If you feel a Mission Police Department Officer acted improperly you may file a complaint with any Mission Police Supervisor, who will forward the complaint to the Office of Professional Responsibility. The Office of Professional Responsibility will review the complaint and direct it to the proper channels.
Complaints are accepted anonymously, orally or in a signed written form. Due to Civil Service Laws, the Department is limited in the disposition of anonymous and oral complaints. Written signed complaints are much more useful in the Department’s constant efforts to upgrade its public service. Just as citizens who are arrested must be notified of the charges against them, the police officer is allowed to view the complaint before any disciplinary action may be taken.
Complaints must be made within 30 days of the incident complained about, except in special cases such as criminal misconduct or when good cause can be shown by the person complaining. Complaints must be made by the person who claims to be aggrieved. Other persons may give statements as witnesses.
Investigators will conduct a thorough investigation of your complaint, and you will be advised of the result and action taken.
The department will protect complainants against any intimidation or harassment. Equally important, the Department will use the full extent of the law to bring justice to both the citizen and the police officers.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A COMPLAINT CAN BE PROVEN?
- Training or counseling
- Reprimand the employee
- Suspend the employee without pay.
- Demote the employee.
- Dismiss the employee
- Restitution to the citizen, if applicable.
OFFICERS CAN APPEAL THE DECISION
Just as a citizen charged with a criminal offense can appeal a court’s decision, a police officer can appeal the action taken against him. State law has established procedures for officers to follow in their appeals, just as the Police Department has established procedures for insuring that complaints by citizens against officers are thoroughly and honestly investigated. If the officer appeals, the citizen will be called to testify at the administrative hearing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE COMPLAINT IS NOT SUSTAINED?
Police officers 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 is notified and continues on duty. Each allegation that cannot be proven is judged according to the following categories.
- NOT SUSTAINED: The evidence could not clearly prove or disprove the allegation.
- EXONERATED: The incident did occur, but was justified, lawful and proper.
- UNFOUNDED: Allegations are not factual or are false.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE DECISION?
If you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation you may appeal to :
- The Office of the Chief of Police at the Mission Police Department
- The Office of the District Attorney, located at the Hidalgo County Court House, if criminal charges are to filed
- The Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations
The Mission Police Department is virtually interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking action where its employee have proven derelict in their duties or are guilty of wrong doing. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
Your Mission Police Department Officers strive to live up to their Core values, Honor, Integrity and Service.