Professional Standards

Employee Complaints

The Department is committed to providing exemplary service in a professional manner that ensures all citizens and visitors a safe and secure environment. Peace officers are asked to exercise their best judgement under stressful situations, often with limited information and time constraints. However, officers and firefighters must be courteous, professional, and observe the rights of all citizens while performing their duties.

If a citizen believes an officer, firefighter or employee has engaged in misconduct, a complaint may be filed. It is our policy to thoroughly investigate all complaints against the Department or its employees. This ensures department integrity while protecting the rights and interests of both citizens and employees.

The Complaint Process

Texas State Law (Government Code 614.022) requires that all complaints against peace officers or firefighters be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Just as citizens who are arrested must be notified of the charges against them, peace officers must be given copies of complaints before any disciplinary action may be taken. The person who claims to be aggrieved must make the complaint; other persons may give statements as witnesses.

Complaints are classified by the type of complaint (Service or Personnel) and scope of complaint (Major or Minor). Service complaints are about the service or lack of service received from the Department. Generally, they are not directed towards a specific employee. Personnel complaints are about a specific employee's performance or actions.

Personnel complaints are further classified as either Major or Minor by the Fire Marshal’s Office. Minor complaints are handled by the employee's immediate supervisor. Major complaints are investigated by the Fire Marshal or the Fire Chief if the complaint is against the Fire Marshal.

Complaint Form

Complaints are made by filling out a Complaint Form (PDF). If the form does not appear, right click on the blue "Complaint Form," download and then open the download. Both forms must be printed, completed, and returned in person to the League City Fire Marshal’s Office. The complaint will be given to the Fire Marshal for review and investigation. Most complaints are investigated and resolved within 14 business days. Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances. Complainants can expect to be advised on the outcome of the investigation in writing within 45 days of receipt of the complaint.

Sustained Complaints

Actions against an employee for sustained misconduct may range from counseling or retraining to suspension or termination. Consideration is given to the seriousness of the misconduct and the employee's historical performance within the Department.

Unfounded Complaints

Complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence to sustain the complaint, the officer is notified and continues on duty.

Appeals

Just as citizens charged with criminal offenses can appeal a court's decision, peace officers are afforded the right to appeal the actions taken against them. The City of League City has established procedures for employees to file their appeals.

False Complaints

People who intentionally make false complaints or allegations violate Chapter 37 of the Texas Penal Code. Texas law provides punishment for an individual who makes a False Report to a Peace Officer that is material to a criminal investigation. The League City Fire Marshal’s Office provides this information to avoid retaliation against peace officers or department staff.

Texas Government Code

Complaints Against Law Enforcement Officers

Section 614.022. Complaint to be in Writing & Signed by Complainant
To be considered by the head of a state agency or by the head of a fire or police department, the complaint must be:

  1. In writing; and
  2. Signed by the person making the complaint.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., Chapter 268, Section 1, effective September 1, 1993.

Section 614.023. Copy of Complaint to be Given to Officer or Employee
A copy of a signed complaint against a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or police officer shall be given to the officer or employee within a reasonable time after the complaint is filed. Disciplinary action may not be taken against the officer or employee unless a copy of the signed complaint is given to the officer or employee.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., Chapter 268, Section 1, effective September 1, 1993.