Knowledge — 2 years ago

Find Out How Police Records Work!

by Toni S.

Police Records, How Police Records Work

How Do Police Records Work? How Are Police Records Collected?

Police have to complete and maintain various records while dealing with criminal cases. Some of the records are: 

  • Arrest reports and incident reports
  • Logs about arrests as well as responses of the police to incidents.
  • Search warrants and reports from the office of the coroner.

As far as arrest reports and incident reports are concerned, they are in general not available to the public. On the other hand, logs about arrests and also the responses of the police to incidents can be accessed by the public. In the case of criminal records, only a very few can be accessed on the Net.

Police Records

Police Reports

Once crimes occur, police start carrying out their investigations. They may arrest people as well during the course of conducting the investigations. But the police are not supposed to charge those who have been arrested with crimes. It is for the prosecutors like the office of the district attorney to charge these people with crimes. Only if a person is formally charged, there will be a court case.

Therefore, police records such as arrest reports and incident reports do not form a part in the court system. This means that these police records are very much dissimilar to court records that can be accessed  In other words, no police records pertaining to investigations of crimes can be accessed online. Let us now study a little more about records such as arrest reports and incident reports.

How Police Records Work

Arrest Reports

This record, as the name indicates, gives the details of an arrest that has been made by the police during the course of investigating a crime.

Crime report or Incident report is a crime report or an incident report is concerned, it gives the details of the responses of the police to the calls from citizens for obtaining assistance, details of accidents, and the reports of the crimes that are committed.

How can police records be accessed?

This question should really read as "what police records are available for the public?" In general, police records are governed by state laws in the USA. The Public Records Act of most of the states exempts several police records explicitly from being disclosed. These Acts contain certain general exemptions as well. An example of such exemptions is that if the police feel that disclosure of the information is likely to undermine the investigative process or may put the life of someone in danger, they can decide not to provide copies of the arrest reports or incident reports.

Police Reports

So, when requests are made for obtaining arrest reports or crime reports, the responses of police departments may widely vary. Even if some departments agree to make the reports available, they may do so only after editing out the information that they feel as sensitive.

In other words, reports of most of the non-sensitive cases can be accessed because the police may not have any objection in making them available. But in the case of sensitive cases that are pending, the reports may be withheld or may not be allowed for access. The point is that if the police decide against providing the reports, they are doing so by invoking the rights available to them.

How to access police records?

Reporters can access the court records for verifying if charges have properly been filed in a criminal case. Of course, the court records or files may sometimes contain the police reports as well along with the criminal complaint filed by a prosecutor. In short, the police records that could not be accessed earlier can sometimes be accessed through the court files.

Searching for police records? Here is where you can obtain police records and arrest records!


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