What is the function of the Professional Standards Unit?
The Professional Standards Unit is responsible for receiving, processing, supervising and controlling investigations that involve allegations of criminal conduct and acts of misconduct involving members of the Westminster Police Department.
The Westminster Police Department takes pride in being a highly professional police organization. The Professional Standards Unit of the Westminster Police Department will preserve this pride and the public's trust and confidence by conducting thorough and impartial investigations of alleged employee misconduct, providing proactive measures to prevent such misconduct, and by maintaining the highest standards of fairness and respect towards our citizens and employees. The Professional Standards Unit ensures that allegations made against members of the Westminster Police Department are thoroughly and objectively investigated.
The Professional Standards Unit maintains a comprehensive index of all complaints received against all members.
The Professional Standards Unit has the responsibility to investigate:
Any allegation of criminal conduct involving any member of the department.
Any allegation of misconduct involving any member of the department.
Allegations of unnecessary or excessive force used by a member of the department during the performance of their duty.
To whom does the Professional Standards Unit report?
We report directly to the Executive Command Staff of the department, which includes the Chief of Police.
How does one file a complaint?
Complaints will be accepted in person, by telephone or by letter. It is preferred that the complaint be made in person by the individual who is directly involved in the allegation against the Westminster Police Department employee.
Any Supervisor of the Department may accept a complaint.
Upon receiving the complaint, it will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Unit.
When the Professional Standards Unit receives a complaint, either the Professional Standards Unit will investigate, or it will be forwarded to the appropriate Supervisor for an investigation.
How are complaints investigated?
If the complaint is of a serious nature or the complaint alleges that a member of the department has committed a crime, the Professional Standards Unit will conduct the investigation. If the complaint alleges minor violations of departmental policies and/or procedures, or the complaint alleges acts of discourtesy, the complaint will be forwarded through the chain of command to the member's immediate supervisor for an investigation.
Do any other agencies investigate complaints made against Department members?
Yes. Depending upon the situation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Orange County DA's Office may conduct a review of any complaint that alleges that a crime was committed. Further, if a violation of Federal law is alleged, a referral may be made to the appropriate Federal Agency.
What rights do Police Officers have during an investigation?
Police Officers are protected by the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights and their labor contract. Internal investigations remain confidential until they are concluded. By law, no person involved in the investigation, to include the complainant, witnesses, investigated members, or the Investigators may disclose any information regarding the investigation until it is concluded.
Is there any risk in making a complaint against a member of the Westminster Police Department?
No. But if a person deliberately makes a false complaint and statement against a member, that person may be criminally prosecuted or held civilly liable.
What happens when the investigation is concluded?
The complainant and the Department member will be notified that the case is concluded and what the finding was. The case files will not be released. They will be maintained confidentially unless a judge orders disclosure(s).
How do I contact the Professional Standards Unit?
Commander Timothy Vu and Sergeant Darrick Vincent are assigned to the Professional Standards Unit and can be reached by telephone at (714) 548-3725 or (714) 548-3849 or you can send an email to PSU@westminster-ca.gov.
Download a Complaint Form If you speak and write another language, please use a trusted translator to help you complete this form in English.
The Westminster Police Department takes pride in being a highly professional police organization. The Professional Standards Unit of the Westminster Police Department will preserve this pride and the public's trust and confidence by conducting thorough and impartial investigations of alleged employee misconduct, providing proactive measures to prevent such misconduct, and by maintaining the highest standards of fairness and respect towards our citizens and employees.