Friday, April 12, 2024

How To Access Police Reports

Don't Miss

What Do I Do If The Law Enforcement Agency Does Not Respond

Should the Public Have Access to Police Misconduct Reports?

Every agency is required by law to respond and produce relevant, non-confidential documents that they do not otherwise have the right to withhold. If they have records that they need to disclose and do not, they are in violation of the law. You should first follow-up with the agency in writing and continue to request the documents. If they still do not respond, you can enforce your right to this information by bringing a lawsuit in Superior Court. If you win your challenge the agency can be required to pay your attorneys’ fees.14 So, you may be able to find a lawyer to represent you on contingency, who will get paid only if you collect the fees from your lawsuit.

1. Cal. Penal Code §832.7-.

2. Cal. Penal Code §832.7-.

3. Cal. Penal Code §832.7.

4. Cal. Penal Code §832.7 832.8.

5. Cal. Penal Code §832.7-.

6. See Cal. Penal Code §832.7 for the full list of example documents that you can access under this law.

7. Cal. Gov’t Code §6253.1.

8. Cal. Gov’t Code §6253.9, .

9. Govt Code § 6253.

10. No. S252445, __ P.3d. ___

11. Cal. Gov’t Code §6253.

12. Cal. Gov’t Code §832.7.

13. Cal. Gov’t Code §832.7.

14. Cal. Gov’t Code §6259.

Requesting A Police Report In Person

1. Gather the required materials.

Bring with you a form of identification like a drivers license or passport. If you are making the request on behalf of someone else, you will need to have a notarized letter with you. Most agencies require a small request fee. If you were directly involved in the incident whether as a victim, witness, or defendant you may receive a verification slip from the authorities to let you know that a police report has been filed. Bring this slip with you to exchange for the police report.

2. Visit the Records and Identification Division of the police department.

The Records and Identification Division may have exclusive hours throughout the day that are not your typical business hours, so be sure to verify online. They will ask you for your information, as well as basic information about the case. Then, they will take your payment to cover the request fee.

3. Retrieve the copy of your police report.

In some areas, you may have to pick up a copy of the police report in person, but some agencies may mail it directly to you. Either way, expect to pay a per-page fee for the copy of the report. Reports typically cost a total of $50 to $150.

How Do I Obtain A Police Report

In most cases the public portion of police reports can be obtained from the APD Incident Report Database. Please read the Incident Report Database instructions on how to obtain the report. Make sure to enter the case number exactly how it is shown in the instructions.

For information about purchasing a copy of the public portion of a police report contact the Austin Police Department Report Sales Unit at 974-5499. Reports can be purchased at the Main Police Headquarters, located at 715 E 8th Street. Reports are 10 cents a page and only the public portion is available for purchase from the report sales office. This is the same report that can be obtained from visiting the APD Incident Report Database. Report Sales new hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Access the Public Records Center to submit a public information request as well as retrieve documents regarding your public information request. See quick reference guide here.

Recommended Reading: How To Become A Us Police Officer

Are Police Reports Public Records

Many types of police records are exempt from public disclosure. There are two main reasons why they arent publicly available. First, disclosing the information could undermine an ongoing investigation. Second, it could jeopardize someones privacy and safety. In some cases, departments will release certain information related to the report, such as to a reporter doing a story. However, they rarely release a full copy.

What Is A Police Report

Fillable Request For Access To Information Form

People file a police report with law enforcement for a wide variety of reasons such as domestic disputes, traffic accidents, burglaries, and home invasions, fraud, theft, stalking, violence, and many other reasons. To file a report, citizens usually begin by calling 911, or their local police departments non-emergency line, to report the incident.

Once a citizen reports an incident, dispatchers assign it to local officers in the area. The police officers travel to the appropriate location via car, motorcycle, or other police vehicles. Then, the officers evaluate the situation, make observations, interview witnesses, record data, and complete forms and reports required by their local police department.

Police officers also initiate the filing of a report to record the data and gather the details associated with criminal and civil incidents such as car accidents, burglaries, assaults, and robberies, just to name a few.

Officers gather and record a great deal of information and data on a police report. This is to help ensure thorough and accurate investigations and to support criminal proceedings if they become necessary. Also, background verification services may use them in background checks. The information contained in the typical police report may vary from county to county, but most capture very similar information.

