Frequently Asked Questions

How long has the PAB been in existence?

The Police Accountability Board was established in April 2014 as a two-year pilot program. The board has since been renewed through at least 2018.

Why was the PAB established?

Developing a police accountability program for the UC Davis Police Department is one component of a complex process of evaluating, restructuring, and healing in response to the November 18, 2011 UC Davis pepper spraying incident.

The Reynoso Task Force and the Robinson-Edley Reports, convened as a result of this incident, provided the background and context which led to the recommendation of the establishment of a police accountability program for the Police Department. We hope this will be an important step in working to build a bridge to restore trust between the police and the campus community.

Who serves on the PAB?

The PAB consists of seven members selected through a nomination process and appointed to serve either one or two-year terms. Board terms will be staggered to ensure continuity. The board includes: Two undergraduate students, one graduate student, one faculty member, one staff member, and two representatives from UC Davis Health (who may be students, faculty or staff). Nominations for these positions are invited from the following campus groups: Academic Senate, Academic Federation, Staff Assembly, UC Davis Health System, Graduate Student Association, Student Life, and Associated Students, UC Davis. In order to ensure independence, no member of the PAB can be a current or former UC Davis police employee or employee of the Offices of the Chancellor and the Provost.

How can the Police Accountability Board help?

The Police Accountability Board is supported by staff who investigate complaints regarding police conduct. The PAB oversees the investigation process to ensure complainants are heard and investigations are fair and thorough. The PAB reviews the reports and recommends findings. The PAB also receives complaints about Police Department policies and makes recommendations about how to resolve these complaints. These recommendations are transmitted to the Chief of Police who may take corrective actions based on these recommendations. 

The PAB's recommendations and the Police Chief's response to these recommendations will be summarized each year and made publicly available in an annual report.

Is the Police Accountability Board part of the UC Davis Police Department?

No. The PAB is completely separate from UC Davis Police Department. The PAB is an independent entity made up of concerned members of the campus community. It is charged by the Chancellor and is administratively supported by the Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations and the Chief Compliance Officer. The PAB also is supported by staff in the Office of Compliance and Policy and the Office of Campus Community Relations. These offices report to the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost.

The PAB's recommendations and the Police Chief's response to these recommendations will be summarized each year and made publicly available in an annual report.

Should I trust the Police Accountability Board?

We think so! The Police Accountability Board is not part of the police department. The PAB is an independent entity made up of concerned members of the campus community. It is charged by the Chancellor and is administratively supported by the Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations and the Chief Compliance Officer.

The PAB's recommendations and the Police Chief's response to these recommendations will be summarized each year and made publicly available in an annual report.

What can I do if I think a UC Davis Police Officer did something wrong?

You can file a complaint using any of the following methods:

  • The online complaint form
  • Via telephone at (530) 752-6550
  • In person by calling (530) 752-6550 to schedule an appointment
  • Printing the complaint form and sending it via fax at (530) 752-0853 or via mail to the Office of Compliance and Policy, attn: Police Accountability Board, UC Davis, Mrak Hall 428, Davis, CA 95616
Who can file a complaint with the Police Accountability Board?

Any member of the community or general public can file a complaint.  You can file a complaint about something that happened to you, or about something that happened to someone else. You do not need to be a student or employee of the university to file a complaint.

Should I fear retaliation if I file a complaint?

No. Persons who file complaints are protected from retaliation by both state law and university policy.

Does it matter whether I file a complaint?

Yes, it does matter. The effectiveness of UCDPD and the Police Accountability Board relies upon community members speaking out about possible police misconduct. The more information that is gathered, the better the PAB can identify patterns and trends to study in order to make sound recommendations to the UCD Police Chief.

The PAB's recommendations and the Police Chief's response to these recommendations will be summarized each year and made publicly available in an annual report.

Do I need to know the officer’s name or badge number?

No. You do not need to know the name or badge number of the subject officer(s). While this information is useful, you can still file a complaint without it. You can file a complaint with as little or as much information as you may have about an incident. However, if you have very little information about an incident, the PAB's ability to respond may be limited.

Who will know if I filed a complaint?

The University protects confidentiality to the greatest extent possible under law and policy. The names of complainants are generally kept confidential. Your identity as the complainant will be known to the PAB and the PAB staff who handle these complaints. The subject officer will not be given the name of the person who filed the complaint. However, the University cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Individuals have a right to request University records under the California Public Records Act (PRA). Anyone can file a PRA request with the Office of Campus Counsel to obtain University records. These records may or may not have names and other information redacted (blacked out) depending on the circumstances involved, who is making the request, and other considerations that are handled on a case by case basis.

Additionally, if a police officer is disciplined because of a complaint to the PAB, the officer has a right to receive the full investigation report that provides the basis for the discipline.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?
Yes, but the PAB's ability to review the complaint may be limited if sufficient detail is not provided about the incident.
How long does an investigation take to complete?

The process can generally take up to 90 calendar days from the time the complaint is received, assigned to an investigator, evidence is gathered, and findings have been drafted. The amount of time, however, can vary according to factors such as the number of complainants, witnesses, and officers involved in each case. 

What is the standard for the investigator to make a finding?

The standard for University investigations is "the preponderance of evidence."  Think of that as meaning "more likely than not." In other words, the investigator will gather facts in order to make a determination as to whether it was more likely than not that the issue that has been reported occured as described. The PAB can recommend the following:

Sustained: The preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that the alleged occurred and that the conduct was improper.

Not sustained: It cannot be determined by a preponderance of evidence that the alleged conduct occurred or violated department policy or procedure. 

Exonerated: The evidence supports a finding that the alleged acts occurred, but the conduct was justified, lawful, or proper. 

Unfounded: The investigation clearly established that the alleged conduct did not occur or did not involve department personnel.

What happens to the officer as a result of a complaint?

If the complaint is sustained, the nature and extent of the disposition is determined by the Chief of Police. Under California law, only the Chief of Police may impose corrective action and/or discipline law enforcement personnel. 

Can I file a complaint with the Police Accountability Board against an officer who is not in the UC Davis Police Department?

No. The Police Accountability Board can only investigate a complaint against UC Davis Police Department personnel. Complaints against officers employed by other law enforcement agencies, including the City of Davis Police Department, should be filed with the appropriate agency.

Will filing a complaint affect me if I have been charged with a crime?

No. Regardless of the outcome of your criminal case, a complaint to the PAB is investigated and handled separately from any pending criminal charges.

As a community member, how can I be supportive of the Police Accountability Board?

The Police Accountability Board appreciates your involvement and welcomes input from all members of the campus community.  You may come to our quarterly public meetings and may comment. You may also provide feedback by e-mail to pab@ucdavis.edu.