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Complaint Resolution

What happens after a complaint is filed?

Complaint Review

The Ethics & Compliance department will review your complaint and will contact you if further information about your complaint is required.

Ethics & Compliance will determine whether a complaint is appropriate for investigation (e.g. timely, sufficient facts, etc.).  An investigation will be warranted in most cases where the complaint was filed in a timely manner, the complaint relates to improper conduct, and there is enough information provided to move forward.

If an investigation is warranted, an investigator will be identified and you will be informed of the investigator’s identity and the procedures to be followed during the investigation.

The Chief of Police will notify the subject officer(s) about your complaint; however, your identity as the complainant will not be provided to the subject officer(s).


Investigations are conducted by university investigators. 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

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 Chancellor and 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 typically are confidential and will not be shared with complainants. However, the Chief meets with the PAB regularly to report on steps the UCMPD has taken to address PAB concerns. The PAB documents the UCMPD's actions in our annual report.


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.

We make every effort to keep your identity confidential by not sharing the name of the complaining party with the subject officer and by having the university redact names and background information from investigation reports. However, in order to provide appropriate notice to the accused officer and to conduct a thorough investigation of the alleged events, we will need to share detailed information about the events, including the identity of anyone allegedly affected by the officer's actions. The officer may infer that the individual affected by their action was the same person who filed the complaint. In any case, individuals who file a complaint are always protected from retaliation by both state law and university policy.

If you decide filing an anonymous complaint is right for you, you may file online via the systemwide UC Police Department Complaint Form. Please include:

  • A detailed narrative of the events and description of the alleged misconduct.
  • Time, date and location of the incident.
  • Names and badge numbers of officers (if known).
  • Names and phone numbers of witnesses (if known).
  • Any documents related to the incident, such as photographs, citations and hospital records.