What is Serious Misconduct?
This is the definition of Serious Misconduct as defined by the Commission.
- Dishonesty relating to the reporting, investigation, or prosecution of a crime, or relating to the reporting of, or investigation of misconduct by, a peace officer.
- Abuse of power, including, but not limited to, intimidating witnesses, knowingly obtaining a false confession, and knowingly making a false arrest.
- Physical abuse, including, but not limited to, the excessive or unreasonable use of force.
- Sexual assault as described in subdivision (b) of Penal Code §832.7, and shall extend to acts committed amongst members of any law enforcement agency.
- Demonstrating bias on the basis of actual or perceived race, national origin, religion, gender identity or expression, housing status, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or other protected status in violation of law or department policy or inconsistent with a peace officer's obligation to carry out their duties in a fair and unbiased manner.
- Acts that violate the law and are sufficiently egregious or repeated as to be inconsistent with a peace officer's obligation to uphold the law or respect the rights of members of the public.
- Participation in a law enforcement gang.
- Failure to cooperate with an investigation into potential police misconduct.
- Failure to intercede when present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is necessary, as determined by an objectively reasonable officer under the circumstances.
Refer to POST Commission Regulation 1205 for the complete definition of “serious misconduct.”
Certification Actions List
The commission shall publish the names of any peace officer whose certification is suspended or revoked and the basis for the suspension or revocation.
The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) shall accept complaints from members of the public against a California peace officer who is appointed pursuant to Penal Code Section 830.1, 830.2 with the exception of subdivision (d), 830.3, 830.32, or 830.33. Complaints received from the public will be forwarded to the employing agency for investigation and disposition. Each law enforcement agency in California is required by Penal Code section 832.5 to establish a procedure to investigate complaints. You can obtain a written description of the procedures from the law enforcement agency.
POST can only conduct investigations into allegations of serious misconduct that could lead to the decertification of a peace officer in California. POST does not have the authority to conduct criminal investigations or administrative investigations which may lead to agency discipline.
If you choose to file a complaint with POST, it is important you provide as much information as possible so the complaint can be properly addressed.
If you are alleging a California peace officer committed a crime and your complaint is not resolved by the agency, you should contact the district attorney in the county where the law enforcement agency is located or the California Department of Justice.
The Peace Officer Standards and Accountability Advisory Board is required to report annually on the activities of the division, board, and commission, relating to the certification program, including the number of applications for certification, the events reported, the number of investigations conducted, and the number of certificates surrendered or revoked. The first reports published by the board will be in 2024.
All reports can be found in the Data Warehouse.
Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board
The Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board has 9 appointed members. The board meets publicly to review the findings after an investigation made by the division and to make a recommendation to the commission. The commission is required to review the recommendation made by the board based on whether there is evidence that reasonably supports the board’s conclusion that misconduct has been established. If action is to be taken against an officer's certification, the determination is returned to the division to commence formal proceedings consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.