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Personnel Complaint Procedure

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Please contact the Police Department and we will email or mail you a form, or you can pick up a complaint form in the lobby of the police station. You can email your complaint directly to the Chief of Police at  chiefofpolice@hermosabeach.gov.

Pursuant to Section 832.5 of the California Penal Code, The Hermosa Beach Police Department encourages citizens to report what they believe to be acts of police misconduct. All citizen complaints pertaining to department policies, procedures, or that allege officer misconduct will be documented and thoroughly investigated by the Department. The Police Department pledges to respond swiftly, thoroughly, and equitably to all reports of misconduct. The following questions and answers should help clarify and assist all concerned citizens to better understand this procedure. 

Who is eligible to file a complaint? How to lodge a complaint.
Complaints may be filed by anyone in person, by written correspondence, via telephone, or anonymously. Minors who wish to lodge a complaint must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Complainants will be asked to sign a complaint form.

Who should I go to with my complaint?
Written complaints should be addressed to the Chief of Police. When filed in person or via the telephone, only a Watch Commander or Field Supervisor may accept complaints. There is always someone available to handle complaints.

Will the Chief of Police receive a copy of my complaint?
Yes, the Chief of Police receives copies of all personnel complaints. Each employee’s supervisor is notified as well. Written correspondence goes directly to the Chief of Police.

Who will investigate my complaint?
The Chief of Police or his designee will assign a supervisor to investigate your complaint.

What does the investigation procedure entail?
The investigation process may include statements from the complainant, witnesses, police officers/employees involved, and collection of any other relevant evidence necessary to investigate the case.

Will the complainant be contacted during the investigation?
Depending on the circumstances, the complainant may be contacted in person by the investigator to provide additional information and formal testimony. Should the complainant not cooperate, orbe unavailable for questioning, sufficient evidence may not be obtained to afford a judgment.

What determines the disposition of the investigation?
After the facts and evidence of the alleged misconduct are compiled, investigating supervisors submit the findings to the Chief of Police for disposition.

What will happen to the officer/employee names in the complaint?
If the investigation determines that the alleged misconduct occurred, appropriate discipline will be imposed. In criminal cases, consultation will be requested with the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor or the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.  Disciplinary measures can include, but are not limited to: reprimand, suspension without pay, reduction in rank, transfer, dismissal, or criminal prosecution.

Will the Complainant be informed of the results of the investigation regarding the complaint?
It is the department's goal to complete all citizen complaint investigations within 90 days. However, in cases where criminal prosecution is anticipated, the personnel investigation will not be completed until all subsequent criminal charges are concluded. In any event, the person filing the complaint will be advised of the findings of the investigation, consistent with current law, in writing by the Chief of Police.

Annual Report of Citizen Complaints:

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