Police Accountability Board (PAB) Bylaws and Procedures

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The Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, having established a University of California, Berkeley, Police Accountability Board (PAB) (“the Board”) to administer citizen complaints against the sworn members of the University of California, Berkeley, Police Department (UCPD, hereby promulgates the following revised bylaws (section 1) and procedures (sections 2, 3, 4) to govern the operation of the Board, effective as of 1 November, 2023.

The Board shall receive and process complaints in accordance with these procedures and shall advise and make recommendations concerning its findings, through the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) to the UCPD Chief. These procedures shall also govern the Board in its audit and public reporting roles.

After consultation with the PAB, these bylaws and procedures and any amendments or supplements thereto may be amended, altered, supplemented or repealed by the Chancellor or designee.


1.1. Definitions

The following definitions shall apply in these procedures:

  1. Complaint: An allegation by a UCB student, faculty or staff member or a member of the general public of improper conduct against a sworn officer of the UCPD while engaged in assigned police functions. Internal complaints filed by UCPD personnel against other UCPD personnel are not under the jurisdiction of the PAB.
  2. Improper Conduct: Conduct that violates established practice, standards of professional behavior, departmental rules, guidelines or directives.
  3. Aggrieved Person: Any person, other than a member of the UCPD, directly affected by the alleged improper police conduct.
  4. Complainant: The Aggrieved Person filing the Complaint.
  5. UCPD Member: A sworn officer of the UCPD. (Other non-sworn UCPD employees' alleged improper conduct shall be investigated separately under UCPD's internal procedures.)
  6. Subject Officer: A sworn officer of the UCPD (Berkeley Campus) against whom a complaint is filed.
  7. Board: The University of California, Berkeley, Police Accountability Board. 
  8. Investigator: An investigator in OPHD or an external investigator with the requisite training and experience. 

1.2. PAB Composition & Terms

PAB members and alternates must: 

  1. commit the necessary time throughout the year for PAB training and meetings; 
  2. prepare and read the appropriate materials in connection with making recommendations; and 
  3. maintain ethical standards, including confidentiality (see section I.3.6).  

Other than mandatory quarterly meetings, alternates need not attend meetings or review investigation materials if the PAB member will be in attendance. In order to ensure independence, no member or alternate of the PAB can be a current or former UC Police Department employee, or a current employee of the Office of Legal Affairs, Office for Ethics, Risk and Compliance or the VCA immediate office.

1.2.1. Composition

The Board will be composed of five members and five alternates, selected and appointed by the Chancellor’s Office from a slate of nominations, as follows:

  1. Four students, including two undergraduates (nominated by the ASUC president) and two graduate students (nominated by the Graduate Assembly president); 
  2. Two faculty members (nominated by the Vice Provost for the Faculty in consultation with Academic Senate).
  3. Two members of the campus staff (nominated by the Chief People & Culture Officer / Associate Vice Chancellor - Human Resources in consultation with the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee).
  4. Two members of the community bordering the Berkeley campus. Such members shall be selected by the Chancellor’s Office from candidates nominated by relevant community organizations. In selecting a community member of the Board, the Chancellor’s Office should ordinarily give preference to community members who have demonstrated connection to, and respect for, the values of the University community.

The PAB shall elect one (1) of its members as the Chairperson and one (1) as the Vice-Chairperson (who shall preside only in the Chairperson’s absence).  Officers shall be elected annually and hold office for one (1) year terms.  Officers may be reelected to serve consecutive terms.

PAB members and alternates are not compensated for service on the Board.

1.2.2. Terms

All members will initially be selected by the Chancellor’s Office for two-year terms. The Chancellor’s Office may reappoint members for one or two year terms at their discretion. In making appointments, the Chancellor’s Office shall aim to ensure that there will be significant year-to-year continuity in the Board's membership. To the extent possible, after the first year of the term, members will become alternates and alternates will become members, thereby allowing full participation on the PAB during the two-year term. 

