The UC Davis Police Accountability Board (PAB) strives to promote accountability and to improve and strengthen trust and communication between the University of California, Davis community and the UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD).
Who We Are
The PAB is a civilian oversight committee charged by the Chancellor and comprised of UC Davis students, staff and faculty who care about improving police accountability, reforming existing policies and procedures and promoting greater confidence in policing. We believe the community should have a way to review the behavior of those whose duty is to serve and protect the public. To do this, our board broadly represents the diversity of the UC Davis community and operates independently from the UCDPD.
- Learn more about our PAB representatives
- As an independent board, we serve only the interests of the community. We believe having autonomy and independence from the Police Department is essential to ensuring meaningful police oversight and accountability. The PAB independently reviews and makes recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding investigations of complaints made by members of the campus community and the general public in a fair and unbiased manner. The PAB also makes recommendations to improve existing UCDPD policies, procedures, practices and trainings so they are responsive to the needs and concerns of the community.
The PAB is invested in representing the diversity of the UC Davis community. The PAB consists of 14 representatives who are nominated to the board and serve two-year terms. The board includes: four undergraduate students, two graduate students, two faculty members, two staff members and four representatives from UC Davis Health. Recruitment for the PAB is staggered, with seven positions typically filled each year. This allows for the preservation of institutional knowledge on the board. Once nominated, members are interviewed and trained to serve on the board. The diverse perspectives of our campus constituents are invaluable to advocating against bias and voicing the concerns of underrepresented communities.
The PAB is administratively supported by the Program Manager, Associate Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Director of Investigations for the Office of Compliance and Policy. In order to ensure independence, no PAB representative can be a current or former UC Davis Police Department employee, or a current employee of Campus Counsel or the Compliance and Policy unit.As PAB representatives, we are committed to serving the community. We encourage you to reach out to your PAB representative with any questions or concerns. You can find your PAB representative here.
Why We Do This Work
As members of the community, we want to ensure the police department is transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of the community. We share the public's concern about police practices nationally. We strive to do our part to improve police-community relations at UC Davis. Our impartial, community-based oversight board provides an opportunity for the community to recognize good policing practices, as well as to shed light on conduct and processes in need of reform. Through our work, we hope to provide important public feedback to make positive changes at the UCDPD.
Why Your Voice Matters
The effectiveness of the Police Accountability Board relies upon community members speaking out about possible police misconduct. When you file a complaint or provide feedback about your experiences with the UCDPD, the PAB can more effectively address community concerns and make impactful recommendations to the Police Department.
Any member of the UC Davis community or general public can file a complaint or submit feedback. A PAB Feedback/Suggestion Form can share any thoughts you have about UCDPD contacts, policies or practices. A PAB Complaint Form can report instances when you feel a UCDPD officer has acted improperly in the course of their work. Whether the complaint is related to discourteous treatment, discrimination, unnecessary force or any other police action that you feel is wrong, the Police Accountability Board wants to know about it.
- Learn more about filing an inquiry with the PAB
- Your voice matters and we want to make sure it is heard. If voices go unheard, actions go undocumented. It is important to let police know when their actions are unbecoming of a police officer or fall short of their duty to protect the public. By filing a complaint, community members provide important information that can help deter future police misconduct and serve to identify policies and procedures that should be revisited and improved. Even when a finding of police misconduct is not sustained, a complaint provides an opportunity to encourage further department-wide police training and policy revisions, and opens a dialogue about how police interact with and serve the community.
We encourage people to make their voices heard by filing a complaint or submitting feedback regarding concerns about police conduct. The PAB is invested in ensuring the complaint process is accessible and complaints are given proper consideration for investigation. To effectively do this, the Office of Compliance and Policy receives and reviews all complaints submitted by the public, and determines whether a concerned party wants an investigation and when an investigation is warranted. To ensure impartial review and maintain privacy, the investigation is conducted by investigators in the Office of Compliance and Policy. These investigators are neutral fact-finders who are not PAB representatives and are not affiliated with the UCDPD.
Individuals who file a complaint are protected from retaliation by both state law and university policy, including the university whistleblower policies. Learn how you can file a complaint or submit a feedback form here.
For a comprehensive summary of the inquiries received by the PAB, cases reviewed and findings, you can refer to the PAB database.
Investigating a Complaint
Investigations are conducted by university investigators who handle investigations for a variety of matters for all of UC Davis, including PAB complaints. University investigators are neutral fact-finders who do not represent the interests of any party. Investigators are not PAB representatives and they are not affiliated with the UCDPD. This promotes a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation into allegations of police misconduct. During the investigation process, the investigator will speak to witnesses, review documents and prepare a report for PAB's review.
- Learn more about the PAB investigation process
- When an investigation of a complaint is charged, the person who filed the complaint will be informed of the investigator's identity and the procedures to be followed during the investigation. The Chief of Police will then notify the subject officer(s) about the complaint and investigation.
