The complaint process begins when a complaint is filed against a sworn
member of the Riverside Police Department.
While the Internal Affairs Unit or their designee investigates
all complaints, the Community Police Review Commission (CPRC) will
review only those complaints filed against sworn personnel and that are
filed within six months of the incident that gave rise to the complaint.
Typically, all a person has to do to file a complaint is to contact the
Riverside Police Department by phone or contact a member of the
Department in person.
If a complainant is uncomfortable going directly to the Department or a
Department member, they may contact the CPRC in person, by phone, or
they can complete an
online complaint form.
Once a completed complaint
form is received by either the Riverside Police Department or the CPRC,
the tracking process begins.
The Complaint Investigation
The Internal Affairs Unit classifies the complaint as a Category I
(usually the most serious allegations) or Category II complaint.
They are then assigned to an investigator.
The sergeants in the Internal Affairs Unit handle all Class I
complaints and a few Class II.
The vast majorities of complaints investigated by the Department are
Class II and are investigated by supervisors in the Field Operations or
After the investigation is complete, the
investigator’s lieutenant, captain and deputy chief review it.
Following that, the captain of the Personnel Services Division and the
lieutenant over the Internal Affairs Unit conduct a final department
After the Department completes its administrative procedures, the
case is then sent to the CPRC for review.
The CPRC Review Process
All cases are entered into the CPRC
tracking system when they are filed.
When the CPRC receives the investigative report, it is logged in
and then reviewed for thoroughness by the CPRC Manager.
The Riverside Police Department's Conduct & Performance Manual,
Section 10, Administrative Investigation, is the guideline for this
After the CPRC Manager's review, the reports are placed on one of two
monthly meeting agendas: the Case Review Meeting or the Regular
Monthly Meeting. A brief synopsis of the case is given to the
commissioners who review the cases prior to the meetings. Then, in
closed session, the commissioners deliberate and make a “Finding” on the
allegations in each case.
Along with the finding, they issue a “Rationale” that describes
their reasons for the finding.
In addition to describing their reasoning, the commissioners also
use the “Rationale” to inform the Police Chief and his subordinates when
they have a particular policy issue or concern they want to address.
After the findings and rationales are given on each allegation in each
case, the cases are sent to the City Manager who, after reviewing the
findings of the Commission and the Police Department, issues a decision
on behalf of the City. That
decision, which may or may not concur with either set of
recommendations, becomes the City’s position and all parties to the
complaint are notified of the results.
If the City’s position contains a “Sustained” finding, the Police
Chief, exclusively, determines what discipline to impose.