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Who can file a complaint?

Any person directly affected by UC Merced police misconduct may file a complaint. You do not need to be a UC Merced student, staff, or faculty member, or a U.S. citizen, to file a complaint. Anonymous complaints are accepted.

Examples of complaints:

  • Improper arrest, search, seizure or stop
  • Improper or inadequate investigation
  • Improper detention procedure
  • Improper police procedures
  • Excessive force
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Discourtesy

Why should I file a complaint with the PAB?

The PAB is staffed by University employees who are independent from the Police Department. Complaints from the community are important to us. Without such input from community members, the University may not be aware of police misconduct and cannot take steps to address it. All complaints will receive a fair and objective review. Complaints are received, reviewed, and investigated by the Ethics & Compliance department. This department reports to the Chancellor’s Office. Investigation reports are then forwarded to the Police Accountability Board for independent review, and their recommendations are sent to the UC Merced Chancellor and Chief of Police.

Investigating a Complaint

Investigations are conducted by university investigators who handle investigations for a variety of matters for UC, including PAB complaints. University investigators are neutral fact-finders who do not represent the interests of any party. Investigators are not PAB representatives and they are not affiliated with the UCMPD. This promotes a fair, thorough, and unbiased investigation into allegations of police misconduct. During the investigation process, the investigator will speak to witnesses, review documents, and prepare a report for PAB's review.

PAB Review of Investigation Reports

The PAB is committed to reviewing investigation reports with diligence, an open mind, integrity, objectivity, and fairness. At the conclusion of an investigation, the PAB receives a confidential report with the investigator's findings. The report does not identify parties or witnesses by name, and it does not contain demographic information unless it is relevant to the complaint. The PAB reviews the investigation report and reaches its own conclusions about whether the allegations were sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded. The PAB then makes appropriate recommendations to the UC Merced Chief of Police.

PAB Recommendations and UCMPD Action

We believe police accountability can only be accomplished through dialogue between the public and law enforcement. To accomplish this, the PAB submits advisory recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding UCMPD policies, procedures and training, as well as the findings of investigation reports. Like other university supervisors, the Chief retains the ultimate responsibility to guide the department and issue discipline that is appropriate to the circumstances and consistent over time. As is common for university employees, disciplinary outcomes are typically confidential. However, the PAB may request to meet with the Chief to report on steps the UCMPD has taken to address PAB concerns. The PAB documents the UCMPD's actions in the PAB Annual Report and PAB Public Database (coming soon on the Data & Reports page).


We are committed to protecting confidentiality to the greatest extent possible under law and policy. We want the public to feel comfortable voicing concerns when incidents related to police misconduct arise. Accordingly, the university takes important steps to keep the names and identifying information of complainants confidential. Although there are circumstances where conducting a thorough investigation into an incident requires someone's identity to be known, there are ways for you to share your feedback confidentially. Whatever your concerns about confidentiality and your level of comfort with disclosing your identity, there are ways in which you can still make your voice heard.