Q:

How do you get a police report?

A:

Quick Answer

Get a police report by going to the main city police office or county sheriff's office. Most reports are available within a few days of the incident, though jurisdictions may have specific policies regarding the availability of reports.

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Full Answer

Case numbers are issued after incidents occur. Use this case number to find out when the report is complete and available, and provide the number when picking up the report. A contact number for the reports department is generally provided by the officer at the time of the incident. Many departments give their offices up to 48 hours to complete their reports. Weekends and holidays may affect the availability of the reports, even if they are complete.

Requests for forms may be submitted online, by phone, in person or by mail. Not all departments allow all forms of requests. The contact number or the department's website are good sources of information regarding specific policies.

The full report may not be available to the public if an investigation is ongoing. Certain information may not be included in the report until the case is closed. Other information may be redacted from the report to protect witnesses, informants and children. This information is not made public, but could be obtained in certain circumstances if warranted.

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