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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oceanside Police Department, how to file a complaint

Professional Standards Unit - (760) 435-4455

This Unit is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving any member of the Police Department. The Professional Standards Unit Sergeant has been trained on personnel investigations and disciplinary issues. The Internal Affairs investigative process is meant to provide a thorough and fair review of misconduct allegations.

All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly and objectively investigated to maintain integrity within the organization and the trust and confidence of the community we serve. This process has been developed through many years of hard work and dedication. For further information on the Professional Standards Unit, please read the following complaint procedure.
Citizen Complaint Procedure


The Chief of Police has the legal mandate to ensure that a well-defined procedure exists for the investigation of complaints against Department personnel.

The employees of this Department are carefully selected, highly trained and serve with a pride of professionalism. However, as in any large organization, deviations from ideal performance occur. Allegations of misconduct against Department personnel are investigated thoroughly and objectively, with the goals of maintaining the integrity of the Department and the confidence of the public.


What if I want to make a complaint?
If you believe a member of the Oceanside Police Department has committed an act of misconduct, you may ask to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor will discuss the matter with you and may be able to resolve the issue immediately to your satisfaction.

You may also choose to file a formal complaint and, in certain types of complaints, the matter may need to be handled formally. In these cases you are encouraged to come to the Department and fill out the complaint in person.

What will happen to my complaint?
If a supervisor handles your complaint informally, the matter will be discussed with the involved member. The supervisor will provide the member with correction, guidance, or training as necessary. The supervisor may simply explain your position, so that similar instances may be better handled in the future.

If you file a formal complaint, it will be given directly to the Chief of Police for review and assignment to either the member’s supervisor or to an investigator in the Professional Standards Unit. In either case, your complaint will be taken seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated. The Chief of Police will then review the results. If misconduct is found, the member may be disciplined.

If I'm under 18, do I still have the right to complain?
Yes; bring one of your parents, your legal guardian, or a responsible adult with you.

Will anything happen to me if no misconduct is found?
So long as you tell the truth as you know it, and you are not acting maliciously, you should have no problem.

What will happen to the member?
That will depend on what was done and what the circumstances were at the time. If the actions were improper, the member may be disciplined. If the actions were legal and proper, the member will be exonerated. Should the facts indicate the complaint is false, then the complaint will be unfounded.

Will I be notified when the investigation is completed?
You will receive a letter indicating the fact that your formal complaint has been assigned. The letter will include a copy of your complaint and your investigation number. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Chief of Police will notify you of the results.

How long will it take?
That depends on the amount of investigation that is necessary. You may contact the Professional Standards Supervisor at any time to check on the status of your complaint investigation. It is not unusual for an Internal Affairs Investigation to last 3 to 6 months.

What if I'm not satisfied with the investigation?
We sincerely hope that this would not be the case. But if it is, you can contact a member of the City Council or, in some cases, the San Diego County District Attorney or Grand Jury.

To speak with someone about your complaint, call:

24-Hour Access Line 760-435-4900
Patrol Supervisor 760-435-4980
Professional Standards 760-435-4455
Chief of Police 760-435-4450