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Title Administration / Policy B-4
Effective Date 10-16-09
Rescinds 4-23-09
Subject Internal Affairs
Purpose To establish procedure to investigate complaints, internal or external, breaches of discipline charged against employees, and officer involved critical incidents.
Scope This directive applies to all personnel.
Reference Gov. Code 614.022 & 614.023
CALEA 26.1.4, 26.1.5, 26.1.8, 52.1.1, 52.1.2, 52.1.3, 52.1.4, 52.1.5, 52.1.6, 52.1.7, 52.1.8, 52.1.9, 52.1.10
  1. Scope:
    1. Incidents which are to be handled in accordance with the provisions of this policy are alleged or suspected violations of statutes, ordinances, Board of Regent’s Rules and Regulations, UT System Police or UTPD Austin regulations, policies or procedures, orders by members of this department, and officer involved critical incidents.
    2. All members of this department will be held accountable for The University of Texas at Austin Handbook of Operating Procedures, The Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, UT System Police Policy and Code of Conduct, the laws of the United States and the State of Texas, UTPD Policy Letters, and UTPD Standard Operating Procedures.
    3. Formal written complaints and officer involved critical incidents are normally handled by the internal affairs investigator. Allegations of corruption, brutality, misuse of force, breach of civil rights, and criminal misconduct are examples of complaints assigned to the internal affairs investigator.
    4. Examples of officer involved critical incidents are:
      1. Pursuits involving serious bodily injury or death.
      2. Officer involved shootings.
      3. Any incident resulting in serious injury or death of a person.
    5. Minor violations which do not involve gross misconduct or moral turpitude and which will not reflect discredit upon the University of Texas System Police, but which indicate a need for some sort of discipline and/or training, may be assigned to the employee’s supervisor.
    6. Grievances concerning wages, promotions, hours of work, working conditions, performance evaluations, merit increases, job or shift assignments, oral reprimands, disciplinary action resulting in a written reprimand or probation, or interpretation or application of official policy are not a function of Internal Affairs. Grievances will be handled in compliance with UT System Police Policy B-10. Employees are not entitled to legal representation during the grievance procedure.
    7. The internal affairs investigator will report directly to the Chief of Police.
  2. State Statute Pertaining to Complaints Against Police Officers:
    1. Government Code Section 614.022: Complaint to be in writing and signed by complainant.
    2. Government Code Section 614.023: Copy of Complaint to be given to officer or employee.
  3. Time Limit on Accepting Complaints:
    1. Personnel complaints will not be accepted more than thirty days after the alleged incident, with the following exceptions.
      1. When the complaint involves a criminal violation, the criminal statute of limitations will prevail. These limitations will not prevent the department from taking action deemed necessary to preserve the integrity of the department.
      2. When the complainant can show good cause for not making the complaint within the specified time limit, the Chief of Police may waive this requirement.
      3. When the Chief of Police deems necessary.
  4. Complaint Process:
    1. The following procedures will be applied in handling any complaint, whether made by citizens or by employees of this department, involving police actions or the performance of individual employees in the line of duty.
    2. Every employee (sworn and non-sworn) of the department is responsible for receiving and documenting complaints from the public.
    3. The complainant will be directed to the supervisor on duty who will:
      1. Receive the compliant and ascertain pertinent circumstances involved.
      2. Reduce the complaint to writing and forward to the Chief of Police.
      3. Complainant will be asked to sign the complaint in affidavit form. A signed letter is acceptable.
      4. Where a signed complaint is not obtained, an affidavit containing all information will be prepared by the supervisor receiving the complaint.
      5. Complainant will be asked to complete the System Police DP 42 form.
    4. The Chief of Police, or designee, will be notified immediately after any incident of an officer involved critical incident or complaint of a serious nature, involving gross misconduct or moral turpitude.
    5. The Chief of Police, or designee, will be notified as soon as possible regarding incidents or complaints that do not involve incidents or complaints of a serious nature, or involve gross misconduct or moral turpitude.
    6. The Chief of Police will forward the complaint to the internal affairs investigator. A copy of the complaint and/or DP 42 will be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Police as well as any recommended action and investigative information.
    7. Guidelines for making a formal complaint against police officers.
      1. Government Code Section 614.022 requires the complaint to be in writing and signed by complainant.
      2. Government Code Section 614.023 requires a copy of complaint to be given to officer.
      3. Statements do not have to be in affidavit form.
      4. The person making the complaint should have first hand knowledge of the incident about which they are complaining.
      5. A signed letter from a supervisor or other employee who is aware of the facts may fulfill the requirements of a complaint.
