Professional Standards Unit

General Information

The Professional Standards Unit (PSU) goal is to inspect, audit and investigate Sheriff’s Office operations to ensure they meet community expectations and the highest professional and industry standards related to law enforcement, detentions, and criminal justice agencies.  Toward that end, the PSU conducts scheduled unit inspections, reviews critical incidents and investigates reports of wrong doing, and substandard performance. 

The PSU conducts timely, thorough and objective investigations of all complaints.  All investigations will stand a test of fairness and all members of the Sheriff’s Office will be treated fairly and with dignity regardless of rank and or position.

Anyone may file a complaint against a member of the Sheriff’s Office. Complaints will be accepted in person, by phone, in writing, mail, or e-mail.  A PSU investigator will meet with the complainant in order to obtain any additional information available.   The investigator will also make themselves available to the complainant to explain the investigation process or provide clarification.   The complainant will be provided a copy of their complaint and answers to any question they may have.

Sheriff’s Office Policy & Procedure details / defines the dispositions available for complaints filed.  They are:

  • Sustained:  The allegation is substantiated.  The misconduct did occur and disciplinary action will be taken.
  • Sustained with no penalty:  The allegation is substantiated.  The misconduct did occur and corrective action will be taken.  
  • Not-sustained: The allegation is not substantiated.  There is not sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Unfounded: The allegation is false or not factual.  There was no misconduct.  The incident did not occur or involve the accused employee.
  • Exonerated: The incident occurred but the accused employee acted lawfully and properly.

All Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures governing the investigative and review processes are hyperlinked below.  They are made available to the citizens of El Paso County in the spirit of transparency and to ensure our accountability to the citizens we serve.

Justice Department Funding and Non-Discrimination

Federal law prohibits recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating against individuals or groups, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. In addition, federal law prohibits recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating on the basis of age in the delivery of services or benefits. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office policy also prohibit discrimination. If you believe you have been the target of discrimination, in addition to following the complaint procedures for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, you may also choose to file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights by following the instructions in the link below.

Filing a Civil Rights Complaint

External Complaints

Of the 95 complaints received in 2014, 11 (11.5%) were external complaints.  The resolution/findings on those complaints were as follows:


Sustained: 1 9%
Sustained No Penalty: 3 27%
Not-Sustained: 1 9%
Unfounded: 1 9%
Exonerated: 3 18%
Other / No Finding: 2


Internal / External Complaints Combined

The resolution/findings on those complaints were as follows:


Sustained: 44 46%
Sustained No Penalty: 21 22%
Not-Sustained: 6 9%
Unfounded: 2 2%
Exonerated: 6 6%
Other / No Finding: 16