PAB Procedures

I. Introduction

It is the intent of the University of California, Davis (UCD) to develop and promote accountability, trust, and communication between the Davis and Sacramento campus communities and the UCD Police Department (UCDPD).  To that end, UCD established a  Police Accountability Board (PAB) to impartially review investigative reports related to allegations of police misconduct and make recommendations in a timely manner regarding complaints filed by members of the public against the UCDPD.  UCD encourages its community and the public to bring forward such complaints.  Through various public forums, the PAB also solicits information and input from the public and its constituent groups.  The PAB may also make policy, procedure and training recommendations. 

Consistent with Penal Code sections 832.5 et seq, UCD has established a procedure to investigate complaints made by the public against the UCDPD and its officers While the complaint process is detailed in UCDPD’s Policy 1020, much of that process is also described in the PAB’s Procedures to ensure that PAB members and alternates understand the process generally, as well as their specific role.  The complaint procedure involves the Office of Compliance who will generally provide administrative support and investigatory personnel, the PAB who will review the investigatory reports and make findings and recommendations to the Chief of the UCDPD, and the Chief who will make the final determination with respect to each complaint.  The Chief will ensure cooperation of the UCDPD with all investigations. 

The PAB will produce an annual report auditing and identifying summary information and statistical data regarding the number and types of complaints received, analysis of trends or patterns, the disposition of those complaints and the percentage of complaints in which the recommendations of the PAB were either accepted, rejected or modified by the Chief of Police.  In addition, the PAB may report on other matters, such as policy, procedure or training recommendations.

II. Police Accountability Board Bylaws

The PAB Bylaws govern the following subjects:

  • The purpose of the PAB;
  • PAB member qualifications;
  • Composition of the PAB;
  • The nomination, selection and alternate process;
  • Terms;
  • Officers;
  • Ethics;
  • Removal of board members;
  • Quorum and majority vote;
  • Recusal;
  • Training and confidentiality commitments;
  • Powers and duties;
  • Reporting; and
  • Bylaw amendment.

III. Complaint Intake Procedures

A. Nature of Complaint

UCD students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the general public, have the right to lodge complaints against the UCDPD or its officers if they believe misconduct or infraction of rules, policy or law (e.g., excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, abusive language, harassment/discrimination, etc.) has occurred.  These complaints are referred to as “Personnel Complaints” and are divided into two categories:  (1) Member of the Public or Civilian Complaints and (2) Internal Complaints.  The Office of Compliance will investigate Member of the Public or Civilian complaints.  The PAB will review the investigation reports and findings and make recommendations to the UCDPD Chief.  In the event that a civilian complaint is submitted against the UCDPD Chief, the PAB will make its recommendations to the immediate supervisor of the Chief of Police.

The Office of Compliance will not investigate Internal Complaints filed by UCDPD officers or other personnel.  These complaints will be handled internally by the Professional Standards Unit (PSU).  The PAB will not review PSU investigatory reports regarding Internal Complaints.  Complaints received regarding another law enforcement agency (e.g., City of Davis Police Department) will be referred to that agency.

B. Filing Locations

A member of the campus community or general public may file a complaint by:

  1. Accessing and submitting a complaint form online at;
  2. Faxing a completed complaint form to one of the fax numbers listed below;
  3. E-mailing a completed complaint form to;
  4. Calling the UCD Office of Compliance at the telephone number listed below to schedule an appointment; or
  5. Submitting a completed complaint form to the UCD Police Department at one of the addresses listed below:

UC Davis Office of Compliance

Chief Compliance Officer
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-6550
(530) 752-0853 (FAX)

UC Davis Police Department-Davis Campus

625 Kleiber Hall Drive
Davis, CA  95616
530-752-0176 (FAX)

UC Davis Police Department-Sacramento Campus

4200 V Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
530-752-0176 (FAX)

A current copy of the complaint form can be found here.  The Chancellor or the Chief of Police may also refer issues to the Office of Compliance for investigation and the PAB for review and recommendation.

C. Filing Deadline

The prompt filing of complaints is strongly encouraged, as it provides the best opportunity for thorough and timely investigation.  Complaints shall be filed in writing no later than one hundred and eighty (180) days following the date of the alleged misconduct or infraction, except that the filing period shall be tolled when a complainant is incapacitated and unable to file. 

D. Complaint Information

The complaint form should include:

  • Contact information for the complainant;
  • A detailed narrative, including:
    • the nature of the complaint;
    • the timing of the alleged misconduct;
    • any injuries resulting from the alleged misconduct;
    • a description of the alleged misconduct; and
    • the signature of the complainant.

The complainant will be provided with a copy of his or her complaint and any statement at the time the complaint is filed.  All complaints filed by a member of the public with the UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD) will be forwarded to the UC Davis Office of Compliance within two (2) business days.

E. Anonymous Complaints

Anonymous complaints made by a member of the public will be accepted and may be investigated depending upon the sufficiency of the information provided.  Anonymous complaints should provide as much detail as possible in order to enable appropriate review and investigation.

F. Sharing of Complaints

Any complaint received by the UCDPD will be shared with the Office of Compliance for review and processing within two (2) business days.  Any complaint received by the Office of Compliance will be shared with the Chief of Police, also within two (2) business days.  At least monthly, the Office of Compliance will report to the PAB on any complaints that have been received since the previous monthly report was forwarded to the PAB by the Office of Compliance.

If, through the intake process (or subsequently during the investigation) additional allegations surface that were not contained in the original complaint but relate to the original complaint, the additional allegations being investigated by the Office of Compliance will be forwarded to the Chief of Police.

G. Early Resolution of Complaints

At the time of filing a complaint in person at the Police Department, when an uninvolved supervisor or the Watch Commander determines that the complainant, after discussion of the matter, is satisfied that his or her complaint required nothing more than an explanation regarding the proper implementation of department policy, procedure or law, the complaint shall be labelled “Resolved” and forwarded to the Office of Compliance within two (2) business days.  The Office of Compliance will follow-up with the complainant to confirm that he or she is satisfied with the early resolution.

H. Initial Determination and Information Gathering by Chief Compliance Officer

All complaints made by members of the public will be logged by the Chief Compliance Officer or designee.  A confidential file will be established for each complaint received and access restricted to the Office of Compliance.  These files will be stored in a secure location and maintained for at least five (5) years.  The Chief Compliance Officer/designee will evaluate each complaint for information necessary to conduct an investigation and proceed as follows:

  1. If additional information is needed, the Chief Compliance Officer/designee will request additional information from the complainant to the extent that the identity of the complainant is known.  If the complainant is anonymous and there is insufficient information to warrant conducting an investigation, the Chief Compliance Officer/designee will close the file and no investigation shall be conducted.
  2. If the Chief Compliance Officer/designee determines that the complaint is untimely, there is insufficient information to conduct an investigation, the allegations themselves demonstrate on their face that the acts complained of were proper, or the nature of the complaint is not suitable for investigation and review by the PAB, the Chief Compliance Officer/designee will notify the complainant, the Chief of Police and the PAB of the disposition in writing citing the specific reasons for the determining that the complaint will not be investigated. 
  3. If the Chief Compliance Officer/designee determines there is sufficient information and cause to investigate, they will assign the complaint to an investigator to initiate an investigation and notify the complainant, the Chief of Police and the PAB in writing of the complaint’s referral to investigation.

IV. Complaint Investigation Procedures

A. General

Whether conducted by the Office of Compliance or an outside investigator jointly selected by the Office of Compliance and the UCDPD Chief of Police, the following procedures shall govern the investigation process, which include complying with the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights (POBR) at Government Code section 3300 et seq.  To the extent that there is any inconsistency between these Procedures and POBR, POBR controls.  A current copy of the POBR can be found here

  1. The Chief of Police will be the investigator’s point of contact for purposes of gaining access to UCDPD information, documentation, and personnel.  In this role, the Chief will ensure necessary access to officer, information, and documentation needed to conduct a thorough and timely investigation.  The investigator will have access to any and all UCDPD information the investigator or the PAB deems relevant to the complaint, including access to the UCDPD’s “IA PRO” software and electronic files. 
  2. The investigation of a complaint shall consist of conducting interviews with the complainant, the subject officer(s), and any witnesses, collecting relevant evidence, including, but not limited to, UCDPD reports and records, photographs, video, and audio records.  Interviews with subject officer(s) will be recorded, as will other interviews to the extent that the complainant and witnesses agree.  Subject officers may also record the interview and if he or she has been previously interviewed, a copy of that recorded interview shall be provided to him or her prior to any subsequent interview.  (Government Code section 3303(g)).
  3. Officers shall be provided with reasonable notice prior to being interviewed and interviews of accused peace officers shall be conducted during reasonable hours.  (Government Code section 3303(a)).
  4. If the peace officer is off duty, he or she will be compensated for the interview time.  (Government Code section 3303(a)).
  5. No more than two (2) interviewers may ask questions of an accused peace officer.  (Government Code section 3303(b)).
  6. Prior to any interview, the peace officer will be informed of the nature of the investigation.  (Government Code section 3303(c)).
  7. All interviews will be for a reasonable period and the peace officer’s personal needs will be accommodated during the interview.  (Government Code section 3303(d)).
  8. No peace officer shall be subjected to offensive or threatening language, nor shall any promises, rewards or other inducements be used to obtain answers. (Government Code § 3303(e)).
  9. Peace officers shall be informed of their constitutional rights irrespective of whether the subject officer may be charged with a criminal offense.  (Government Code § 3303(h))
  10. Peace officers subjected to interviews that could result in punitive action shall have the right to have an uninvolved representative present during the interview. (Government Code § 3303(i)).
  11. All peace officers shall provide complete and truthful responses to questions posed during interviews.  Failure to do so will result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
  12. No peace officer shall be compelled to submit to a polygraph examination, nor shall any refusal to submit to such examination be mentioned in any investigation.  (Government Code § 3307).
  13. Interviews should be conducted with minimal interference to police operations and in conformity with the POBR.  Any documentary evidence received during the investigation by the investigator will be included in the investigative file even if the investigator determines the document later to be irrelevant to the investigation.
  14. If there is pending criminal prosecution regarding the same operative facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint, the investigation will be stayed until criminal proceedings are concluded.
  15. If an investigation is stayed, all documents and information under UCDPD’s control related to the incident in question will be preserved and maintained by the Chief of Police during the pendency of the stay to ensure no evidence is destroyed.
  16. Barring mitigating factors, the investigation should be completed and an investigation report submitted to the PAB within ninety (90) days of it being assigned to an investigator, unless an extension is authorized by the Office of Compliance upon a showing of good cause for the delay or legitimate need for additional time to complete the investigation.  The Office of Compliance will provide notification of the extension of time to the Chief of Police and the complainant.
  17. All investigation reports of complaints made by members of the public shall be considered confidential peace officer personnel files.  The contents of such files shall not be revealed to other than involved employee or authorized personnel except pursuant to lawful process. 
  18. In the event that the alleged accused peace officer or representative knowingly makes a false representation regarding any investigation or discipline publicly, the UCDPD may release factual information concerning the disciplinary investigation.  (Penal Code section 832.7(d)).
  19. Complaints and any report or finding relating to the complaint shall be retained for a period of at least five (5) years.  (Penal Code section 832.5(b)).

