Citizen Commendation or Complaint Form

When the Police perform admirably, it is important to us to know that we provided service to your expectation level. However, it is just as important for us to know when we do not meet your expectations.

Today’s Police Officer, in any community, is a symbol not only of the law but also of the entire “establishment.” Because of this, they are the obvious targets for grievances against any shortcomings in our governmental system.

The Police Officer can solve the complex problems of a community only when working in concert with the entire community.

Our goal at the Desert Hot Springs Police Department is to serve our community and to use your comments to better our service to our community. We hope that you will never need to use a complaint form. We do not want to fail in our continuing efforts to give you the best possible Police Service.

We members of the Desert Hot Springs Police Department do recognize our responsibility to serve the entire public to the best of our ability. Impartial Law Enforcement, which represents the individual’s dignity of all individuals, is essential and will be accomplished with tact and diplomacy whenever possible. Please use this form to tell us when we do well and when we do not.

Our Officers will hear your positive comments and they will be included in their personnel files.

However, if you use this form to file a complaint about our service, please be assured that we will professionally and objectively investigate all citizen complaints as expeditiously as possible in order to arrive at all the facts which will quickly clear the Officer’s name or substantiate the citizen’s complaint, based upon the facts of the case.

You have the right to make a complaint against a Police Officer for any improper police conduct. California law requires this agency to have a procedure to investigate citizen’s complaints. You have a right to a written description of this procedure. This agency may find after investigation that there is not enough evidence to warrant action on your complaint; even if that is the case, you have the right to make the complaint and have it investigated if you believe an officer behaved improperly. Citizen complaints and any reports or findings relating to complaints must be retained by this agency for at least five years.

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Does that mean the Police Department wants complaints?

Of course not. We would prefer to receive compliments when our service meets your needs. Nevertheless, we do want to know when our service needs to be improved or corrected.

Will you listen to my complaint?

Certainly. We want to find out what went wrong so that it does not happen again.

Whom should I go to first?

Submission of this form online will be time-stamped and automatically forwarded to a supervisor and Commander. However, you can always hand submit it to any on-duty supervisor. You may access the form here.

I want to take this all the way to the top. I want the Chief of Police to know.

The Chief of Police gets copies of all complaints against officers. Each of the officer’s superiors is notified as well.

Do I have to complain in person?

We do prefer to talk to you in person as the matter may be a minor misunderstanding, but we will accept a complaint that is submitted in writing if necessary. It will not make any difference in the attention we give it. The investigator may contact you in person.

I am under 18; do I have the right to commend or complain?

Yes, just bring a parent, guardian, or responsible adult with you.

Will I have to provide a written compliment or complaint?

Yes. We have found it is much easier to investigate a written complaint. If there is a valid reason why you cannot, we will make other arrangements.

How close will you really investigate?

Very closely! We want to find out where we went wrong. For the same reason, if a person makes a false complaint, we want to find that out and take appropriate legal action.

Does that mean I could get in trouble for complaining?

We would not and could not bring charges against a person who has acted in good faith.

Will I be told the outcome of my complaint?

Yes, the Chief of Police will notify you in writing.

What if I am not satisfied with the results of this investigation?

We sincerely hope that would never happen. If it did, you could contact the City Manager or your representative on the City Council or in some cases, the Riverside County District Attorney or the California Police Officers Standards and Training.

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