Recommended Reading: How To Check My Police Record

What Type Of Records Do I Still Not Have Access To

The only records of police misconduct that you can access are those that fall under the three categories listed above: serious uses of force, sexual assault, and dishonesty related to investigations. Records of other types of police misconduct are still secret. Also, while you can access the records of investigation for serious uses of force regardless of whether the agency found that the use of force was wrong, for allegations of sexual assault and job-related dishonesty, you can only access those records if the agency determined that the officer was guilty of misconduct in violation of policy, and the time to appeal that determination has passed.4

In addition, the agency has the right to redact or withhold certain confidential information, like the names of witnesses, or the home address of the officer involved.5

Damage/ Mischief To Property

Has someone damaged, defaced or vandalized public or private property? This may include:

  • Breaking windows, mailboxes, throwing eggs, spray painting, writing or drawing on property.
  • Accepted only if there are no known suspects.Please Note: If you were a victim of graffiti vandalism, paint vouchers and graffiti wipes are available for pick up at Police Headquarters.

Also Check: What Does A Police Report Number Look Like

Can The Agency Ask Me To Pay For The Time It Takes Them To Locate Files Or Redact Audio Or Video

No. The Public Records Act allows agencies only the charge for the “direct costs of duplication, or a statutory fee if appliable.”9 That means that agencies can charge for the costs of paper and ink, or for the disks or drives on which they provide data, but cannot charge for the time their staff spend finding records, making copies or even redacting documents. Despite this, for several years, police agencies still tried to charge requestors an hourly rate, often amounting to thousands of dollars, for the time their staff spent editing body camera video to redact confidential information, arguing that editing video was more like programming a computer to extract data than it was like redacting a document.

However, on May 28, 2020, the California Supreme Court in National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward rejected this argument10 and held that the Public Records Act does not allow police departments to charge requestors of police body camera footage for the staff time required to locate that footage and edit it to redact audio & video to remove private information.

If an agency has tried to charge you for the time required to make redactions in audio or video, please see our model follow-up lettera> notifying them of the Hayward decision and informing them such charges are unlawful.

Identify The Information/records You Want

Police to Citizen Portal-STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL

Before you make a request, identify the type of record you need.

The Directory of Records describes the kinds of information held by provincial ministries and agencies under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act .

Note: Not all records listed in the Directory of Records are available through Freedom of Information requests. Additional fees may be associated with requests to access certain records.

Read Also: Can Police Tell If Your Insurance Is Expired

What Is A Car Accident Police Report

In the context of a car accident case, a police report is a written document that is usually generated at the scene of the crash, typically by the responding law enforcement officer. The police report often contains:

  • details of the crash and the people/vehicles/property involved
  • statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses
  • a drawn diagram of the accident , and
  • in some instances, the officer’s findings or conclusions as to how or why the accident might have happened.

How Can I Get A Copy Of My Police Report


Requests for reports can be made through the mail only during the COVID-19 pandemic. Requests must be accompanied by a check or money order for $12 per report, payable to the City of San Diego.

The following information is necessary to identify requested report:

  • parties involved
  • date and location of occurrence
  • report number if available
  • incident number if available

Note: Arrest reports – only pages 1 & 2 can be released. The cost is 50 cents .

A third party may pick-up a Report if they have written authorization from the Reporting Party along with photo ID and the required $12 fee.

Request by mail:Send request to SDPD Records, MS#726, P.O. Box 121431, San Diego, CA, 92112-1431.Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

For questions relating to the following report types and case numbers for:

  • Accident Reports
  • Arrest Reports
  • Auto Theft Reports

Or to confirm if a report is ready for pick-up, send e-mail questions to

*please note reports will not be faxed or emailed

For questions relating to the following report types and case numbers for:

Accident Reports

Arrest ReportsAuto Theft Reports

Or to confirm if a report is ready for pick-up, send e-mail questions to

*please note reports will not be faxed or emailed

– See more at:

Contact us at 531-2846. Monday – Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Also Check: Is It Hard To Become A Police Dispatcher

How Do I Obtain A Copy Of A Police Report Or Other Record

Requests for copies of police reports, accident reports, or other police records are made directly to the Police Department by filling out a Public Open Records Request form and submitting it to the Police Department. The form is available online or can be completed in-person at the Police Department.

Once received, the form is reviewed by a Police Department Lieutenant who is specifically trained in Wisconsin Open Records Law. We will notify you if the record can be released, and when it will be available. There is a nominal fee for copies of documents.

Rti And Ip Access Applications

Police Report Application Form Nsw

If the documents you want to access are not available through the QPS’s administrative access policies, you will need to apply under the RTI or IP Act. To make an RTI or IP application, you need to complete an RTI/IP application form . If you are using the hardcopy application form you can post it to:

Right to Information

Read Also: How Much Do Police Officers Make An Hour

How To Obtain Foia Police Reports In Minutes

Under the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, you can request access to federal agencies records. If you want to obtain information from police reports, you should file a FOIA request. DoNotPay is here to give you more details on the meaning of FOIA and help you submit your FOIA police reports request in no time.

