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civilian complaint

 

All police departments in the State of California are required by law to have a process in which a civilian may make a complaint against police personnel. Any person can file a complaint against a member of the Foothill-De Anza Police Department (FHDAPD). Each complaint must contain an allegation, an unproven accusation that a member of the Police Department violated Department or City policy procedure, rules, regulations, or the law.

To comply with California Penal Code Section 832.5, the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District Police Department has established a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against personnel of the department (PC 832.5 (a)(1), Foothill-DeAnza College Police Department Policy Manual section 1010).

 

CIVILIAN COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

 

WHAT IS A COMPLAINT?

A complaint is an allegation by a member of the public in which the complainant is dissatisfied with a department member's actions or the Foothill - De Anza Community College District Police Department itself. The allegation must involve violations of the law or of the FHDACCD Police Department policies and procedures. A complaint involves an administrative process where discipline may be imposed by the FHDACCD Police Department. This must not be confused with criminal charges, which are filed by the District Attorney's office or a civil suit, which is brought against the Foothill - De Anza Community College District.

 

HOW DO FILE A COMPLAINT?

By clicking on Civilian Complaint Formor in person at the Police Department. If, after discussing your complaint with the supervisor, you wish for a formal investigation, it will be necessary for you to complete and sign a formal complaint form.

 

WHO WILL INVESTIGATE THE COMPLAINT?

A Police Department supervisor. However, depending on the severity of the case, outside counsel may be retained to conduct the investigation.

 

HOW ARE THE ALLEGATIONS PROVEN?

The allegations must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that, considering all the evidence, it must be more likely than not that the misconduct occurred.  If the allegations are proven, the case will be sustained and discipline may be imposed on the subject officer.

 

HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A CASE?

According to the Peace Officer Bill of Rights Government Code Section 3304, investigations into alleged police officer misconduct must be completed within one year of the received date. There are exceptions that may extend or toll this timeline.

 

WILL I BE TOLD OF THE RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION?

Complainants will receive periodic written notice of the status of their case.

The disposition of any civilian’s complaint shall be released to the complaining party within 30 days of the final disposition. This release shall not include what discipline, if any, was imposed (Penal Code § 832.7(f)). 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Complaints will be kept for at least 5 years.

  • Any person filing a "formal" civilian complaint must sign the PC 148.6 advisement. A formal written statement by the complaining party should be included.
     
  • The Foothill-De Anza Police Department believes in the right of all persons to report potential misconduct by Department members without fear of retaliation. Retaliation against any party to a complaint made to the Department through any means is prohibited. The Department will not tolerate retaliation.
  • The officer assigned to investigate the complaint will recommend one of the following dispositions upon completion of the investigation; A) Exonerated, B) Sustained, C) Unfounded, D) Not Sustained, E) No Finding.


Upon final determination of a civilian complaint, the Chief of Police will notify the civilian(s) from whom the complaint originated. This notification will be by email and/or US Mail.


Please use our Civilian Complaint Form  to file a complaint.