Employee Commendations / Complaints
Everyone likes a pat on the back when they do a good job and New Braunfels Police Department employees are no different. NBPD is eager to learn of instances where officers or civilian employees perform their duties in an exemplary manner. Commendations, like complaints, help the agency gauge overall customer satisfaction with our performance and we encourage you to share your opinions.
You may also commend an employee by contacting any NBPD supervisor, either in person or by telephone at (830) 221-4100. Your comments will be forwarded through the employee's chain of command and be reviewed by the Chief of Police. After the review, a copy of your comments will be placed in the employee's personnel file and the original document will be provided to the employee.
The New Braunfels Police Department is committed to providing exemplary customer service in a professional manner that ensures all citizens and visitors a safe and secure environment. Police personnel are carefully selected and given the best training possible in order to provide this service. Police officers have a difficult job to do. They are asked to exercise their best judgment under stressful, tense situations and often with limited information and time constraints. However, officers must also be courteous, professional, and observe the rights of all citizens while performing their duties. If a citizen believes an officer or an employee has engaged in misconduct, they have the right to file a complaint. It is the policy of the New Braunfels Police Department to investigate all complaints against the department or its employees. This ensures the integrity of the department while protecting the rights and interests of both citizens and department employees. The New Braunfels Police Department is vitally interested in the welfare of all citizens and visitors, in establishing the facts regarding any reported incident, and in taking action when necessary. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
How Are Complaints Made?
When a citizen lodges a complaint against a member of the New Braunfels Police Department, the complaint goes to the NBPD's Professional Standards Unit where investigators will review the complaint and potentially launch an investigation. When filing a complaint, please give specific information concerning the details of the alleged misconduct.
The Professional Standards Unit will conduct a thorough investigation of your complaint. The investigator will contact witnesses and officers and ask them to give statements. Records and other evidence will also be collected and examined. Unless special circumstances exist, you generally will be advised in writing of the outcome within 45 days from receipt of the complaint.
Texas State Law (Government Code 614.022) 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 copies of complaints before any disciplinary action may be taken.
- Differences of opinion between police officers and citizens over the issuance of traffic tickets, or for the guilt or innocence of persons arrested, will not be investigated unless there is specific allegation of misconduct against an officer.
- Intentionally making false complaints or allegations against police officers is against the law under Chapter 37 of the Texas Penal Code. This information is not intended to intimidate the complainant or any witness, but is provided to avoid retaliation against police officers or departmental staff. A person who commits this offense can be charged with crimes ranging from a Class B Misdemeanor to a 3rd Degree Felony. Punishments can range from 180 days in jail to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000, if convicted.
File a Complaint
You have several options on how to file a complaint:
- To file a complaint online: Click here to be redirected to the NBPD Online Complaint Form.
- To file a complaint in person: Click here to download a copy of the NBPD Officer Complaint Form. Please print and complete the form, and then return completed form to the front desk at NBPD Headquarters.
- You may also file a complaint with any NBPD supervisor, either in person or by telephone. To speak with an on duty supervisor, call (830) 221-4100.
When the investigation of a complaint reveals that the charges are true, the Chief of Police will notify the employee and may take one of the following actions, depending on the nature of the violation:
- Employee Counseling
- Require in-service training for the employee
- Suspension without pay
The person who filed the complaint will then be notified in writing of the results of the investigation.
Lack of Evidence
Police employees must be afforded the same rights as all citizens and complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence supporting the complaint, then the officer is notified and continues on duty. If he/she was removed from duty during the investigation, the employee will be paid for that period. The person who filed the complaint will also be notified in writing of the results of the investigation.
Just as citizens charged with criminal offenses can appeal a court's decision, police employees can appeal any disciplinary action taken against them. The City of New Braunfels has established procedures for employees to follow in that appeal process, just as the Police Department has established procedures for ensuring that complaints against police employees are thoroughly and impartially investigated.
Texas Government Code
Complaints Against Law Enforcement Officers
Sec. 614.022. 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. (a) A copy of a signed complaint against a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or police officer shall be given to the officer or employee within a reasonable time after the complaint is filed. (b) 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.