Complaints against Police Officers and Employees of the Department
The Mont Belvieu Police Department is dedicated to providing the best police services possible to all of Mont Belvieu citizens. Police officers are carefully selected and given the best training possible in order to provide this service. However, you may have occasion to lodge a complaint about the actions of a member of the Mont Belvieu Police Department. All citizen complaints pertaining to departmental policies and procedures or those that allege officer or employee misconduct shall be documented and investigated by the department. In order to be responsible to you, we are providing the following information about how complaints are made, how they are investigated, and their results.
How are complaints made?
A person desiring to make a complaint may contact the department between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, or any Mont Belvieu Police Department supervisor at any time. Complaints can be taken in person, by letter, or by phone (281) 576-2417. Anonymous complaints, or complaints from citizens who wish their names to be held in confidence, shall also be accepted for investigation.
Complaints must be made within sixty (60) days of the incident complained about, except in special cases (such as criminal misconduct or when a good cause can be shown by the person complaining).
At any time a citizen can come by the police department or have mailed to them a, "Citizen Complaint Procedure" pamphlet. This pamphlet outlines the department's procedures on handling citizen's complaints on employees of the department.
What happens once the complaint is filed?
Once the complaint has been filed, it will be reviewed by the employee's direct supervisor or the Chief of Police. Witnesses, officers (department employee), and you will be contacted and may be asked to give statements regarding the complaint. All evidence collected during the investigation will be analyzed. The completed investigation will be reviewed either by the employee's direct supervisor or the Chief of Police. You will be notified of the results and the action taken.
What are the possible findings?
Once the investigation is complete, one of the six (6) findings will be determined:
- Sustained: Evidence sufficient to prove the allegations.
- Not Sustained: Insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove allegations.
- Exonerated: Incident occurred but was lawful.
- Unfounded: Allegation is false or not factual or the employee was not involved.
- Policy and Procedure: The nature of the investigation dealt solely with a complainant's objection or criticism against an agency policy or procedure and not against an individual employee.
- Incomplete Investigation: The investigation could not be thoroughly or properly investigated. This may be caused by a lack of cooperation by the complainant and/or witnesses, or the absence of a critical interview which was necessary to proceed with the investigation, and/or the available physical evidence or witnesses' statements are insufficient to adjudicate the complaint.
What happens when a complaint is found to be Sustained?
When the investigation of a complaint is found to be sustained against an employee, the Chief of Police may take one of the following actions depending on the nature of the violation:
- Counseling with the employee.
- Reprimand the employee.
- Transfer the employee.
- Suspension of the employee without pay.
- Demotion of the employee.
- Termination of the employee.
What happens if the complaint cannot be proven or is not true?
Police officers and department employees must be accorded certain rights, the same as with all citizens, and complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence to sustain the complaint, the officer or employee is notified and continues on duty.
The Mont Belvieu Police Department is vitally interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking action where its employees have proven derelict in their duties or are guilty of wrongdoing. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
By the same token, if you have occasion to see a police officer or other department employee doing outstanding work, tell him/her or us about it. You can call, write, or email us with your observations.
All members of the Mont Belvieu Police Department are dedicated to serving all citizens of our community.