Investigators typically interview all witnesses involved, including the person who filed the complaint, the subject officer(s) and any other witnesses to the incident. The investigator also reviews available evidence related to the incident. This can include video footage, police reports, public and University records and other documentation provided by the parties. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator prepares an investigation report with factual findings and submits it to the PAB. The investigator's conclusions are based upon the "preponderance of the evidence" standard. This standard is satisfied when it is more likely than not that an event occurred as alleged and that it violated policy.
The PAB is committed to reviewing investigation reports with diligence, an open mind, integrity, objectivity and fairness. At the conclusion of an investigation, the PAB receives a confidential report with the investigator's findings. The report does not identify parties or witnesses by name, and it does not contain demographic information unless it is relevant to the complaint. The PAB reviews the investigation report and reaches its own conclusions about whether the allegations were sustained, not sustained, exonerated or unfounded. The PAB then makes appropriate recommendations to the UC Davis Chief of Police.
- Learn more about the PAB review process
- The integrity of this process is important to us. As such, only PAB board members participate in deliberations. During the review process, the PAB serves as an impartial reviewer. The PAB will ensure an individual's complaint was fairly investigated and determine what recommendations would best address the conduct at issue and the concerns of the community. If the PAB believes additional investigative steps are warranted, PAB can request further work by the investigator.
As part of the review process, the PAB reviews the investigative report and attachments, which may include interview summaries, police log summaries and transcripts from video footage. In a closed session, all representatives of the PAB discuss the allegations and findings. Voting members then vote on whether to adopt, amend or reject the investigator's findings and render PAB's own findings of whether an allegation is unfounded, exonerated, not sustained or sustained. In addition to its recommendations with respect to the investigator's findings, the PAB may also recommend a wide spectrum of actions to the Chief of Police, including modifying policies or training.
You can learn about recommendations from the PAB and the Chief's responses by looking at our annual reports and database.
PAB Recommendations and UCDPD Action
We believe police accountability can only be accomplished through dialogue between the public and law enforcement. To accomplish this, the PAB submits advisory recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding UCDPD policies, procedures and training, as well as the findings of investigation reports. Like other university supervisors, the Chief retains the ultimate responsibility to guide the department and issue discipline that is appropriate to the circumstances and consistent over time. As is common for university employees, disciplinary outcomes typically are confidential. However, the Chief meets with the PAB regularly to report on steps the UCDPD has taken to address PAB concerns. The PAB documents the UCDPD's actions in our annual report and database.
- Learn more about how the PAB advises the Chief of Police
- In addition to deciding on corrective actions, the Chief is also responsible for developing appropriate training, policies and practices for the department. As a way to remain accountable to the community, the Chief of Police attends PAB meetings at least once a quarter to detail actions taken in response to PAB findings and recommendations. In these meetings, the PAB has the opportunity to ask the Chief questions and raise any ongoing concerns. Through these conversations, the PAB is able to maintain a strong advisory role beyond the initial recommendations made to the UCDPD, provide timely follow-up on issues important to the public and encourage implementation of better policies and procedures. The Chief's responses to the PAB's recommendations are included in the annual report and database.
We are committed to protecting confidentiality to the greatest extent possible under law and policy. We want the public to feel comfortable voicing concerns when incidents related to police misconduct arise. Accordingly, the university takes important steps to keep the names and identifying information of complainants confidential. Although there are circumstances where conducting a thorough investigation into an incident requires someone's identity to be known, there are ways for you to share your feedback confidentially. Whatever your concerns about confidentiality and your level of comfort with disclosing your identity, there are ways in which you can still make your voice heard.
- Learn more about making an anonymous complaint
- Members of the public who want to report an incident, but do not wish to disclose their identity, have the option to file a complaint anonymously. Anonymous complaints are given the same consideration as any other complaint and are investigated when deemed appropriate. Anonymous complaints are a good option for those seeking a formal investigation of a specific incident. However, depending upon the sufficiency of the information provided in the complaint, remedies may sometimes be limited.
Usually, when a complaint is submitted, the Director of Investigations will review the complaint and attempt to contact the complainant if additional information is needed. However, where additional information is needed and the concerned party's identity is unknown, the Director of Investigations has limited ability to gather additional information and may need to close the file without conducting an investigation. To enable an appropriate review and investigation of an anonymous complaint, a concerned party must provide a complete and detailed account of the incident they wish to have investigated.
If you decide filing an anonymous complaint is right for you, please include:
- A detailed narrative of the events and description of the alleged misconduct.
- Time, date and location of the incident.
- Names and badge numbers of officers (if known).
- Names and phone numbers of witnesses (if known).
- Any documents related to the incident, such as photographs, citations and hospital records.
To submit an anonymous complaint, fill out the PAB Complaint Form and skip over the contact information section.
