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File a Complaint

Police Department Complaint

The Police Department understands that a relationship of confidence and trust with the public is essential to effective community policing.

Officers are trained to exercise their best judgment while initiating law enforcement action in a reasonable, lawful and impartial manner, without fear of reprisal. Yet, enforcers of the law also have an all-encompassing obligation to respect the rights of all persons.

To maintain trust and confidence, the Police Department understands its responsibility to establish a system by which community members can report police officer conduct and behavior that is of concern. Further, the Police Department encourages the community to use this system to provide constructive criticism or a complaint about the department, its members and/or its policy and procedures.

If you feel you have information about misconduct by any member of the Police Department, please file a complaint. A complaint may be made at any time to any member of the department, but this system has been set up to make the process easier and more accessible.

The process

  • Fill out and submit complaint information. To encourage the best outcome, please provide as much information as possible.
  • The complaint will be processed in a timely, professional manner.
  • The Chief of Police or designee will notify you of the outcome of your complaint within 30 days as is required by the California Penal Code, Section 832.7((e)(1)).

Statement of Acknowledgement

You have the right to make a complaint against a police officer for any improper police conduct. California law required the City of Carlsbad Police Department to have a procedure to investigate civilians’ complaints. You have a right to a written description of this procedure. The Police Department may find after investigation that there is not enough evidence to warrant action on your complaint; even if that is the case, you have the right to make the complaint and have it investigated if you believe an officer behaved improperly. Civilian complaints and any reports or findings relating to complaints must be retained by the Police Department for at least five years.

It is against the law to make a compliant that you know to be false. If you make a complaint against an officer knowing that it is false, you can be prosecuted on a misdemeanor charge. (CA Penal Code 148.6)

Here are two ways to file your complaint

Download and fill in the Personnel Complaint Form, and either:

  • Return it by email at police@carlsbadca.gov
  • Return it in person or by mail to Carlsbad Police Department, 2560 Orion Way, Carlsbad CA 92010

Or, click on the email link police@carlsbadca.gov and share with us the following information

  • Your name, address, city, state, zip, phone number and email address.
  • Let us know if this complaint alleges racial or identity profiling and how. (Race, nationality, gender, age, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, mental disability or physical disability)
  • Date, time, location and names of those involved in the incident.
  • Details of the incident. Please tell us in as much detail as possible what occurred.

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us and share your concerns.