  5. Investigation and Referral:
    1. The internal affairs investigator, in consultation with the Chief of Police or designee, will conduct an initial evaluation of each complaint or critical incident to determine the level of investigation required.
    2. The internal affairs investigator will examine the content of the complaint to determine if it meets the requirements of a complaint.
    3. Acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant. Provide periodic status reports, if needed, and notification of the results of the investigation, upon conclusion, to the complainant.
    4. Assign a control number to the case and make necessary entries in a control log.
    5. Forward a notification memorandum to the employee through the division Captain. This memorandum will include notice of the allegation(s) and specific violations if the allegations are sustained. A copy of the complaint, DP 42 form, and copies of UTPD Policy B-4 and System Police Policy II-74-4 will be included as attachments. Prior to any interviews, refer to section G, special procedures.
    6. Summarize results of investigation. Classify as to one of the following conclusions of fact and refer to the accused’s supervisor or commander.
      1. Unfounded. (Means allegation is false or not factual)
      2. Exonerated. (Means incident did occur but was lawful and proper)
      3. Not sustained. (Means insufficient evidence either to prove or disprove the allegation)
      4. Sustained. (Means the allegation is supported by sufficient evidence)
      5. Violation not related to initial complaint. (The concluding argument supporting this classification shall be included in “Findings” and offered for consideration in the investigator’s memorandum to the Chief of Police)
    7. Investigations should normally be completed within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. The nature and complexity of an investigation may require an extension. Requests for extensions will be made in writing and given to The Chief of Police.
  6. Employee Responsibilities:
    1. Supervisor presence during interview.
      1. The accused employee’s supervisor may be permitted to be present during an interview of a non-criminal nature.
      2. The accused employee’s supervisor will not be permitted to be present during an interview of a criminal nature.
    2. Employee required to answer questions and submit statements.
      1. Employees can be compelled to answer questions relating to the performance of their duties and may be disciplined up to and including dismissal for refusal to answer questions.
      2. Compelled statements would not be admissible against the employee in subsequent criminal proceeding. Ref: Garrity v New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967).
      3. Compelled statements could be used against the employee in disciplinary action or civil proceeding.
      4. No employee who is being questioned in any proceeding about a matter which could result in a criminal prosecution may be discharged solely for invoking their 5th amendment privilege and refusing to answer or for refusal to sign a waiver of immunity.
      5. Voluntary statements made by the employee while being questioned may be admissible in criminal action.
    3. Employee not allowed counsel during internal investigation.
      1. An employee will not be permitted to have counsel present during any interview pertaining to an investigation of a non-criminal matter. The 6th amendment right to counsel does not apply to administrative matters.
      2. An employee will be permitted to have counsel present during any interview pertaining to an investigation of a criminal matter.
    4. Warnings to employees - Interviews for criminal investigative purposes.
      1. If the employee is accused of a crime, the full Miranda warning must be given. If the employee is not in custody and has not been charged with a crime, they need only be warned of their 5th amendment rights indicating that they may refuse to answer any questions that may incriminate them and that any answers given may be used in subsequent criminal proceedings.
      2. If the employee asserts their constitutional right to refuse to answer incriminating questions, no adverse administrative action will be taken against the employee based on refusal to answer.
    5. Warnings to employees - Interviews for administrative purposes.
      1. The purpose of the interview is to solicit responses that will assist in determining whether disciplinary action is warranted. The answers given may be used in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
      2. All questions relating to the performance of official duties must be answered fully and truthfully. If the employee refuses to answer fully and truthfully, disciplinary action may be taken to include dismissal.
    6. Search of equipment.
      1. Reasonable searches of department equipment (lockers, desks, police vehicles, etc.) and facilities assigned to the exclusive use of an employee may be conducted by a supervisor if it is a routine search for the maintenance of discipline or for security purposes.
      2. If a search is initiated for the purpose of securing evidence to be used in administrative action, the search would be reasonable. The search must be one that is designed to enforce regulations and not criminal violations. It must not be done in anticipation of any federal or state prosecution.
