Citizen Commendation / Complaint Procedures

A police department’s integrity is integral to maintaining a trusting relationship with the community it serves. Integrity is established, in part, through aggressive investigation of both internal and external complaints against its members. The department also recognizes the need of member’s to be offered administrative due process should they come under investigative review.

Internal Affairs

The Port of Galveston Police Department is dedicated to providing the best police service possible to all citizens. Employees are carefully selected and trained to provide service to the community. This web page gives an overview of the ways to commend exemplary performance or file a complaint against a Police Department employee. 


 If you see a Police Department employee exhibit outstanding behavior, tell the employee, or us, about it. Following are suggestions for commending an employee.

How to commend a Police Department employee:

  • Write a letter to the employee's Sergeant, Lieutenant, or the Police Chief at:
     Port of Galveston Police Department
     2803 Wharf Rd.
     Galveston, TX 77550 
  • Commendation letters are logged and placed in the employee's permanent personnel file 
  • Call the Police Department Chief's Office at 409-766-6109 and ask to speak with the employee's supervisor 
  • If you are unsure of the employee's name, describe the employee and list the specific actions or demeanor that impressed you. Mention the location, date and time the incident occurred. 


When a citizen has a complaint against a Police Department employee (commissioned or civilian), the complaint is directed to the department's Internal Affairs Office, located at the Port of Galveston Police Department, 2803 Wharf Rd. in Galveston, Texas, 409-766-6109. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If the office is closed, you may still file a complaint with any Police Department supervisor, who will then forward your report. Complaint forms are available in the Police Department front lobby or online below.

Texas law (Local Govt. Code 614.022) requires that all complaints against police officers be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. Complaints must be made within 30 days of the incident unless special circumstances exist. The person who was wronged must file the complaint; other persons may give statements as witnesses.  Official complaint statements will be notarized under oath at the police department.  

Officers utilize in-car and body camera's to record citizen contacts.  In-car camera recordings are kept for 90 days.  Body camera recordings are kept for 90 days. If a complaint is not filed in a timely manner, the department investigation will be hindered if the video of your contact is no longer available. Complaints must be timely for a proper investigation to occur.  
Internal Affairs investigators will ensure that a thorough investigation of your complaint is conducted. Just as citizens who are arrested must be told the charges against them, a police employee must be given a copy of the complaint before any disciplinary action is taken. When the investigation is completed, you will be notified of the results and action taken.

Notice:  If you are complaining about receiving a citation then your recourse is to have a trail in front of a judge.  The police department cannot dismiss a citation.

False complaints. 

Filing a false complaint against a police employee is a violation of the Texas Penal Code, Section 37.02. If a person knowingly and intentionally makes a false statement under oath, or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made under oath, a person may be found guilty and punished by a fine up to $4,000, confinement in jail up to one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.

What happens when a complaint is upheld? 

 When the investigation finds that the charges against a police employee are true, the Police Chief notifies the employee and may take one of the following actions:

  1. Reprimand the employee verbally or in writing 
  2. Suspend the employee without pay 
  3. Demote the employee 
  4. Discharge the employee 

Employees can appeal the department's decision to uphold a complaint and the decision to discipline the employee.

What happens when a complaint is not upheld? 

Complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. When the investigation cannot find the degree of evidence necessary to prove the employee acted improperly, the employee and the citizen are both notified in writing.

What if you are not satisfied with the outcome? 

You may appeal the findings of Internal Affairs or supervisory investigations in writing to:

 The Office of the Police Chief
 Port of Galveston Police Department
 2803 Wharf Rd.
Galveston, TX 77550

Racial Profiling Complaints 

Officers are prohibited from engaging in bias based profiling or stopping, detaining, searching, arresting, or taking any enforcement action including seizure or forfeiture activities, against any person based solely on the person’s race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, cultural group, or any other identifiable group. These characteristics, however, may form part of reasonable suspicion or probable cause when officers are seeking a suspect with one or more of these attributes.

 If you feel you are victim of Racial Profiling, please contact the Port of Galveston Police Department at (409) 766-6109, to file a complaint or complete the complaint form found below.

Complaint forms may be submitted in person at the Port of Galveston Police Department or emailed to: