How to Commend an Officer

The Sour Lake Police Department employees make every effort to perform their duties in a competent, courteous and professional manner. Frequently, many employees exceed the expectations of the public by providing exceptional service that surpasses the norm. If you observe an employee performing in a manner that you think is exceptional and reflects favorably and the department, then we encourage you to take a moment and tell us about it.

Employees take great pride in being recognized by members of the public when they have performed their duties in an exceptional manner.  Perhaps more importantly, employees who receive such accolades and encouragement from the citizenry recognize how their efforts are appreciated.  Such an encouraging atmosphere improves employee morale and encourages all employees to work harder to improve individual performance and the quality of service they provide to the public.

If you would like to tell us about an exceptional service that you were the recipient of or observed being done for someone else, you may email the Chief of Police at chief301@cityofsourlake.com , or the Sergeant at jhoffman@cityofsourlake.com.  No matter which method you choose, please accept our thanks for sharing your experience with us.  We appreciate being appreciated.

Helpful Information For Filing A Commendation

  • Date & Time
  • Location of Occurrence
  • Officer Name and/or Badge Number
  • Circumstances of Incident

How to File a Complaint

Police Employee Complaint Procedure

The Sour Lake Police Department is dedicated to providing exceptional service to its employees and citizens through a problem solving approach and commitment to excellence in the delivery of police services. Police employees are carefully selected, held to the highest standards and provided with the best training available.

When You Feel You Need To File A Complaint

Unfortunately, not every contact with our officers and employees, as with other organizations, is always totally satisfactory, and a complaint may need to be made. Upon receipt of a complaint, a written complaint is required; an internal investigation may then being initiated. The purpose of the internal investigation is the pursuit of truth. We are committed to that objective, recognizing that our agency’s credibility depends on the community’s belief that we can police ourselves. With that in mind, we provide the following information regarding how you can file a complaint, how a complaint is investigated, and how it is disposed of.

How To File A Complaint

First, there are basically two types of complaints-verbal and written. Verbal complaints are usually more minor in nature or the complainant does not desire to have the officer disciplined, but rather talked to about how they felt about their interaction. Written complaints are more formalized and usually involve a more serious complaint.

A person desiring to file a complaint against a police department employee can contact a supervisory member of the Sour Lake Police Department. That member will provide an affidavit of fact, if necessary. You will be required to return the affidavit to the police department in person and sign the form in the presence of a Notary. You may be required to supply investigators with additional information. You may contact a supervisor who is certainly capable of responding to minor complaints and, if you wish, will do their best to resolve any misunderstanding without filing an official complaint.

Once a supervisory member receives the complaint, the complaint will be classified, and the investigation begins. You will be informed as to the outcome of the investigation in writing.

The Process

  1. Once a complaint is received, the officer/employee is notified in writing; and
  2. Provided a copy of the complaint; and
  3. Required to provide a written response to the allegations, stating all facts and circumstances of the contact; and
  4. Required to take a polygraph examination, if the case warrants, only after complainant has been requested and taken a polygraph examination.

Polygraphs

During the course of the investigation, you may be requested to submit to a polygraph. Your submission to the polygraph is totally voluntary; however an officer cannot be required to take a polygraph unless the complainant does so.

Substantiated Complaints

When the investigation reveals that the charges are true and depending on the severity of the infraction, the department may take any of the following actions against the involved employee:

Non-Disciplinary Actions 

  • Counseling
  • Education
  • Training
  • Written Warning

Disciplinary Actions

  • Written Reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Demotion
  • Termination

Complaint Not Sustained

If there is not sufficient evidence to support the allegation or it is proved the officer or employee was acting within the established and accepted policies and/or procedures of the department, the investigation will be closed and no further action taken.

False Complaints

Rarely, citizens will file a false complaint against police employees. Citizens should be aware that this is a violations of the Texas Penal Code and, if found guilty, is punishable by a fine of $4,000 or up to one year in jail or both such fine and jail.

The Sour Lake Police Department is sincerely interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking action where its employees have acted or behaved in violation of the policies, procedures and practices of the department.  If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.

By the same token, if you have an occasion to see a police department employee doing outstanding work, we encourage you to tell them and/or us about it. The Sour Lake Police Department is comprised of professionals dedicated to serving you and our community.

Texas Government Code: Complaint Against Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter

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.

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 office 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.

Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch/263. Sec.1, eff. 9-1-93

Texas Penal Code:

Sec. 37.02 Perjury.

(a) A person commits an offense, if with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statements meaning:

(1) he makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; or

(2) he makes a false sworn declaration under Chapter 132, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 37.03. Aggravated Perjury.

(a) A person commits an offense if he commits perjury as defined in Section 37.02. and the false statement:

(1) is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and

(2) is material.

(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

Commend
Complaint