The Richardson Police Department recognizes that its employees are responsible for their conduct where the public is concerned. The department also acknowledges that, at certain times, misunderstandings between citizens and departmental employees can arise. It is essential to the safety of our community that the relationship between police employees and citizens is built on confidence and trust. Law enforcement cannot be effective without this vital conviction by both entities.
Police Officers must be free to exercise their best judgment and initiate proper action in a reasonable, lawful, impartial manner, without fear of reprisal. At the same time, they must observe the rights of all people. The complaint process and appropriate disciplinary procedures not only subject departmental members to corrective action when they conduct themselves improperly, the guidelines also protect them from unwarranted criticism when they discharge their duties properly.
A disagreement over the validity of a traffic citation is not a complaint. Such disagreements should be directed to the court that has jurisdiction in the matter.
The Police Department realizes that confusion, different perceptions, or the timeliness of information sometimes will result in descriptions that produce different versions of the same incident. Beyond legitimate error, however, the deliberate making of a false report that the complainant knows to be false or misleading could constitute a violation of State Law.
The complaint process is designed to deal with each case factually and fairly. Citizens who file complaints are treated respectfully, and their accusations are taken seriously. All complaints are investigated thoroughly, and all findings are based on impartial evidence gained during the investigation.
However, many complaints can be explained satisfactorily by a visit or telephone call to the employee’s supervisor. The supervisor will talk with you about your complaint and try to resolve it.
All complaints begin with an initial investigation conducted by the employee’s supervisor. The preliminary investigation will be forwarded to the employee's Assistant Chief of Police for review and assignment. The Assistant Chief of Police will forward the information to either the supervisor or the Professional Standards Section to complete the investigation. Upon completion, the investigation will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and disposition.
After a thorough investigation, the complaint will be classified into one of the following dispositions:
Unfounded: Indicates the allegation was false or not factual.
Exonerated: Indicates the incident occurred but was lawful and proper.
Not Sustained: Indicates there was insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
Sustained: Indicates the allegation was supported by sufficient evidence to justify a reasonable conclusion that a violation did occur.
Sustained allegations could result in Supervisory Counseling, Oral or Written Reprimand, Suspension, Demotion or Termination.
Although employees named in a complaint will at some point be required to respond to the specific allegation, they are not permitted access to cases under investigation. Complainants need not be concerned that they will be subject to retribution for legitimately stating a complaint because procedures are in place to prevent this.
Complainants who have criminal or traffic charges pending should be aware that the internal review process deals solely with department police matters and the conduct of employees. Regardless of the outcome of an internal investigation, existing criminal or traffic charges must be dealt with through the proper courts.
All complaints should be reported to a Richardson Police Department Supervisor. A supervisor may be contacted by calling 972-744-4800 or by contacting a supervisor personally at the Richardson Police Department located at 140 North Greenville Avenue.