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Internal Affairs :: The Process of Making an Initial Complaint with Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs Investigates Allegations of Misconduct

Misconduct – any action performed by a law enforcement officer that is criminal, unconstitutional, or against established rules, regulations or policies of the police department.

Types of Misconduct Complaints

Class I

  • Examples may involve acts such as Abuse of Authority, excessive Use of Force or any other serious misconduct.

Class II

  • Examples include Discourtesy, Improper Police Procedures or Minor Misconduct.
  • Internal Affairs determines whether they will investigate the complaint or the employee’s supervisor.

What do I need to know about filing a complaint?

  • A complaint must be filed within 30 days of the incident and must be in writing.
  • When a complaint becomes a formal investigation, the officer has the right to be notified.
  • There are three ways to file a complaint
  • Call 817-459-5611 and request a copy of form
  • Email – ia@arlingtontx.gov
  • Visit/Request a complaint form from a front desk officer

What information is necessary?

  • A misconduct complaint can be filed with little information. An investigator will assist as best as possible by trying to “fill in the blanks.” However, providing all the information you have will help to make the investigation thorough and complete.
  • Key facts include:
  • Who committed the misconduct (if you don’t have a name, a description or other identifying info is helpful).
  • Where and when the misconduct occurred.
  • What happened (What did the officer say or do?)

How the process works?

  • Once a complaint form is completed, it will be reviewed and assigned to an investigator.
  • Once the complaint is assigned, an investigator will contact you and other witnesses, conduct interviews, and obtain all evidence and relevant information.
  • Each misconduct investigation takes time, depending on the complexity of the case. In general, misconduct investigations may take a few months.
  • At the conclusion, an investigator will recommend a disposition or a finding.

Findings of an Investigation

The conclusion of an investigation will result in one of the following findings:

  • Sustained – the evidence tends to support the allegation of misconduct.
  • Not Sustained – there is not enough sufficient evidence, either to prove or disprove the allegation of misconduct.
  • Unfounded – the evidence tends to disprove the allegation of misconduct.
  • Exonerated – the evidence tends to support factual occurrence, but conduct does not appear improper.

How do I find out what happened?

  • The assigned investigator will contact you once he or she has completed the investigation. He or she will inform you of the status of the investigation by letter.
  • An open records request may be submitted to the Records Department at records2@arlingtontx.gov o
  • Visit the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building M-F from 8 AM – 5 PM. (Requests must be in writing)
  • A request may be made online at http://www.arlingtontx.gov/open/open-records-request/
  • Call 817-459-5680 to speak to someone in the Records Department

How do I commend an employee?

  • If you would like to commend an officer or police department employee for his or her performance, you may call 817-459-5700 and ask to speak with the employee’s supervisor.
  • You may also submit an email at padmin@arlingtontx.gov to the employee’s supervisor, deputy chief or chief.
  • Complete our commendation online form (coming soon!)
  • Click “Submit Commendation” and complete information.