- Learn more about the PAB Feedback Form
- The PAB Feedback Form is another way in which a member of the public can share information without disclosing their identity. The PAB Feedback Form is a great tool for individuals who do not seek a formal investigation but want to share feedback or concerns. The form allows members of the public to bring general concerns to the PAB's attention about UCDPD contacts, policies or practices.
Once submitted, feedback forms are reviewed by the Director of Investigations and then sent to the PAB and Chief of Police. The Director of Investigations may contact the concerned party to learn more about their feedback and to determine what actions or remedies the concerned party is seeking. Public feedback is vital to helping the PAB adequately address relevant community concerns and make important recommendations to the Chief of Police.
- Things to know before submitting a complaint
- Whether you decide to submit a signed complaint or opt to share information anonymously, the PAB is committed to protecting confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.
We make every effort to keep your identity confidential by not sharing the name of the complaining party with the subject officer and by having the university redact names and background information from investigation reports. However, in order to provide appropriate notice to the accused officer and to conduct a thorough investigation of the alleged events, we will need to share detailed information about the events, including the identity of anyone allegedly affected by the officer's actions. The officer may infer that the individual affected by their action was the same person who filed the complaint. In any case, individuals who file a complaint are always protected from retaliation by both state law and university policy.
If you wish to learn more information about how you can protect your identity or how your identity may be known in particular circumstances, we encourage you to contact the Director of Investigations for the Office of Compliance and Policy.
PAB Annual Report & Database
The PAB is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals involved in police complaints, while also providing transparency and accountability to the community. To aid in this commitment, we publish a comprehensive annual report, providing information about the cases the PAB reviewed, statistical data regarding the number and types of complaints received, analysis of trends and/or patterns identified and the recommendations made to the Chief of Police and the Chief's responses. Through these reports, we hope to increase community awareness, police accountability and participation from the community. You can view our annual reports here.
For a comprehensive summary of the inquiries received by the PAB, cases reviewed and findings, you can refer to the PAB database.
We believe it is important for PAB representatives to receive adequate training to make informed decisions on cases brought before the board. We also believe that any member of the community should be able to serve on the board, regardless of their previous experience or knowledge in police procedures. PAB representatives receive training developed by the Office of Campus Community Relations regarding police procedures, relevant legal issues, impartiality, the confidential nature of police misconduct investigations and discipline and the civilian oversight field. In addition to these mandatory trainings, which orient incoming representatives to the board and their roles, PAB representatives also participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education opportunities. PAB representatives can participate in trainings organized by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE, of which the PAB is an institutional member), and guest speakers are invited to PAB meetings to present on timely topics of relevance to the work of the board. Through these trainings, the PAB ensures its representatives are well equipped to make recommendations to the Chief of Police on behalf of the community. Learn more about past PAB trainings here.
Impact & Goals For Continued Development
The UC Davis Police Accountability Board is the only civilian oversight committee of its kind in the University of California (UC) system. Through its work and dedication to improving police-community relations, the PAB has become a model program for other universities looking to form police accountability boards.
Though still relatively young, the PAB is proud of the work it has done with the help of dedicated members of the community. In response to the inquiries it has received, the PAB has made important recommendations to the Chief of Police and advocated for greater police accountability. From identifying existing policies and procedures that can be improved to working closely with the UCDPD to develop police trainings, the PAB's work has positively impacted the UC Davis community.
- Learn more about the impact of the PAB's recommendations
- Below are some examples of how the UC Davis Police Department has adopted recommendations given by the PAB:
Revisions to the UCDPD active shooter training, including adding three new instructors and revising course content and facilitation protocol.
Updated training and policies on the use of force under the Weber Bill.
Collaboration between the UCDPD and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to develop trainings for the police department.
Development of community relationships, including other civilian oversight committees like the City of Davis Police Accountability Commission.
Changes to the relationship between UC Davis Health Protective Security Officers (PSO) and the UCDPD, leading to a more effective process for receiving and responding to inquiries made to the PAB regarding PSOs.
Presence of PAB representatives and members of the PAB Administrative Advisory Group on interview panels for UCDPD police officers.
Expansion of required trainings in the areas of Procedural Justice; De-escalation and Tactical Communication; Mental Health and Crisis Response; Implicit Bias; Sexual Orientation; and Trauma Informed Interviewing.
- Learn more about the PAB's future goals
- As the needs of the community continue to evolve, so does the PAB. Our vision for the future is to improve the effectiveness of the board, the UCDPD and the relations with the communities the PAB serves. Some of our goals moving forward:
Create greater visibility of the PAB in the community.
Continually reassess our roles and procedures to ensure they meet the changing needs of our community.
Emphasize policy review and advance UCDPD accountability and performance.
Grow in the areas of mediation and restorative justice.
How To Get Involved
Given the important role of the public in police accountability, meaningful communication and involvement by the public is essential.
Here are four ways you can get involved: