The Pittsburg Police Department Professional Standards Team is committed to ensuring that our employees provide the best service, individually and collectively, to the public. In order to meet this obligation, we conduct audits on performance, investigate complaints, review all use of force incidents, review all pursuit incidents as well as officer involved collisions, manage liability claims against the police department, coordinate discovery requests from attorneys in litigation on police matters, work with judges to examine peace officer records as required by law, and routinely examine complaint patterns of officers to prevent incidents of misconduct.
One of our key functions is to investigate complaints which are brought forward by the public or generated internally. Government Code section 3300 et seq. controls the complaint and investigative process when the accused employee is a police officer. These rules are commonly referred to as the Publice Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights.
When the Police Department receives a complaint it is assigned to an investigator, typically a sworn staff member of the rank of Lieutenant or higher. A comprehensive inquiry is done that involves detailed interviews of complaining parties, witnesses, accused officers, and all relevant evidence is gathered.
Internal investigations typically take time because of the amount of detail necessary to prove the allegation and they are subject to several layers of review when completed. Once the investigator gathers all the facts and conducts an analysis with our policy and procedures the investigation results in a final disposition. The California Penal Code allows four possible conclusions to a completed investigation:
- Unfounded - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did not occur or did not involve Department personnel. Complaints which are determine to be frivolous will fall within the classification of unfounded. Penal Code Section 832.5(c)
- Exonerated - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred, but that the act was justified, lawful and/or proper.
- Not Sustained - When the investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the employee.
- Sustained - When the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.
Every investigation is expected to proceed with due diligence and every effort is made to complete each investigation within a reasonable time period. If a complaing party is not satisfied with the findings of the Department concerning their complaint they may contact the Chief of Police.
All investigations of personnel complaints and any discipline imposed are confidential as they are peace officer personnel files. These files cannot be released to anyone other than the respective employee without a lawful process. One such process is a "Pitchess Motion", a process by which an attorney can petition the Court for a legal order to compel a police agency to disclose certain information contained in the officer's personnel record.
Make a Complaint
The first step in making a Complaint is to complete and submit a Service/Personnel Complaint Form. The form must be printed out, filled in with details regarding the incident and the allegation(s), signed by the complainant, and submitted to the Pittsburg Police Department. The forms can be submitted in person at the Police Department or sent via mail to: Pittsburg Police Department, 65 Civic Ave., Pittsburg, CA 94565.
Compliment an Employee
We are also always happy to hear compliments about PPD employees. When you extend a compliment to an employee we will ensure they receive your message. Compliments are stored in an employee's personnel file and are reflected in annual employee evaluations. If you wish to compliment a PPD employee you may visit the Compliment a PPD Employee page on this website.