How To Submit A Complaint Or Compliment
The Schertz Police Department provides the best police service possible to the residents and visitors of Schertz. Police employees are carefully selected and given the best training to provide this service. However, you may have occasion to complain about the actions of a member of the Schertz Police Department. To respond to you, we are providing the following information about how complaints are made, investigated, and their results.
How are complaints made?
You can call the Schertz Police Department at 210-619-1200 to report the incident or appear in person to complete a formal written complaint which will be forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards for immediate inquiry and disposition. Although not always necessary, please leave your name and contact phone number so a supervisor can speak to you about the incident and pass along any facts to the Office of Professional Standards.
The Complaint Process:
When a citizen complains about a member of the Schertz Police Department, the complaint is assigned to Internal Affairs. Responsibilities of investigators assigned to Internal Affairs include reviewing and investigating your complaint. The office hours are from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Fridays.
You may complain to any supervisory member of the police department. Your complaint will then be forwarded to the Chief of Police, who will assign the complaint to Internal Affairs for investigation.
TEXAS STATE LAW (Government Code 614.022) requires that all complaints against police officers be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Just as arrested citizens must be notified of the charges against them, police officers must be given copies of complaints before any disciplinary action may be taken. The person who claims to be aggrieved must make the complaint. Other persons may give statements as witnesses. Internal Affairs will thoroughly investigate your complaint and advise you of the outcome.
Traffic tickets issued or differences of opinion between police officers and citizens over the issuance of traffic tickets for the guilt or innocence of persons arrested will not be investigated unless there is a specific allegation of misconduct against a member(s) of the department.
What happens if the complaint is found to be true?
When the investigation of a complaint reveals the charges are accurate and should be sustained against a police employee, the Chief of Police notifies the employee and may take one of the following actions, depending on the nature of the violation:
- Employee Coaching,
- Written Warning,
- Written Reprimand,
- Suspend the employee without pay,
- Demote the employee, or
- Discharge the employee.
What happens if the complaint is not true?
Police employees must be afforded certain rights, like all citizens, and complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint, the officer is notified and continues duty. The employee will be paid for that period if he is removed from duty during the investigation.
Officer can appeal the decision
Just as citizens charged with criminal offenses can appeal a court's decision, police employees can appeal the actions taken against them. The City of Schertz has established procedures for employees to follow in their appeals, just as the police department has established procedures for ensuring that citizen complaints against police employees are thoroughly and impartially investigated.
What if you are not satisfied with the decision?
If you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit, you may appeal to:
- The Office of the Chief of Police, located at the Schertz Police Department,
- The Office of the City Manager, located in City Hall, 1400 Schertz Parkway,
- The appropriate County District Attorney, located at the County Courthouse.
The Schertz Police Department is vitally concerned with the welfare of all residents and visitors to Schertz. The Department will act where employees have been proven derelict in their duties or are guilt of wrongdoing.
How are compliments made?
Likewise, if you see an employee doing outstanding work, tell the employee or police supervisor. The Schertz Police Department comprises individuals dedicated to serving our community. If you believe an officer has acted above and beyond the call of duty and should be recognized, the same process can be used for complaints can be used for compliments. You may make a compliment to any supervisory member of the police department and your compliment will then be forwarded to the Chief of Police.