Frequently Asked Questions
What is a complaint?
Personnel complaints consist of any allegation of misconduct or improper job performance against any department employee that, if true, would constitute a violation of department policy, federal, state, or local law.
Inquiries about employee conduct which, even if true, would not qualify as a personnel complaint may be handled informally by a department supervisor and shall not be considered complaints.
Personnel complaints are classified in one of the following categories:
Informal - A matter in which the complaining party is satisfied that appropriate action has been taken by a department supervisor of rank greater than the accused employee. Informal complaints need not be documented on a personnel complaint form and the responsible supervisor shall have the discretion to handle the complaint in any manner consistent with this policy.
Formal - A matter in which the complaining party requests further investigation or which a department supervisor determines that further action is warranted. Such complaints may be investigated by a department supervisor of rank greater than the accused employee or referred to the Internal Affairs Unit depending on the seriousness and complexity of the investigation.
Incomplete - A matter in which the complaining party either refuses to cooperate or becomes unavailable after diligent follow-up investigation. At the discretion of the assigned supervisor or the Internal Affairs Unit, such matters need not be documented as personnel complaints, but may be further investigated depending on the seriousness of the complaint and the availability of sufficient information.
A complaint may be filed in-person, online, or by telephoning our department at (949) 824-5223.
A complaint should be made as soon as possible after an incident. Complaints made after thirty (30) days from the date of the incident may not be accepted unless a valid reason exists.
Each complaint is thoroughly reviewed and then assigned by the Chief of Police or their designee to be investigated by either a UCI Police Sergeant or Lieutenant. In some cases, an outside investigator, not affiliated with the UCI Police Department, may be hired to complete the investigation.
Yes, you will receive a letter advising you that the investigation has been completed and the result of the finding.
If the complaint is sustained, the nature and extent of the disposition is determined by the Chief of Police. Under California law, only the Chief of Police may impose corrective action and/or discipline of law enforcement personnel.
Questions, concerns, or additional information regarding your complaint should be directed to Chief Liz Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Chief will coordinate with the Chancellor's designee for consideration of when an outside investigator should be utilized. Factors for consideration will include:
- The seriousness or severity of the allegation
- Number of UCPD personnel involved
- Cases that exceed the department’s resources or expertise
- Conflicts of interests between supervisor(s)/investigator/involved officer(s)
- Specific allegations against the Chief or Assistant Chief of Police
- Mutual Aid incidents
- Assessment of the reputational risk to the police department and UC
All investigations of UCI Police personnel complaints, whether originating from a citizen or internally, shall be considered confidential peace officer personnel files. The contents of such files shall not be revealed to anyone other than the involved employee or authorized personnel except pursuant to lawful process.
In the event that an accused employee (or the representative of such employee) knowingly makes false representations regarding any internal investigation and such false representations are communicated to any media source, the Department may disclose sufficient information from the employee's personnel file to refute such false representations (Penal Code § 832.5).
All sustained citizen's complaints shall be maintained for a period of at least five years (Penal Code § 832.5). All internally initiated complaints shall be maintained at least two years (Government Code § 34090 et seq.).
When any public safety officer is under investigation and subjected to interrogation by his or her commanding officer, or any other member of the employing public safety department that could lead to punitive action, the interrogation shall be conducted under the requirements of 3300 of the California Government code or the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act
Requests for public records involving an officer's personnel records shall be processed in accordance with Penal Code § 832.7 and the Personnel Records, Personnel Complaints, and Records Maintenance and Release policies.