1.2.3. Recusal

PAB members must recuse themselves from a matter when (1) an actual conflict of interest exists; (2) there is an appearance of impropriety; or (3) a member is concerned with whether they can participate objectively and in an unbiased manner. Each PAB member and alternate shall execute a recusal agreement

1.2.4. Attendance, Quorum, Voting

Members and alternates are expected to attend PAB meetings. Absence from three (3) consecutive regular or special meetings (not including recusals) is cause for removal of a PAB member or alternate. Any breach of the PAB’s Code of Ethics will be cause for review.  The Chancellor or designee may remove a PAB member or alternate for cause, including transgressions of policy, confidentiality, or ethical standards. 

The presence of five (5) members, including alternates, constitutes a meeting quorum. Every effort will be made to schedule meetings at times when at least one member or alternate from each constituency (undergrad, grad, faculty, staff, community representative) is able to attend.  Decisions of the PAB shall be made by vote of a majority of the members in attendance provided that a quorum exists. Unless needed to constitute quorum, alternates will only participate and vote in meetings when the PAB member representing their entity is absent.

The PAB Administrative Consultant, appointed by the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, will attend PAB meetings and assist with agenda preparation and meeting notes. As with PAB members, the Consultant shall execute a confidentiality agreement (see section 1.2.6).

1.2.5. Training

All members of PAB shall receive regular exposure to relevant policies and practices, which may include briefings on complaint procedures, briefings on policies governing police civilian contacts, the use of force, and crowd control, and observation of UCPD officers at work. PAB members and alternates shall receive training developed in partnership with OPHD, UCPD, E&I, Legal Affairs and other relevant units and external experts regarding police procedures, relevant legal issues, impartiality, the confidential nature of police misconduct investigations and discipline, and the civilian oversight field.  

1.2.6. Confidentiality 

All information provided to or generated by PAB relative to individual officers is considered strictly confidential under University policies and state law. No PAB member or alternate shall make public comment on pending complaints or disclose any confidential matters pertaining to a complaint or performance issues at any time. Each member and alternate shall execute a confidentiality agreement

The investigation reports prepared according to the requirements of this policy constitute records generated in connection with an administrative appraisal or discipline. As such, these records are confidential and may not be disclosed except by discovery pursuant to Sections 1043 and 1046 of the Evidence Code. The information presented to the PAB shall be limited to the redacted investigation report summaries as provided in this policy. The investigation report summaries are also confidential. Violating the confidentiality agreement is a potential violation of the law and cause for dismissal from the PAB.

1.2.7. Ethics

The PAB will adopt and agree to a Code of Ethics, modeled on the Code of Ethics developed by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).

1.3. PAB Powers and Duties

The PAB will:

  • Review all investigation reports submitted regarding complaints made by members of campus community and the general public against sworn UCPD officers. Investigation reports are to be read in conjunction with relevant UCPD policies and procedures.  
  • Review and deliberate in closed session, consistent with applicable law, to protect the confidential nature of the complaints and investigation reports.
  • Submit advisory recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding the findings of investigation reports.  The Chief of Police, however, retains full and final authority, discretion, and responsibility regarding the ultimate disposition of the matter, including disciplinary determinations and whether to accept, reject or modify the PAB’s recommendations. 
  • Issue an annual, public report (see Section IV), in the interests of transparency and accountability, and in conformity with Penal Code section 832.7. The report shall detail summary information and statistical data regarding the number of complaints filed, the type of complaints filed, analysis of trends or patterns, the ultimate disposition of the complaints (sustained, not sustained, exonerated or unfounded) and the percentage of complaints in which the recommendations of the PAB were either accepted, rejected or modified by the Chief of Police.

The PAB may also solicit progress reports from the Chief of Police regarding policy and training recommendations.  


All citizen complaints against sworn members of the UCPD shall be processed under these procedures in accordance with the definitions and provisions thereof: no other campus review mechanisms or grievance procedures shall be applicable. 

