University of Houston Department of Public Safety 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 cannot be effective without this vital conviction by
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 the discharge their duties properly.
A disagreement over the validity of a criminal charge or traffic citation is NOT a complaint. Such disagreements should be directed to the court that has jurisdiction in the matter.
The University of Houston Department of Public Safety realizes that confusion, different perceptions, or the timeliness of information sometimes will result in descriptions that produce different versions of the same incident. Beyond legitimate error, however, the deliberate making of a report that the complainant knows to be false or misleading could constitute a violation of State Law.
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 call to the employee's supervisor. The supervisor will talk with you about your complaint and try to resolve it.
A complaint may be lodged as a Formal or Informal Complaint. The Formal Complaint must be in writing, signed by the complainant and be notarized. The Informal 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: Incident did not occur, or affected employee was not involved.
Exonerated: Incident occurred, but actions taken were lawful and proper.
Not Sustained: Insufficient evidence exists to prove the allegations.
Sustained: Evidence is sufficient to prove the allegation.
Sustained allegations could result in additional training, counseling, written reprimand, suspension or termination.
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.
The Chief of Police will make the final determination about the disposition of any complaint.