I have heard many people say that there are issues with the IAD process and oral interviews. Most are not aware that the ability to conduct oral interviews is in Chapter 143 of the Local Government code and has been in our contract since the first one in 1998.
Acevedo was the first chief to use the interview technique which he brought with him from Austin. We spoke with Chief Finner several times regarding the issues with the oral interviews and their effects on the morale of the department. He met with us and agreed that not all cases should be oral interviews, and immediately changed the policy.
Now, oral interviews will be reserved for serious infractions that could be considered criminal, such as use of force or anything sexual in nature. This all being said, I believe it is important to remind everyone the process of how to handle IAD complaints that are requesting written responses.
Consider this a little refresher on how to properly complete your IAD packet.
As soon as you are served with the packet from IAD it is imperative that you get that information over to HPOU Legal as soon as possible. You need to provide everything, including all paper copies, flash drives and/or DVDs. Getting this information over to the Union should be your priority as it takes time for our attorneys to go through the information provided. They review everything IAD provides, a process that’s time-consuming, especially when there is BWC footage to watch.
After you drop everything off and a file is created, you will need to review your entire IAD packet, including watching your BWC footage. Once you have reviewed everything, you will need to answer your questions to the best of your ability, in paragraph form, NO CAPS, in the proper format.
HPOU Legal will provide a flash drive with the proper format if you were not given one by IAD. Many of you may not know this, but you are able to work on your IAD complaint on duty.
Let your supervisor know you have been served and will need time to work on your letter. Once you have completed your draft, you may email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, please remember that you are not their only client. With roughly 270 external and 800-plus internal complaints a year, our attorneys are extremely busy. They also work on arbitrations, criminal cases, lawsuits and call-outs.
Our attorneys often work late and take files home to ensure our members are properly protected. But understand that they can only work with the information they are given. If you wait until the last minute, it will be harder for our staff to provide the time needed to properly handle your complaint.
The HPOU has the best legal staff in the state of Texas, and I say that because I work with other union attorneys across the state. Believe me, no one can come close to what we have. Our staff works hard for the members and the organization.