B. Investigation Reports and PAB Review Procedures

1. Report Format

The investigator shall provide a confidential report to the PAB that is redacted and does not identify the individuals involved.  The Chief of Police will receive an unredacted version of the investigation report.  Both reports will include: 

  • An Introduction;
  • A Summary of Allegations (including applicable policies);
  • Evidence Regarding Each Allegation (including comprehensive summaries of interviews or statements and identification of relevant documentary and electronic evidence);
  • Conclusions and Findings; and
  • Exhibit Listing.

2. Findings 

The investigator’s report, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, should include one or more of the following findings in response to each of the allegations made by the complainant.  The “preponderance of the evidence” standard is met when it appears more likely than not the allegations of misconduct occurred as described.

Unfounded – When the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did not occur or did not involve department personnel.  Complaints that are determined to be frivolous will be treated as unfounded (Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5 and Penal Code section 832.5(c)).

Exonerated - The evidence supports a finding that the alleged acts occurred; however, the conduct was justified, lawful or proper.

Not Sustained - The evidence is insufficient to support a finding that the alleged conduct occurred or violated department policy or procedure.

Sustained – The evidence supports a finding that the alleged conduct occurred and that the conduct was improper (e.g., violated department policy or procedure).

3. PAB Review and Recommendation(s)

In closed session, the PAB (both members and alternates in attendance) will collectively review the investigative report(s).  PAB members and only alternates in attendance whose entity’s PAB member is absent will vote on its  recommendations to either adopt, amend, or reject the investigator’s findings.  Hard copies of reports or on-line access via a password protected website to the reports will be made available prior to the closed session. 

The PAB has the authority to direct the investigator to re-open the investigation to pursue additional information requested by the PAB. 

In addition to its recommendations with respect to whether the investigator’s findings are sustained,  the PAB may also recommend a wide spectrum of actions to the Chief of Police, including, for example, modifying policies or training.  The PAB, however, will not recommend a particular level of discipline or a specific corrective action, as the Chief of Police retains the responsibility of and discretion to impose discipline.  The PAB’s policy recommendations may result from issues related to a specific complaint investigation or from a general policy review and analysis.

The PAB’s recommendations regarding the investigative findings shall be in writing and, through the Office of Compliance, forwarded to the Chief of Police within one (1) week after the PAB has voted in closed session. 

The PAB may also solicit progress reports from the Chief of Police regarding policy and training recommendations.

C. Role of Chief of Police and Ultimate Record Keeping

During the course of an investigation, and prior to making a final determination, the Chief of Police may ask for additional investigation.  Ultimately, the Chief may adopt all, part, or none of the PAB’s recommendations and retains full authority, discretion, and responsibility regarding the final disposition of the matter, including disciplinary determinations.  Within thirty (30) days of the final review and determination by the Chief of Police, written notice of the finding will be sent to the complaining party and to the PAB through the Office of Compliance.  This notice shall indicate the findings, but will not disclose the amount of discipline, if any, is imposed.  The complainant will also be provided with a copy of his or her original complaint if one has not already been provided.  Upon final determination, all information and documents related to the underlying complaint shall be consolidated and maintained by the UCDPD.

Any complaining party who is not satisfied with the Chief of Police’s ultimate disposition of the complaint may contact the Chief of Police to discuss the matter further.

V. Annual Reporting Procedures

The complaint and PAB review processes are subject to annual audit, review and reporting.  The PAB will submit an audit and analysis of complaints directly to the UCDPD Chief of Police each year.  The PAB’s annual public report will include the following information:

  1. Total number of complaints filed; 
  2. Types of complaints filed and analysis of trends or patterns;
  3. Disposition of complaints (e.g., not investigated, sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded); 
  4. Percentage of complaints in which the Chief of Police accepted, rejected or modified the PAB’s findings; and
  5. Policy, procedure and training recommendations.

The PAB’s report shall be made available to members of the public at their request and shall be maintained online at