    7. Investigative techniques: The investigative techniques employed by the internal affairs investigator may include orders to employees to:
      1. Conduct a videotape reenactment.
      2. Be photographed.
      3. Participate in a physical lineup.
      4. Submit financial disclosure statements.
      5. Produce documents reasonably related to an investigation.
    8. Psychological / Medical Examinations:
      1. Should the Chief of Police determine that a psychological evaluation or physical evaluation is necessary to determine fitness for duty, the employee will be notified, placed on administrative leave with pay, and advised that the evaluation is a mandatory condition of employment (see University Handbook of Operating Procedures 7.E.5)
      2. The Chief of Police may order the employee to submit to drug or alcohol screening.
      3. The department will pay the cost of the examination or screening.
    9. Polygraph examination.
      1. May be implemented as deemed necessary to support the integrity of the investigation.
    10. Confidentiality of reports relating to an internal investigation.
      1. All complaints and/or investigations will be documented and maintained in accordance with the University of Texas at Austin records retention schedule.
      2. All reports relating to an internal investigation are considered confidential, will be secured at all times, and will not be released to unauthorized persons. Exception: Under Texas Attorney General Opinion, ORD-208, the names of complainants who filed formal complaints with police departments, the name of the employee who is the subject of the complaint and the final disposition of the complaint by the police department are public information. This information is not exempted under the Texas Open Records Act and is available to any requester.
      3. The Internal Affairs Investigator and Chief of Police will maintain keys to the Internal Affairs files located in the Internal Affairs Investigator’s office.
      4. This department must respond to any subpoena for records. If the court orders this department to produce the records, the order must be complied with. In such situations, the courts have viewed the reports "in camera", which means the court would review the records for any statement by the employee that conflicts with the employee’s court testimony. If such conflict is found, the conflicting portion would be admitted for the purpose of impeaching the employee’s testimony. This department will continue to abide by the court decisions.
    11. Appeal procedure.
      1. Employees who have not completed their probationary period may only appeal a disciplinary action to the Chief of Police.
      2. Employees who have completed their probationary period have ten working days from the date of notification or awareness of disciplinary action or condition upon which the disciplinary action is based to initiate their appeal. This action must proceed through the grievance procedure by either discussing the matter with the immediate supervisor or filing the grievance in writing to the next higher supervisory level.
      3. An employee whose disciplinary action has been upheld under the University grievance procedure by the President may file civil action in a district court.
      4. All grievance or appeal documents should be considered sensitive records and will be handled accordingly. Access to these documents is limited to those who have a legitimate reason to review or handle them, such as the employee’s supervisor, shift or division commander, internal affairs investigator, or the Chief of Police. Upon final disposition, these records will be stored in the employee’s permanent personnel file. These files are controlled by the Chief’s senior administrative associate.
      5. Employees are not entitled to representation during grievance procedures.
  7. Special Procedures:
    1. The Chief of Police may cause an investigation to be conducted concerning any alleged or suspected breach of integrity, instances involving moral turpitude and violation of all lawfully constituted rules, regulations and codes, from any source reported or developed. The Chief of Police may request investigation by the Office of Director of Police when deemed necessary.
    2. In situations in which the best interests of the University of Texas System Police require such action, or in cases involving aggravated or serious circumstances, the Chief of Police may immediately suspend the employee subject to the investigation. In situations where a supervisor feels that an employee should be immediately relieved of duty, the supervisor will contact the Chief of Police or his designee through the chain of command. The Chief or his designee will make the decision to relieve the employee from duty.
    3. Prior to any interview of an employee, the investigator will consult with the Chief of Police to determine whether the goal of the interview is to obtain a statement usable in a criminal proceeding or to compel the employee to account fully for their work related actions.
    4. Where criminal prosecution is a possibility, the investigator or CIU commander will insure that the employee is warned as follows in order to qualify any statement given as “voluntary.”
      1. Warned of their 5th amendment rights at least of the fact that they may refuse to answer any questions that may be incriminating and any answers given may be used against them in a subsequent criminal proceeding.
      2. Advised that if they assert their constitutional right to refuse to answer incriminating questions, no adverse administrative action will be taken based upon refusal to answer.
      3. Where the employee is not in custody, is not deprived significantly of their freedom of action and has not been charged with a crime, that portion of the Miranda warning concerning right to counsel need not be included in the warning in “a” above.
    5. Where work related questions are sought for administrative purposes only and the response is not for use in a criminal prosecution, the investigator will insure that the employee is advised as follows.