2.1. Initiation of Complaints

Complaints may be made by an Aggrieved Person through the following methods (see this webpage for more detail): 

  • Accessing and submitting a complaint form online at the PAB website (link);
  • Downloading, filling out, and e-mailing a completed complaint form to pabcomplaint@berkeley.edu;
  • Calling or emailing OPHD to schedule an intake appointment; or
  • Submitting a complaint form to UCPD.

Anonymous complaints will be accepted, and may be investigated depending upon the sufficiency of the information provided.  Anonymous complaints should provide as much detail as possible in order to enable appropriate review and investigation.

The prompt filing of complaints is strongly encouraged, as it provides the best opportunity for thorough and timely investigation.  Complaints shall be filed in writing no later than one hundred and eighty (180) days following the date of the alleged misconduct or infraction, except that the filing period shall be tolled (extended) when a complainant is incapacitated and unable to file. Complaints of SVSH (sexual violence and sexual harassment, as defined by UC policy) against a sworn law enforcement officer may be filed at any time.

2.2. Recording of Complaints and Informing Interested Parties

Any complaint received by UCPD or PAB will be shared with OPHD for review and processing within two (2) business days.  Any complaint received by OPHD will be shared with UCPD also within two (2) business days.  If, through the intake process (or subsequently during the investigation) additional allegations surface that were not contained in the original complaint but relate to the original complaint, the additional allegations being investigated will be forwarded to UCPD for reporting per applicable California law.

At least monthly, OPHD will report to the PAB on any complaints that have been received since the previous month.

2.3. Early Resolution

At the time of filing a complaint in person with UCPD, when an uninvolved supervisor determines that the complainant, after discussion of the matter, is satisfied that their complaint required nothing more than an explanation regarding the proper implementation of department policy, procedure or law, the complaint shall be labeled “Resolved” and forwarded to OPHD within two (2) business days. OPHD will follow-up with the complainant to confirm that they are satisfied with the early resolution. 

2.4. Intake Process, Initial Determination, and Information Gathering

All complaints made by members of the public will be logged by the OPHD intake team.  A confidential file will be established for each complaint received and access restricted to OPHD and UCPD as needed.  These files will be stored in a secure location and maintained for at least five (5) years where there was not a sustained finding of misconduct and at least fifteen (15) years where there was a sustained finding of misconduct.  OPHD will evaluate each complaint for information necessary to conduct an investigation and proceed as follows:

If additional information is needed, OPHD will request additional information from the complainant to the extent that the identity of the complainant is known.  If the complainant is anonymous and there is insufficient information to warrant conducting an investigation, OPHD will close the file and no investigation shall be conducted.

If OPHD determines that the complaint is untimely, there is insufficient information to conduct an investigation, the allegations themselves demonstrate on their face that the acts complained of were proper, or the nature of the complaint is not suitable for investigation and review by the PAB, OPHD will notify the complainant, the Chief of Police and the PAB of the disposition in writing citing the specific reasons for the determining that the complaint will not be investigated. 

If OPHD determines there is sufficient information and cause to investigate, they will assign the complaint to an investigator to initiate an investigation and notify the complainant, the Chief of Police or designee and the PAB in writing of the complaint’s referral to investigation. 

2.5. Investigation

Whether conducted by OPHD or an outside investigator selected by OPHD, the following procedures shall govern the investigation process, which include complying with the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights (POBR) at Government Code section 3300 et seq.  To the extent that there is any inconsistency between these Procedures and POBR, POBR controls.  A current copy of the POBR can be found at this link

