Civilian Complaint Procedure

You have the right to make a complaint against a police officer for any improper police conduct. California law requires this agency to have a procedure to investigate civilian complaints. You have a right to a written description of the procedure. This page details that procedure. 

About Civilian Complaints

This agency 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 this agency for at least five years.

Civilian Complaint Investigative Procedure

To thoroughly address your concerns, please include the following information in your complaint:

  • Date, time and location of the incident.
  • The officer’s name, badge number, and license plate number (if available).
  • The names of any possible witnesses and phone numbers.
  • Any other items which may be relevant such as copies of citations, photographs, etc.
  • Details of the incident.

ABC has created a complaint form to assist you in providing a thorough complaint. This form is available on the Department’s website and is identified as the Civilian Complaint Against Peace Officer form (ABC- 91). While it is not necessary to submit an ABC-91 when filing a complaint, it is recommended.

Methods of filing a complaint:

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control 
Professional Standards Unit
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834

Complaints of misconduct will be thoroughly and objectively investigated by a trained investigator. The Department makes every effort to complete civilian complaint investigations within sixty (60) days. However, not all investigations can be completed within this time frame.

After completion of the investigation, a final determination will be made by the Director based on each alleged act of misconduct. You will be notified by letter at the conclusion of the investigation. When complaints are found to be sustained, the Director determines and administers appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action.

A completed investigation may be re – opened if new witnesses o r evidence is discovered that bears on the truth of the alleged misconduct, and/or evidence are presented which tends to suggest malfeasance or nonfeasance on the part of the Department in conducting the investigation. Pursuant to California Penal Code Sections 832.7 and 832.8, peace officer personnel records, including civilian complaint investigations, are confidential.


Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Professional Standards Unit
Phone: (916) 419-2500