Municipal Freedom Of Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

The Toronto Police Service processes requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act which gives individuals a right of access to information however some disclosure exemptions may apply. Under the Act, individuals may request access to general records as well as records containing their own personal information. Individuals also have the right to request a correction of their personal information, which they believe to be false or inaccurate and/or to attach a statement of disagreement to their records.

The other main purpose of the Act is the protection of privacy of individuals outlining rules regarding the collection, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information in the custody of an institution.

If you would like to request an independent review of the access decisions made by the head of an institution, or if you believe your privacy may have been breached and would like to initiate a privacy complaint, you may contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Also Check: Is Being A Police Officer Worth It

Whats Available Online Sample Incident Logs

Some police departments put their incident or report logs online.

Here are some examples:

To see San Francisco Bay Area traffic incidents, click on the Communication Centers drop-down menu at the top left and select Golden Gate. To decipher abbreviations used in the incident logs, in the drop-down menu under Resources in the upper right select Glossary.

Berkeley Police Department

Posted daily in pdf format.

Posted daily in pdf format.

Palo Alto Police Department

Posted daily in pdf format.

Davis Police Department

Combines log of arrests and incident log.

Withheld Or Limited Reports

How to get your police report through a Freedom of Information request with Robyn Doolittle

There may be sections of the police report you requested that are withheld due to issues stemming from confidentiality or active case status. If the investigation is still ongoing, you will likely be prohibited from accessing the report, or you may be limited to a brief public case file including 911 transcripts and cursory case details. Comprehensive police records are typically not made available until after the case has been closed. Specific details deleted from accessible police records may include:

  • Names of sexual assault victims
  • Names of informants or undercover officers
  • Names and ages of juvenile victims
  • Reporters of child abuse

Don’t Miss: Where Do I Apply To Be A Police Officer

Does It Cost Money To Make A Request

An agency is only allowed to charge for the “direct costs” of duplicating the records, or the cost to create certain documents if you are asking it to create a document like a list that it does not already have.8 You should always ask the agency to waive costs in your initial request, but they are not required to do so. You also have the option to inspect the records by looking at them at the agency during its regular business hours, which you can do for free. You can always inspect documents for free, and then request copying only of those that you want.

Donotpay Allows You To File A Foia Request To Any Agency

Do you need to retrieve records from some other agencies? DoNotPay can assist you in submitting FOIA requests to any state or federal agency, including the:

You can seek federal agencies information on yourself or any other subject. All you need to do is log in to DoNotPay in any web browser, and we can help you get the records you need.

Read Also: How To Become A Police Officer In Charleston Sc

Where To Send The Request

You can send your request

Archives and access to informationP.O. Box 47583 RPO Plateau Mont-RoyalMontréal, QC

*Attention: this is a mailing address. There is no customer service counter.

Applicable fees

Please note that fees apply for the reproduction of the following documents :

  • Event report: $16,75
  • Audio recording of a 911 call: $16,75 a disc
  • Copy of an administrative document: $0,41 a page

For example, if you wish to obtain:

  • One event report at $16,75
  • One 911 call card of 3 pages at $0,41 a page
  • One audio recording of a 911 call at $16,75

The fees will add up to $34,73 .

There are several payment methods available to cover the fees:

  • A bank cheque made to the order of Ville de Montréal
  • A money order made to the order of Ville de Montréal

Restrictions to right of access

Submitting a request for access does not guarantee that you will obtain the desired documents.

The SPVM may refuse to transmit a document or confirm its existence if it contains, for example, information that may interfere with an investigation being conducted, reveal investigation methods, place an individual in danger or cause harm to an individual who provided the information or who is involved in this matter.

Time frame

The time frame set out by the Act respecting Access to Documents is no later than 20 days following receipt of the request, either by giving access to the documents requested, explaining why the documents are not accessible, or referring the requester to the appropriate organization.

How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Police Report

HCC Police Security Access Form

It typically only takes a few days to a week to get a copy of a police report if you were directly involved in the case. However, if you were not directly involved, or if you are an insurance agent, it will take longer because you have to send in a request and have it processed. This process can take up to a month or longer.

Recommended Reading: How To Obtain A Police Report In Minnesota

How Do I Access Halifax Regional Police Records

  • Start by checking the Halifax Regional Police routine disclosure plan. The municipality has a Routine Access Policy, which is designed to provide individuals with the opportunity to obtain certain records without the requirement for a formal access application. If what you are looking for is listed in the plan, you can submit a routine disclosure request for the information or records you want.
  • If you can’t find the information or records you are looking for within the routine disclosure plan, send an email to . If the information you’re looking for is general in nature, you may be able to get it without an filing an access to information request.
  • If the information or records you’re looking for aren’t available through routine disclosure plans or routinely provided by Halifax Regional Police, you’ll have to file an access to information request.
  • Keep in mind:

    More articles

    Popular Articles