  1. The Chief of Police or designee will be the investigator’s point of contact for purposes of gaining access to UCPD information, documentation, and personnel.  In this role, the Chief or designee will ensure necessary access to officers, information, and documentation needed to conduct a thorough and timely investigation.  The investigator will have access to any and all UCPD information the investigator deems relevant to the complaint, including access to the UCPD’s internal and electronic files.
  2. The investigation of a complaint shall consist of conducting interviews with the complainant, the subject officer(s), and any witnesses, collecting relevant evidence, including, but not limited to, UCPD reports and records, photographs, video, and audio records.  Interviews with subject officer(s) will be recorded, as will other interviews to the extent that the complainant and witnesses agree.  Subject officers may also record the interview and if he or she has been previously interviewed, a copy of that recorded interview shall be provided to him or her prior to any subsequent interview.  (Government Code section 3303(g)).
  3. Officers shall be provided with reasonable notice prior to being interviewed and interviews of accused peace officers shall be conducted during reasonable hours.  (Government Code section 3303(a)).
  4. If the peace officer is off duty, he or she will be compensated for the interview time.  (Government Code section 3303(a)).
  5. No more than two (2) interviewers may ask questions of an accused peace officer.  (Government Code section 3303(b)).
  6. Prior to any interview, the peace officer will be informed of the nature of the investigation.  (Government Code section 3303(c)).
  7. All interviews will be for a reasonable period and the peace officer’s personal needs will be accommodated during the interview.  (Government Code section 3303(d)).
  8. No peace officer shall be subjected to offensive or threatening language, nor shall any promises, rewards or other inducements be used to obtain answers. (Government Code § 3303(e)).
  9. Peace officers shall be informed of their constitutional rights irrespective of whether the subject officer may be charged with a criminal offense.  (Government Code § 3303(h))
  10. Peace officers subjected to interviews that could result in punitive action shall have the right to have an uninvolved representative present during the interview. (Government Code § 3303(i)).
  11. All peace officers shall provide complete and truthful responses to questions posed during interviews.  Failure to do so will result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
  12. No peace officer shall be compelled to submit to a polygraph examination, nor shall any refusal to submit to such examination be mentioned in any investigation.  (Government Code § 3307).
  13. Interviews should be conducted with minimal interference to police operations and in conformity with the POBR.  Any documentary evidence received during the investigation by the investigator will be included in the investigative file even if the investigator determines the document later to be irrelevant to the investigation.
  14. If there is pending criminal prosecution regarding the same operative facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint, the investigation will be stayed until criminal proceedings are concluded.
  15. If an investigation is stayed, all documents and information under UCPD’s control related to the incident in question will be preserved and maintained by the Chief of Police or designee during the pendency of the stay to ensure no evidence is destroyed.
  16. Barring mitigating factors, the investigation should be completed and an investigation report submitted to the PAB within one year of it being assigned to an investigator, unless an extension is authorized by OPHD upon a showing of good cause for the delay or legitimate need for additional time to complete the investigation.  OPHD will provide notification of the extension of time to the Chief of Police or designee and the complainant.
  17. All investigation reports of complaints made by members of the public shall be considered confidential peace officer personnel files.  The contents of such files shall not be revealed to other than involved employee or authorized personnel except pursuant to lawful process. 
  18. In the event that the alleged accused peace officer or representative knowingly makes a false representation regarding any investigation or discipline publicly, the UCPD may release factual information concerning the disciplinary investigation.  (Penal Code section 832.7(d)).
  19. Complaints and any report or finding relating to the complaint shall be retained for a period of at least five (5) years.  (Penal Code section 832.5(b)).


3.1. Investigation Report Format

The investigator shall provide a confidential report to the PAB that is redacted and does not identify the individuals involved.  The Chief of Police will receive an unredacted version of the investigation report.  Both reports will include: 

  1. An Introduction;
  2. A Summary of Allegations (including applicable policies);
  3. Evidence Regarding Each Allegation (including comprehensive summaries of interviews or statements and identification of relevant documentary and electronic evidence);
  4. Conclusions and Findings; and
  5. Exhibit Listing

3.2. Findings

The investigator’s report, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, should include one or more of the following findings in response to each of the allegations made by the complainant:

  • Unfounded – When the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did not occur or did not involve department personnel.  Complaints that are determined to be frivolous will be treated as unfounded (Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5 and Penal Code section 832.5(c)).
  • Exonerated - The evidence supports a finding that the alleged acts occurred; however, the conduct was justified, lawful or proper.
  • NotSustained - The evidence is insufficient to support a finding that the alleged conduct occurred or violated department policy or procedure.
  • Sustained – The evidence supports a finding that the alleged conduct occurred and that the conduct was improper (e.g., violated department policy or procedure).

