered). After final disposition is reached by management, appropriate action will be taken. Disciplinary action may involve remedial training, suspension or termination.
The Farmers Branch Police Department’s Policy on Compliments and Complaints
It is the policy of the department to respond to compliments or complaints received from the public.
Complimentary letters are:
- Reviewed by the employee’s first line supervisor
- Forwarded to the employee
- Placed in the employee’s personnel file
Complaint letters follow a very specific complaint procedure that:
- Ensures that fair and proper action is taken when an employee is accused of misconduct
- Protects employees from unwarranted or false accusations
- Helps identify and correct deficiencies in policies, procedures and/or training
The Farmers Branch Police Department’s Policy on Racial Profiling Complaints
It is the policy of the department to respond to all complaints of racial profiling.
- Racial Profiling is defined as 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.
- The public can file a racial profiling complaint in person any time of the day or night by contacting an on duty supervisor. The complaint process will be the same as previously listed in the complaint process section.
Making a complaint will not affect actions or charges against the complainant.
Employees are prohibited from retaliating against a resident for reporting truthful information in lodging a complaint against them. Any charges or legal issues (present or future) must be decided by the appropriate court. The investigation of a complaint will focus on the conduct of the employee, not charges against a resident. Therefore, any charges against a resident are a separate issue, which will have to be resolved in court.
The Farmers Branch Police Department’s Responsibilities
The department recognizes its responsibility to maintain the public confidence and trust, and the need to ensure integrity and accountability both of the agency and of each employee.
The Public’s Responsibilities
As the Farmers Branch Police Department recognizes the rights of all citizens, the public should recognize that the Police Department employees must be able to exercise their best judgment in taking necessary and reasonable action in the performance of their duties without fear of reprisal.