The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has a well-defined procedure for investigating civilians' complaints. Once a complaint is received, it is the responsibility of the involved employee's Commander to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted. Although complaints cannot always be resolved to a civilian's satisfaction, all investigations are conducted objectively, with a goal of maintaining public confidence and departmental integrity. After completion of the investigation, complaints are directed through the chain of command for an impartial review. After final approval, the civilian is provided with a closing written response.
The civilians' complaint process is designed to investigate the allegations of civilians and to make a determination of fact as to any wrongdoing. In cases where a false complaint is maliciously filed against a peace officer, that officer is entitled to file a civil action. Therefore, it is important all allegations presented in a complaint to the Department be based on factual information. Penal Code Section 148.6 requires that all law enforcement agencies accepting an allegation of misconduct against a peace officer shall require the complainant to read and sign a Civilians' Complaint Information form.
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