How to Access a Copy of a Police Report

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Police reports are documents maintained by police departments that generally list the name and contact information of the persons involved in an incident. Police reports also usually contain a written statement by the police officer of what occurred and any action taken by the police. Obtaining a police report may be important for use in a lawsuit as evidence or to defend yourself in a criminal trial. A straightforward method to obtain a police report is by requesting it from the issuing police department.

Visit the police department that created the police report. Request a police report request form.

Fill out the police report request form. Include as much information as available on the report you are requesting. For example, list the parties involved, the date of the report, type of incident and the location of the incident. Go to your local police departement's website to see if the request form is available online.

Give the request form to the police department. Some police departments may require you to pay a fee to obtain the records. If necessary, pay the fee. The police will then provide you with the report. Obtaining the report may take several days after you submit the form.


  • Some jurisdictions may not allow public access to certain police reports, particularly if a minor is involved.


About the Author

Andrew Mayfair has written professionally since 2009 when his article on patent law was published in the "Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review." Mayfair earned his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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