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Complaint Procedure
Making a Complaint
When making a complaint, please try to include as much of the following information as possible, such as employee(s) name, badge number, and/or vehicle number. If you do not have this information, simply explain what happened by providing the date, time, and location of the incident. If you telephone, or come into the Police Department, the supervisor receiving the complaint will ask you to provide as much information as possible regarding the incident.

Interview Process
If you are involved in, or witnessed the incident, it is extremely important to the investigation that you provide a statement. Your statement may be tape recorded, and in some cases, will be included as part of the Citizen Report Form. During the initial interview, the supervisor may be able to explain the employee's actions to your satisfaction.

During the interview, the following things may occur:
  • The supervisor may be able to explain what happened.
  • The complaint may be issued a case number.
  • The complaint may be assigned to a supervisor or the Office of Professional Standards and Accountability.
  • With your knowledge, you may be voice recorded or videotaped.
  • You will be asked for names of witnesses that may know facts about your complaint.
  • At some point during the interview, you may be asked to take a polygraph examination (lie detector test). A police officer may be asked to take a polygraph examination, but California State law prevents our directing a police officer to take a polygraph.

Complaint Classification
After a thorough investigation, your complaint will be classified with one of the following dispositions:
  • Sustained: The allegation is shown to be true.
  • Not Sustained: The allegation can neither be proved nor disproved and no further action is to be considered.
  • Unfounded: The allegation has no basis of fact, or has been disproved through the investigation.
  • Exonerated: Action complained of did occur, but was lawful, justified, and appropriate under the circumstances in this case.
  • No Finding: The complaining party and/or witnesses fail to cooperate after the investigation has commenced, the complainant withdraws the complaint, or the complainant is no longer available for clarification.
  • Failing of Policy and/or Training:Where it is evident that in following department policy the employee was placed in a position where the rights of the complainant were violated, and/or the employee's training or lack thereof, unreasonable caused the harm which is the basis of the complaint.

Investigation Information
If it is determined, as a result of the investigation, that the actions of police personnel were improper or illegal, the personnel involved will be disciplined pursuant to established procedures of the department and city, and/or the case may be referred to the District Attorney for possible criminal action.

Within 15 days after completion of the investigation, you will be notified either by telephone or by mail of the disposition or status of your complaint, unless you tell us such notification is not desired.

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 823.8, you will not receive any information regarding disciplinary, or corrective actions imposed on the employee resulting from the investigation. By law, this information is deemed confidential and may not be disclosed.

Some investigations take a longer period of time to complete because of the number of witnesses who must be contacted and because of police employees work shifts. In any event, you will be kept abreast of the status of the investigation with a telephone call, or by U.S. mail every 10 days.

Contact Us
If you are not satisfied with the disposition in the matter, you may contact the Office of the Chief of Police or the following agencies:
  • District Attorney's Office
    39439 Paseo Padre Parkway
    Fremont, CA 94538
    Phone: (510) 795-2500
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
    22320 Foothill Boulevard
    Hayward, CA 94550
    Phone: (510) 886-7447