Complement and Complaint Process
If you see an employee of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office perform outstanding work, please let us know about it. You can commend an employee by writing a letter or email to the employee's supervisor, the Chief Deputy, or the Sheriff at:
Mail Letter To:
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
1102 E. Kilpatrick Ave.
Cleburne, Texas 76031
Email To: Sheriff@johnsoncountytx.org
Under the direction of the Sheriff the Internal Affairs Coordinator provides protection to the public with regard to improper police actions, protection to the Sheriff’s Office and protection to employees against unwarranted accusations of misconduct. Internal Affairs exists to safeguard the high degree of integrity required to provide quality law enforcement services to the community and to maintain public trust.
Employees, both sworn officers and civilian personnel, are carefully selected and given the best training possible in order to provide service to our community. There may be occasion to lodge a complaint about the actions of a member of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. In order to be responsive to you we provide the following information on how to lodge complaints, how those complaints are investigated, and their results.
How are complaints made?
When a citizen lodges a complaint against a member of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the complaint is directed to the On-Duty Sergeant who in turns investigates the complaint before making a recommendation to the Internal Affairs Coordinator. The Internal Affairs Coordinator will review and investigate the findings and determine if appropriate actions have been recommended by the First Line Supervisor or if additional actions are needed.
Texas State Law (Section 614.022 of the Government Code) requires that complaints against certain law enforcement officers and public safety employees must 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, police officers are entitled to a copy of the complaint before any disciplinary action may be taken. Complaints must be made by the person who claims to be aggrieved. Other persons may give statements as witnesses.
A complaint should be made in a timely manner after the incident so that the details are readily available to the investigating supervisor and prompt attention can be focused to correct and/or discipline an officer acting in an unacceptable manner.
According to Texas State Law (Section 143.052 of the Local Government Code), the Sheriff’s Office’s receipt of the complaint, investigation, and beginning of discipline of the officer must be completed within 180 days after the occurrence of the act. For criminal matters, the time frame is 180 days from the discovery of the act.
The Internal Affairs Coordinator will ensure that a thorough investigation of your complaint is conducted and you will be notified of the results, and of any action taken. Citations issued or difference of opinion between Sheriff’s Office employees and a citizen over the issuance of citations or the guilt or innocence of a person arrested will not be investigated. Issues of guilt or innocence fall only within the jurisdiction of the courts.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at (817) 556-6058 or after normal business hours at 817-556-6060 and ask to speak to an on-duty supervisor.
Citizens are cautioned that the act of lodging a False Complaint is a violation of the Texas Law. Section 37.02 of the Texas Penal Code which provides punishment for an individual adjudged guilty of committing an offense if, with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement’s meaning:
He makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made: and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath.
A person convicted under this Section can be punished by:
- a fine not to exceed $4,000.00;
- confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or
- both such fine and confinement.
This information is not intended to intimidate the citizens or prevent valid complaints. It is intended to prevent false complaints against Sheriff’s Office employees.
How long will the investigation take?
Most investigations are completed within thirty (30) days; however, legal review and supervisor’s review of the case is not included in this time period.
What happens when a complaint is found to be true?
If the investigation of a complaint reveals it is true and should be sustained against an employee, the department will notify the employee of the finding. Depending on the nature of the violation, one or more of the following actions may be taken:
- Counsel with the employee
- Retrain the employee
- Reprimand the employee
- Suspend the employee
- Demote the employee
- Discharge the employee
- Or a Combination of the Above
Employees will be provided a written notice of any disciplinary action initiated. While progressive steps of discipline are encouraged, any of the discipline options may be exercised as the facts may warrant.
What happens if the complaint is found not to be true?
By law, employees must be afforded certain rights, the same as with all citizens. Complaints can be sustained only when supported by substantial evidence. If there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, no action will be taken against the employee.
Employee can appeal the decision
Just as a citizen charged with a criminal offense can appeal a court decision, an employee may appeal an adverse administrative action. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has established procedures for employees to follow in their appeals, just as the Sheriff’s Office has established procedures for ensuring the complaints by citizens against employees are thoroughly and honestly investigated.
What if you are not satisfied with the decision?
If you are not satisfied with the result of the investigation by the Internal Affairs Coordinator, you may appeal to the office of the Sheriff.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is vitally interested in taking action when it is determined our employees are derelict in their duties, guilty of wrongdoing, or in need of further training. Your complaint will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
Racial Profiling Complaints
CCP Art. 2.132 Law Enforcement Policy on Racial Profiling requires the department to provide public education on the racial profiling complaint process. To meet this requirement, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office publishes the complaint process on this website.
Employees of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office are prohibited from and will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of the practices of racial profiling or bias based profiling. Deputies will focus on the conduct of the individual and/or specific suspect information in taking law enforcement action. Individuals will not be targeted for enforcement action, detention, field contacts, asset seizure and forfeiture efforts, or interdictions solely on the basis of race, ethnic background, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, or age.