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Filing a Complaint

Every person has the right to make a complaint against any employee of the Long Beach Police Department. A complaint can be made in person, by telephone, by mail, by email or by a person not directly involved in the incident. Complaints can also be made anonymously. The Commission adheres to all applicable laws and to its Policies and Procedures when processing and investigating allegations of misconduct by police personnel.

Who may file a complaint?

Anyone who feels that a police employee has violated your rights, or anyone who has witnessed possible misconduct by a member of the Long Beach Police Department can file a complaint. The CPCC is not authorized to conduct investigations of other agencies. Complaints against other law enforcement personnel will be documented and/or referred to the appropriate agency.

When to file a complaint

The Commission recommends filing a complaint soon after the incident occurs, however, complaints can be filed directly with the CPCC within one year of the date of the incident. The CPCC reviews all citizen complaints filed directly with the Long Beach Police Department. 

It is against the law to file a complaint that is known to be false. Citizens knowingly filing false complaints against an officer are subject to a civil lawsuit for monetary damages.

How to file a complaint

A formal complaint is required to initiate an investigation. A complainant can telephone (562) 570-6891, mail-in a complaint form, or come to the CPCC office located at 411 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, 90802. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Appointments are recommended, but not required. Mail-in complaint forms are also available in Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog

To expedite the processing and investigation of the complaint, the complainant is encouraged to provide as much information as possible regarding the allegations, including witness names, photos, recordings, and other physical evidence that is available. 

Third party complaints will be reviewed and investigated if sufficient information is available. All complaints remain on file for the statutory time period and can be considered when evaluating overall police-community relations.

What happens after filing a complaint?

The case is assigned to a CPCC investigator who reviews reports, interviews witnesses and conducts field investigations to collect information relevant to incidents and allegations of misconduct. The complaint and the investigative data is compiled as a brief and is submitted to the Commission for review. The Commission deliberates in Executive Session and renders a finding for each allegation. Complaints that lack sufficient data and witness cooperation can be closed by staff. 

The Commission’s findings are forwarded to the City Manager for final disposition. The complainant and police officer will be notified of the final disposition by mail.

When is a hearing conducted?

A hearing is a fact-finding forum regarding a specific allegation of misconduct. 

The Commission, by a majority vote, can elect to hold a hearing regarding a complaint. The Commission can subpoena the complaining parties, witnesses and police department records pertaining to the complaint. The Commission must follow specific procedures.