      1. The purpose of the interview is to solicit responses that will assist in determining whether disciplinary action is warranted, and the answers may be used in disciplinary action that could result in adverse administrative actions including dismissal.
      2. All questions relating to performance of official duties must be answered fully and truthfully, and disciplinary action, including dismissal may be taken if the employee refuses to answer fully and truthfully.
      3. No answers given nor any information gained by reason of such statements may, as a matter of law, be admissible against the employee in any criminal proceeding.
      4. The employee has no constitutional right to counsel at this investigatory stage of the internal proceeding.
      5. Where the investigation of an incident involving a department vehicle reveals other misconduct or violation of rules, regulations, or orders, these other acts will be investigated in accordance with this policy letter.
      6. Investigative responsibility of special reports regarding the discharge of firearms will be at the discretion and direction of the Chief of Police.
      7. The Director of Police and Associate Vice President - Office of the Vice President for University Operations will be kept apprised regarding complaint investigations of a very serious nature when:
        1. Dismissal of the accused appears imminent.
        2. Criminal prosecution of the accused appears justified.
        3. The reputation of the department is in jeopardy as a result of the action of the accused.
        4. Publicity may result.
      8. Employees who wish to take a breathalyzer, blood or polygraph test do so at their own cost. The department may require such tests of an accused employee and will pay for all costs. The results of such tests would be limited to administrative use except as provided by law.
      9. If an accused employee refuses to write a memorandum, make a statement, submit to a polygraph examination, chemical test, or otherwise refuses to cooperate in the investigation of any incident, that refusal may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. This action is based on the grounds that the employee has refused to obey a direct order from a supervisor. The result of a polygraph test given the complainant could be used as evidence in determining preponderance of evidence. The results of such tests would be limited to administrative use.
  8. Final Action by Chief of Police:
    1. If it is determined that an employee has acted properly with regard to law, policy and proper conduct upon completion of an investigation and a Disciplinary Review Board if convened, they shall be fully exonerated and so advised in writing within five working days.
    2. If it is determined that an employee has acted improperly with regard to law, policy, and proper conduct to the employee upon completion of an investigation and a Disciplinary Review Board if convened, they shall be advised in writing within five working days.
  9. Action by Commanders on Any Personnel Discipline Imposed:
    1. A “Personnel Disciplinary Report” will be prepared by the appropriate commander when discipline is imposed on any employee. The original will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review.
    2. Action taken may include: counseling, work incident, additional or remedial training, disciplinary report, suspension, demotion, dismissal, or special assignment. Supervisors or commanders shall base disciplinary recommendations on appropriate measures to alter the unacceptable work performance or conduct in question. When an officer would only receive counseling, additional or remedial training can also be imposed. The supervisor will decide what type of training the employee will be sent to. The supervisor will notify the Training unit, and both will begin to research when and where the training can be obtained, and register the student for the training. Supervisors will strive to enhance consistency when recommending discipline. Recommendations are to be based on fairness to the employee and the agency and should stimulate employee discipline, morale and motivation.
    3. The Chief of Police will furnish the Administrative Assistant and commander concerned with a copy of the report after final approval and cause the original report to be secured in the personnel file of the employee. Personnel files are located and secured in the Chief’s Administrative Associate office and subject to the University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule.
    4. The commander concerned will take the necessary disciplinary action and furnish a copy of the report to the employee.
    5. A Personnel Disciplinary Report will be prepared in the manner shown in the attached enclosure. The report serves as the complete written record of the action at UTPD level. No additional memorandum or letters of reprimand will be created at this level.
    6. The following examples are furnished for necessary entries to the “Penalty Imposed or Recommended” section of the Personnel Disciplinary Report.
      1. This disciplinary action (written reprimand) is the result of your having failed to meet the duties and responsibilities or your job. Your conduct in the incident set forth herein is not acceptable. Your failure to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the University will result in further and more severe disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
      2. This disciplinary action (1 day suspension from duty without pay) is the result of your having failed to meet the duties and responsibilities of your job. Your conduct in the incident set forth herein is not acceptable. Your failure to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the University will result in further and more severe disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
      3. Your failure to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the University has resulted in a decision to dismiss you from employment with this department.
    7. If employee misconduct results in dismissal, the following will be provided to the employee:
      1. A statement citing the reason for dismissal, the effective date of the dismissal.
      2. Records of disciplinary actions will be stored indefinitely in the employee’s personnel file.