The Commission (TCOLE) does not have direct authority to investigate complaints against law enforcement officers or agencies except in cases where a violation of law or rule occurs related to licensing, training, certification, appointment, or other related standard; or upon conviction of or placement on court-ordered supervision or probation for a covered criminal offense. Examples of non-jurisdictional complaints include rudeness, unprofessional conduct, and improper investigations. For non-jurisdictional matters, please direct your complaint to the agency holding the licensee's appointment. If you believe your complaint has been unanswered or handled improperly at the departmental level, you may contact the governing body that oversees the agency, such as the city manager, the school board, or the county commissioner's court.
If the matter involves an allegation of criminal misconduct, you may also direct your concerns with the office of the county or district attorney and/or the Department of Public Safety-Office of the Texas Rangers. If there are allegations of civil rights violations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation may conduct its own investigation.
You may also wish to discuss this matter with a private attorney. The Lawyer Referral Service of the State Bar of Texas can assist you in contacting an attorney in Texas with relevant expertise. The Lawyer Referral Service can be reached at (800) 252-9690.
A jurisdictional complaint for which the Commission may investigate includes; violations of law or rules that relate to the licensing, training, certification, appointment of a license holder, or the conviction or placement on deferred adjudication of a license holder for a covered criminal offense. An example of a jurisdictional complaint includes the following:
Example: Officer Smith was arrested for driving while intoxicated. This is a jurisdictional complaint because conviction or placement on deferred adjudication for driving while intoxicated is a covered criminal offense (Class B Misdemeanor) for which the Commission may take action on Officer Smith's peace officer license.
A jurisdictional complaint for which the Commission may also investigate includes fraudulent or substandard training by a person, training provider, or law enforcement academy.
Anyone may register a complaint against an individual, agency, or training provider regulated by the Commission. Complaints are reviewed by investigators who are commissioned by TCOLE as peace officers. If sufficient information is obtained during a preliminary investigation to indicate that a violation of Chapter 1701, Texas Occupations Code, Commission rules, or another applicable law relating to the Commission's mission has occured, an administrative or criminal case will be opened by the enforcement division.
If an allegation related to the Commission's jurisdiction is investigated and sufficient evidence is developed to determine that a criminal offense has occurred, the Commission may proceed with criminal charges and/or disciplinary action on the subject's license as appropriate.
In instances involving a licensee convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for a covered criminal offense, the enforcement division will request certified court records from the applicable court depicting the final disposition for the criminal offense. If the final disposition reflects a conviction or placement on deferred adjudication for a covered offense, the case will be forwarded to the legal division for possible disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the offense and the court's final disposition, a licensee may be subject to license revocation, suspension, or reprimand. For further information on disciplinary actions, please see Commission Rules.
As required by chapter 2001, Texas Government Code and Commission rules, the Commission will file a petition and provide notice to the licensee of the Commission's intended disciplinary action. The licensee is entitled to file an answer and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). Following a hearing at SOAH, the ALJ will issue a Proposal for Final Decision (PFD) that is presented to the full Board of Commissioners (Board) at a quarterly meetings held four times each year. The Board may then vote to adopt the PFD or issue a different order as appropriate.
Should you wish to file a complaint against a licensee, please send to Complaint Request.