Tyler Junior College

Policies

Complaint Procedures

The Tyler Junior College Department of Campus Police realizes it must be responsive to input from the citizens and students in the community. And while the majority of the department's interaction with the community is positive — involving general public assistance, provision of information, or in some cases, lifesaving action by Campus Police personnel — we do recognize that there may be times when their action may be called into question.

In these cases, we strongly encourage individuals to report what they believe to be acts of misconduct. The complaint must be made in good faith and the department pledges to respond swiftly, thoroughly, and fairly to bona fide reports of alleged misconduct.

Does that mean the Department of Campus Police wants complaints?
Of course not. A complaint may mean that someone hasn't done a good enough job. But, we do want to know when our service needs to be improved or corrected.

What does the law say about such complaints?
Texas law requires that all complaints against police officers be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Just as citizens who are arrested must be notified of the charges against them, police officers must be given a copy of the complaint before any disciplinary action may be taken.

GOVERNMENT CODE

Title 6. Public Officers And Employees

Chapter 614. Peace Officers And Fire Fighters

Subchapter B. Complaint Against Law Enforcement Officer Or Fire Fighters

Sec. 614.021. Applicability of Subchapter. This subchapter applies only to a complaint against:

  1. A law enforcement officer of the State of Texas, including an officer of the Department of Public Safety or of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;
  2. A firefighter who is not covered by a civil service statute; or
  3. A police officer that is not covered by a civil service statute

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd leg. Ch. 268, sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. sec. 614.023. Copy of complaint to be in writing and signed by complainant. To be considered by the head of a state agency or by the head of a fire or police department, the complaint must be:

  1. In writing, and
  2. Signed by the person making the complaint.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd leg., ch. 268 sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,1993. sec. 614.023. Copy of complaint to be given to officer or employee.

  1. A copy of a signed complaint against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or police officer shall be given to the officer or employee within a reasonable time after complaint is filed.
  2. Disciplinary action may not be taken against the officer or employee unless a copy of the signed complaint is given to the officer or employee. Added by Acts 1993, 73rd leg., ch. 268, sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,1993.

Will you seriously consider my complaint?
Certainly. We want to find out what went wrong, if anything, so that we can see to it that it doesn't happen again.

Who will investigate my complaint?
Either an investigator from Campus Police or a qualified representative of Tyler Junior College will conduct the investigation.

Who should I speak with first?
You should make the complaint to a Campus Police supervisor.

But I want to take this all the way to the top; I want the Chief of Campus Police to know.
And he will. The Chief of Police gets copies of ALL complaints against Campus Police personnel.

Do I have to register my complaint in person?
No. We prefer to talk to you in person, however, if there are valid reasons why this can't be done, your complaint can be made by mail, but it must either be signed by a certified Texas Peace Officer or Notary Public since it is classified as a sworn “Witness Statement”. To file a complaint by mail, please print and fill out each step ensuring all sections are followed completely. The Citizen Complaint Form must be mailed to: Tyler Junior College Department of Campus Police, P.O. Box 9020, Tyler, TX 75701.

We cannot accept a complaint from another party, as this would be considered hearsay information and could leave out important facts needed for an investigation. After receiving your complaint, the investigator will contact you.

What happens if a false complaint is filed?
We sincerely hope that would never happen. However, if a false complaint is made it will be dealt immediately. According to the Penal Code of the State of Texas, Section 37.08: “A Person commits the offense of False Report to Peace Officer, if with intent to deceive, a person knowingly makes a false statement to a peace officer conducting a criminal investigation and the statement is material to the investigation.” Simply put making a false sworn witness statement under this section of law is a violation of law for which a person can be prosecuted under Texas law.

How closely will you really investigate?
Very closely! We want to find out where we went wrong. On the other hand, if a person makes a FALSE compliant, we want to make that determination and act on it accordingly. Filing a false complaint is taken very seriously in the State of Texas and can result in criminal charges.

What will happen to the individual?
That will depend on what he/she did. If his/her actions were criminal, he/she would be dealt with like any other person. If they were improper, but not criminal, he/she will be disciplined administratively by the college.

How long will the investigation take?
This depends on the allegation and the facts of the case. Due to certain due process procedures and other considerations typically the earliest an investigation could conclude would be 15 working days.

What are types of dispositions are made on each of investigation?
Typically, there are four findings that can be reached in a complaint, see the list below:

  1. Unfounded – There were not clear and conclusive findings to demonstrate the allegation occurred;
  2. Not Sustained – There were not clear and conclusive findings of truth that the conduct occurred as alleged by the complainant;
  3. Sustained – There were clear and conclusive findings of truth that the conduct did occur as alleged by the complainant;
  4. Exonerated – There were clear and conclusive findings of truth that the conduct did occur as alleged by the complainant, but were the appropriate actions to be taken.

Will I be notified at the conclusion of the investigation?
Yes, the complainant will receive correspondence from the Chief of Police of the Tyler Junior College Police Department stating the disposition of the case. It will be mailed to the address on the sworn “Witness Statement.”

What if I'm not satisfied with the results of this investigation?
Once the results are complete, the complainant can request an appointment with the Chief of Campus Police to discuss the findings. Our goal at the Tyler Junior College Campus Police is that a person will never need to use this complaint process. We are striving through continuing efforts to give YOU the best possible service.

The Tyler Junior College Campus Police Department constantly seeks ways to improve our service to the community and campus alike. We have pledged ourselves to professional and dedicated service. To help us maintain this objective, we sincerely appreciate your comments.

Is this the same as the TJC employee grievance procedure?
No, that is handled by the Human Resource Department. This procedure is strictly for complaints against Campus Police personnel.

Go to the related downloads page for the written complaint statement form. It is preferred if someone makes the complaint in person to a supervisor at the Campus Police Office. However, your complaint can be made by mail, but it must either be signed by a certified Texas Peace Officer or Notary Public since it is classified as a sworn “Witness Statement”. To file a complaint by mail, please print and fill out each step ensuring all sections are followed completely. The Citizen Complaint Form must be mailed to: Tyler Junior College Department of Campus Police, P.O. Box 9020, Tyler, TX 75701.

Revised: 11/24/10

Campus Police

Emergency: 903-510-2222
Non-Emergency: 903-510-2258

Address: Corner of Baxter and Lake St.