Sheriffs Office: Internal Affairs Division
Tarrant County Sheriff's Office
Tarrant County Sheriff's Office
 
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Arlington Heights
 
Criminal Investigations Division

Internal Affairs Division

The mission of the Internal Affairs Division is to assist the Sheriff’s Administration in maintaining the public trust by conducting administrative investigations of officer involved critical incidents and complaints received on all employees of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.

Critical incidents include officer-involved shootings, pursuits resulting in serious injury, or any incident resulting in serious injury or death of a person, regardless of any allegations of misconduct.

In addition, all complaints of misconduct, whether received from citizens or Department employees, are investigated in accordance with Sheriff’s Civil Service Rules. 

All complaints are evaluated to determine the severity of the complaint and the possible impact on the employee in question.  Complaints fall into one of three categories, called Levels.   Generally, the Internal Affairs Division will investigate all Level III complaints; while Levels I and II are referred to supervisors for investigation as they do not carry the possibility of loss of time, money, or employment. 

Level III investigations are conducted by the Internal Affairs Division and are reviewed by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.   Level III disciplinary action consists of suspension without pay, demotion, or termination.

Types of Disciplinary Actions

  • COUNSELING STATEMENT.  A Counseling Statement is the least severe form of disciplinary action which is designed to advise the employee of the problem which has resulted in unsatisfactory behavior or performance.  The statement is given to the employee, but not placed in their employee’s personnel file.
  • FIRST LEVEL DISCIPLINE LETTER. A First Level Discipline Action is the first formal step in progressive discipline. This level deals with continuation of minor offenses, when verbal reprimands and counseling statements do not result in the correction of the problem by the employee.  Employee may appeal.  The finalized action, with any appeals, is placed in the employee’s personnel file.
  • SECOND LEVEL DISCIPLINE. A Second Level Discipline deals with serious offenses or continuation of minor offenses that were not corrected in the first level of discipline.  Employee may appeal.  The finalized action, with any appeals, is placed in the employee’s personnel file.
  • THIRD LEVEL DISCIPLINE. Third Level Discipline deals with major offenses or a continuation of serious offenses that were not corrected in the first or second level of progressive discipline.  Employee may appeal.  The finalized action, with any appeals, is placed in the employee’s personnel file.

As a matter of policy, the Internal Affairs Division does not investigate complaints concerning traffic violations or criminal charges when a person’s guilt or innocence is the issue in question.

Additionally, Internal Affairs does not normally investigate unsigned complaints, third party complaints, anonymous complaints, or complaints of improper actions (whether administrative or criminal) by employees of other law enforcement agencies.

Most complaints come from Sheriff’s Department Personnel.  In addition to Internal Affairs personnel, all Sheriff’s Department supervisors are responsible for taking appropriate action when they become aware of a citizen’s complaint reference employee misconduct.

Department supervisors initiate approximately 95% of all disciplinary investigations conducted by Internal Affairs.

Such pro-active personnel management on the part of supervision greatly contributes to the high standard of conduct exhibited by the vast majority of the Sheriff’s employees, as well as the minimal percentage of citizen complaints. Furthermore, due to the minimal number of complaints alleging severe employee misconduct, a cost-effective Internal Affairs staff of four personnel currently accomplishes all designated duties and responsibilities for a department consisting of more than 1300 personnel.

To file a complaint you can visit the Internal Affairs Division office is located on the seventh floor of 200 Taylor, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. You may contact the Internal Affairs Division reference apparent misconduct by a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department employee in person, or by calling (817) 884-1108. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding County holidays). After office hours, a message and return phone number may be left via voice mail and the call will be returned the following business day.

The Internal Affairs Division will investigate any calls that appear to be Level III.  The result of these investigations may result in severe disciplinary action, up to loss of employment, or possible criminal investigation.  Because of the severe consequences of sustained Third Level Complaints you must come to the Sheriff’s Office to complete and sign a formal complaint form.

The complaint process generally takes the Department sixty (60) calendar days in which to complete the investigation and for the Board of Disciplinary Review to determine what discipline shall be recommended and/or imposed.

Complaints Opened in 2013

 
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Total
January 34 11 10 55
February 45 12 22 79
March 51 9 8 68
April 39 16 16 71
May 37 8 16
61
June 18 7 1
26
July 11 7 10
28
August 18 14 8
40
September 14 6 14
34
October 17 9 6
32
November 14 11 14
39
December 12 5 7
24
Total 310 115 132 557

Complaints Opened in 2012

 
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Total
January 19 13 10 42
February 12 7 17 36
March 19 3 14 36
April 10 10 19 39
May 9 6 15
30
June 7 5 6
18
July 11 5 6
22
August 15 4 12
31
September 7 7 18
32
October 28 11 15
54
November 32 8 9
49
December 17 5 18
40
Total 186 84 159 429

Complaints Opened in 2011

 
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Total
January 16 6 8 30
February 16 7 6 29
March 12 4 6 22
April 10 5 3 18
May 6 6 10
22
June 10 9 17
36
July 8 8 6
22
August 14 4 17
35
September 15 7 14
36
October 4 8 13
25
November 10 6 13
29
December 15 4 13
32
Total 136 74 126 336

Complaints Opened in 2010

 
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Total
January 33 4 8 45
February 15 5 9 29
March 4 3 7 14
April 14 3 10 27
May 23 7 9
39
June 19 6 10
35
July 12 3 13
28
August 15 5 14
34
September 12 1 14
27
October 18 6 9
33
November 9 4 15
28
December 5 4 8
17
Total 179 51 126 356

 
Complaints Opened in 2009
 
 
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Total
January 9 2 15 26
February 6 6 9 21
March 11 14 11 36
April 5 6 8 19
May 12 4 7
23
June 8 11 13
32
July 12 1 8
21
August 6 4 12
22
September 12 3 7
22
October 24 4 10
38
November 8 3 16
27
December 19 6 7
32
Total 132 64 123 319


Content Last Modified on 1/8/2014 8:29:16 AM





Tarrant County Sheriffs Office
200 Taylor, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 884-3099

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