The “preponderance of the evidence” standard is met when it appears more likely than not the allegations of misconduct occurred as described.

3.3. PAB Review

In closed session, the PAB (with both members and alternates in attendance) will collectively review the investigative report(s).  PAB members and those alternates in attendance whose corresponding PAB member is absent will vote on PAB recommendations to either adopt, amend, or reject the investigator’s findings.  Hard copies of reports or on-line access via a password protected website to the reports will be made available prior to the closed session. 

The PAB has the authority to direct the investigator to re-open the investigation to pursue additional information requested by the PAB. 

In addition to its recommendations with respect to whether the investigator’s findings are sustained,  the PAB may also recommend a wide spectrum of actions to the Chief of Police, including, for example, modifying policies or training.  The PAB, however, will not recommend a particular level of discipline or a specific corrective action, as the Chief of Police retains the responsibility of and discretion to impose discipline.  The PAB’s policy recommendations may result from issues related to a specific complaint investigation or from a general policy review and analysis.

The PAB’s recommendations regarding the investigative findings shall be in writing. The report shall, through OPHD, be forwarded to the Chief of Police within one (1) week after the PAB has voted in closed session. 

The PAB may also solicit progress reports from the Chief of Police regarding policy and training recommendations.

3.4. Role of the Chief and Recordkeeping

During the course of an investigation, and prior to making a final determination, the Chief of Police may ask for additional investigation.  Ultimately, the Chief may adopt all, part, or none of the PAB’s recommendations and retains full authority, discretion, and responsibility regarding the final disposition of the matter, including disciplinary determinations.  Within thirty (30) days of the final review and determination by the Chief of Police, written notice of the finding will be sent to the complaining party and to the PAB through OPHD.*  This notice shall indicate the findings, but will not disclose the amount of discipline, if any.  The complainant will also be provided with a copy of his or her original complaint if one has not already been provided.  Upon final determination, all information and documents related to the underlying complaint shall be consolidated and maintained by the UCPD.

*Note that Non-probationary employees have the right to appeal a written reprimand, suspension without pay, punitive transfer, demotion, reduction in pay or step, or termination from employment. The employee has the right to appeal using the procedures established by any collective bargaining agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, and/or personnel rules. In the event of punitive action against an employee covered by the POBR, the appeal process shall be in compliance with Government Code § 3304 and Government Code § 3304.5. During any administrative appeal, evidence that an officer has been placed on a Brady list or is otherwise subject to Brady restrictions may not be introduced unless the underlying allegations of misconduct have been independently established. Thereafter, such Brady evidence shall be limited to determining the appropriateness of the penalty (Government Code § 3305.5).


The complaint and PAB review processes are subject to annual audit, review and reporting.  The PAB will submit an audit and analysis of complaints directly to the UCPD Chief of Police each year.  The PAB’s annual public report will include the following information:

  • Total number of complaints filed; 
  • Types of complaints filed and analysis of trends or patterns;
  • Disposition of complaints (e.g., not investigated, sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded); 
  • Percentage of complaints in which the Chief of Police accepted, rejected or modified the PAB’s findings; and
  • Policy, procedure and training recommendations.

The PAB’s report shall be made available to members of the public at their request and shall be maintained online on the PAB website (https://chancellor.berkeley.edu/pab-data-and-reports).

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Issued 10 July 2023, revised 4 November 2023