If you need to obtain a police report copy from the Durham Police Department in North Carolina, you can submit your request in person or by phone. However, you can only do this on weekdays and during business hours. On the other hand, if you're interested in reporting a crime, you can submit a police report at any time of the day or night.
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act gives members of the public the right to obtain records from agencies of the federal government, such as the U.S. Department of State, unless such information is exempt from public disclosure. North Carolina's Public Records Act is similar to the FOIA, except it applies to local and state government records. Under the PRA, you have the right to inspect, examine and copy public records, which are documentary materials made or received by government agencies in North Carolina during the ordinary course of business. The request does not have to be in writing or specifically refer to the PRA -- and you don't have to give your name or reason for the request. However, confidential information, such as Social Security numbers, are typically redacted, or removed. Although criminal investigation and intelligence records are generally excluded from disclosure under the PRA, certain material remains public, such as the date, time, location and nature of a reported crime, which is information commonly found in a police report.
Submitting Your Request
To request a copy of a police report in person, travel to the Durham Police Department located at 505 W. Chapel Hill Street. Submit your request to the records unit on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also call the records unit at (919) 560-4423 and request that they fax a copy to you.
- Durham Police Department: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Durham Police Department: Records Unit
- U.S. Department of Justice, FOIA.gov: What is FOIA?
- U.S. Department of Justice, FOIA.gov: Frequently Asked Questions, What Are Exemptions?
- North Carolina Department of Justice: Guide to Open Government and Public Records
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.