Racial Profiling and Complaint Process
On September 1, 2001, a new law prohibiting racial profiling went into effect in Texas. Article 3.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines racial profiling as "a law enforcement-initiated action based on the individual's race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual's behavior or on information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity."
The Santa Fe ISD Police Department strictly prohibits officers from engaging in racial profiling. Each of our officers have received training concerning the racial profiling law and were provided with a copy of our departmental policy pertaining to racial profiling.
Racial Profiling Complaint Process
Complaints alleging racial profiling with respect to an individual may be filed with the Santa Fe ISD Police Department. The Office of the Chief of Police is physically located at the Cowan Educational Support Center , which is located at 4133 Warpath Drive, Santa Fe, Texas. The mailing address is Santa Fe I.S.D. Police, P.O. Box 370 Santa Fe, Texas 77510. The Police Department's telephone number is (409) 927-3310.
A complaint should be submitted in writing and in a timely manner after the incident so that the incident can receive prompt attention. Once the complaint is received, the Chief of Police will initiate an internal investigation into the matter.
Complaints Against Police Officers
The Santa Fe ISD Police Department expects all employees to maintain professional standards in their conduct on and off duty, and observe all policies and procedures in carrying out their responsibilities.
The Department will investigate all complaints against employees to final disposition. The Department has the responsibility to identify and address employee behavior that discredits the Department or impairs its effective operation. Rights of the employee and the public must be preserved, and any investigation or hearing arising from a complaint will be conducted in a fair and timely manner with truth as its primary objective.
1.In order for a complaint against a District peace officer to be considered by the head of the Department, the complaint must be in writing, and signed by the person making the complaint.
2.All complaints must allege specific act(s) of misconduct, and the complainant must have firsthand knowledge of the act in question.
3.A sworn statement will be required from the complainant at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
4.Complaints which occur more than 30 days after the alleged incident will not be accepted unless:
A. The act is criminal and the statue of limitations has not yet run.
B. The Chief of Police, at his/her discretion, may allow the complaint if the complaint shows good cause for the delay.
5.All complaints concerning misconduct of an officer will be investigated. It will be the intent of the investigation to protect the integrity of the officer concerned and/or the integrity of the Department and the District.
6.Officers will give their full cooperation concerning investigation of complaints.
7. A copy of the complaint shall be given to the officer within a reasonable time after it is filed, and no disciplinary action shall be taken against the officer as a result of the complaint unless a copy is given to the officer.
8. The officer may not be indefinitely suspended or terminated based on the subject matter of the complaint, unless the complaint is investigated and there is evidence to prove the allegation of misconduct.
9. If the investigation reveals that there was misconduct by the officer, the appropriate administrative action will be taken.
10. If the investigation reveals that there was misconduct by the officer and the misconduct was criminal in nature, the District Attorney’s Office shall be notified, in addition to the appropriate administrative action taken.
11. The person making the complaint will be contacted during the investigation for additional information and will be notified by mail of the final disposition.
ADJUDICATION OF ALLEGATIONS OF EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT
A. Each allegation of employee misconduct must be adjudicated in one of the following
1. Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to prove the allegation made in the complaint.
2. Unfounded: The allegation is false. The incident never occurred or the employee was not involved in the incident, or the investigation conclusively proved that the employee’s alleged act or actions that would constitute misconduct did not occur.
3. Not Sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation made in the complaint.
4. Exonerated: The acts which provided the basis for the complaint or allegation occurred, but the investigation revealed that they were justified, lawful and proper.
Texas Government Code Ch. 614, Subchapter B; Atty. Gen. Op. GA-251 (2004)