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Report Misconduct

 

The UCA Police Department endeavors to work in partnership with citizens to ensure that our contacts and interactions with all members of the community are positive. The sense of safety and security on campus and the Department’s public image and community relationships, to a large degree, are determined by a professional response to allegations of misconduct against police officers. The UCA Police Department is committed to competently and impartially investigating allegations of misconduct against its employees and complaints bearing on the Department’s response to community needs.

If you believe the conduct or actions of an officer or non-sworn employee of the UCA Police Department was inappropriate or has violated the law you are encouraged to contact the Professional Standards & Investigations Commander. While citizen reports of police misconduct are encouraged, the complaints must be made in good faith. False or highly exaggerated complaints only serve to impede the investigation process and serve no good purpose. Anyone who deliberately makes any false accusation for the purpose of bringing into disrepute a police officer or other UCA Police Department employee may be prosecuted under Arkansas State Law.

How to file a complaint

Generally during normal business hours a command officer will receive complaints. During other times, the shift or team supervisor will receive complaints. Complaints may be received either in person, over the telephone, in writing, or by any other means. Complaints may be lodged anonymously; however, discipline cannot be taken against any department member based solely on an anonymous complaint. The complaint must be substantiated through investigation before any discipline occurs.

If you wish, you may download a complaint form from this Web site. If you choose to download the complaint form, please include as much detail as possible, to include the date, time, and location of the incident, the identities of the officer(s) involved if known, and a statement of circumstances surrounding your complaint. Your name and telephone number should be provided as an investigator may need to contact you if further information or clarification is needed.

Please provide in your statement as many details as possible.

The complaint process

All citizen complaints are reviewed by the Chief of Police. If the complaint is of conduct that would violate established procedures or laws, an investigation will be initiated. The Deputy Chief of Police will assign a supervisor or command officer to investigate the complaint. The assigned investigator will interview all associated persons or witnesses, record their statements, and collect all other relevant facts.

Once the investigation is completed a report will be submitted to the Chief of Police through the Deputy Chief for review and, for complaints that are sustained, determination of any corrective action.

Investigation Outcomes

It is the policy of the UCA Police Department to complete a thorough investigation of citizen complaints within 30 days of the date the complaint was filed. Any need to extend the investigation beyond 30 days shall be documented and permitted only after authorization by the Chief of Police. Upon determination that the complaint cannot be handled within 60 days, a written response shall be provided to the complainant estimating the completion date of the investigation.

Completed investigations are assigned a disposition as follows:

  • Unfounded – Allegation is false or not factual
  • Exonerated – Incident complained of did occur, but was lawful and proper
  • Not Sustained – Insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegations
  • Administratively Closed – Complaints will be administratively closed under the following circumstances
    • An administrative inquiry has been conducted and no allegations were made or misconduct discovered
    • The Chief of Police or his designee has reviewed the complaint and confirmed that the case should be administratively closed.

When a complaint against an officer is sustained the Deputy Chief of Police will make a recommendation on the discipline to be administered. Disciplinary options include:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Suspension
  • Written Reprimand
  • Oral Reprimand
  • Counseling/Training – used when education in expected behavior is likely to be successful in improving employee conduct.

When appropriate, restitution for loss or damage to university or state property may be ordered in addition to discipline.

Upon approval of the Chief of Police, the complaint disposition will be finalized and disciplinary action, if any, carried out. The Deputy Chief of Police will provide written notification of the final results to the complainant, the employee and his or her supervisor.

What happens if an allegation cannot be proven or is not true?

Just as all citizens, police officers are accorded certain rights, and allegations of misconduct must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence to sustain a complaint, the officer and the complainant are notified of the disposition of the investigation and the officer will continue on duty.