504 N. Queen Street
Palestine, TX 75801
Ph: (903) 731-8478
Fax: (903) 731-8486
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday
The department encourages any person to bring forward grievances regarding misconduct by employees. Department members shall receive all complaints courteously and shall handle them efficiently. All officers are obligated to explain complaint procedures to anyone who inquires.
The Office of the Professional Standards (OPS) is the primary, but not exclusive, location for accepting administrative complaints of alleged officer misconduct from the public.
(a) The following is a list of the most common avenues for initiation of written and verbal external complaints:
1. Complaint made directly to any department employee or supervisor, either in person, by mail or via phone.
2. Complaint made directly to OPS.
(b) All external complaints must meet the following documentation requirements and be processed accordingly:
1. Written complaints
(a) Complaint affidavits received from citizens outside the Department must be in writing, signed by the person making the complaint, notarized, and sworn. (I.A. form 05)
(b) Complaint letters received by any member of the department (other than OPS) shall be personally delivered to the OPS Investigator.
2. Verbal complaints (in person or by telephone)
(a) Civilian employees receiving an alleged minor nature complaint against an officer should refer the citizen directly to the OPS or immediate supervisor of the employee.
(b) Sworn employees receiving an alleged minor nature complaint against an officer should request a supervisor to respond to the scene. If a supervisor is not available, or if the complainant is not able to wait for a supervisor, the officer shall obtain the citizens contact information and forward it to a supervisor.
3. Complaints of a serious nature require the immediate notification of an available supervisor. Serious complaints must be initially investigated by the rank of Sergeant or above.
d. ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT
Employees may be investigated based on an anonymous complaint if the employee receiving the anonymous complaint certifies in writing, under oath, that the complainant wishes to be anonymous. Anonymous complaints shall be treated as an internal complaint for documentation purposes.
Each allegation shall be designated with one of the following dispositions based on a finding of fact and considering the totality of circumstances. The standard of proof used to arrive at a final disposition is a "preponderance of the evidence."
a. Sustained - When the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.
b. Exonerated - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred but that the act was justified, lawful and/or proper according to Departmental policy.
c. Unfounded - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did not occur.
d. Inconclusive - When the investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the employee.
e. Administratively Closed - Complaints will be administratively closed under the following circumstances:
(a) An administrative inquiry has been completed and no allegations were made or misconduct discovered.
(b) The case was classified as a Class C complaint.
(c) At the discretion of the Chief of Police.
2. Mediated - Completed the mediation process as detailed in this policy.
3. Retired or resigned under investigation.
4. Information - An incident maintained for documentation purposes only.
5. Supervisor Referral - An informal complaint referred to a supervisor for their attention.
Citizen Complaint Form
Office of Professional Standards
Gary Grimes at (903)731-8478.