* Re "Balancing Rights of Residents, Police in Filing Complaints," Dec. 22.
Your editorial comment that "what's certain is that some criminals file false complaints in the hope that it may help their case by casting doubt on the officer's credibility" is probably only certain in the minds of the officers themselves. In fact, most criminals think twice before filing a personnel complaint against an officer and three times before filing a complaint with no basis at all.
The first factor stymieing even legitimate complaints by criminals is that by the jailhouse code of honor, many criminals consider filing a personnel complaint against a cop as a form of informing or snitching. They believe that if an officer is abusive, the proper way to remedy the matter is not to use the system but to retaliate against a really corrupt or brutal officer in nonlegal ways.
Second, whether it is a valid fear or not (and I've heard too many horror stories to not believe it to be valid in some instances), filing a complaint against an officer is believed by inmates to bring about retaliation by custodial personnel and prosecutors.
Finally, since the use of mandatory polygraphs for officers accused of corruption or brutality was banned in California, the odds of any swearing contest being resolved in a criminal's favor are minuscule, and most criminals are well aware of the odds of prevailing in such a complaint.
JAN B. TUCKER