Application for Release of Information

The Palo Alto Police Department Records Unit invites you to request information and police reports from us.  Requests may be made via e-mail, U.S. Mail, in person, via phone, or online via the City of Palo Alto's Public Records Request page.  Expand the accordions below to learn more about each option.

Requests for release of information are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if the information can be legally released.  Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, the Police Department has ten days to determine if the information can be released to an authorized requester.  We will contact you once your request is processed and completed.  Please note there are fees associated with the release of records, but those fees may be waived for victims of violent crime.

Application for Release of Information - Records Disclosure Form(PDF, 71KB)

Request Information By E-Mail

Please download the Application for Release of Information - Records Disclosure Form above, complete it and print it, and then e-mail it to us at PAPDRecordsRequest@cityofpaloalto.org.  E-mail are received during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Once we determine if we have disclosable records, we will contact you to discuss payment options.  We may require a copy of your government-issued identification if the records are considered privileged, so that we may ensure we are releasing them to authorized persons.

Request Information by U.S. Mail

Please download the Application for Release of Information - Records Disclosure Form above, complete it and print it, and mail it to us at 275 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301. Alternately, you may write us a letter in lieu of using the form, as long as you include all necessary information.

If you would like to include a check, cashier's check, or money order for $13.00 payable to the City of Palo Alto, we will proceed with processing your request (or return your check if no records are releasable).  Do not send cash.  Please include a photocopy of your government-issued identification, and please tell us how we may contact you if we have any questions about your request.

Request Information in Person

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 global health emergency, we would prefer that you not submit your request for records in person, and instead use an alternate method.  If that is not possible, continue reading.

Please download the Application for Release of Information - Records Disclosure Form above, complete it and print it, and bring it to the front desk of the Police Station at 275 Forest Avenue in Palo Alto during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).  Some service reports (those that are non-criminal in nature) may be available for release while you wait.  Other types of reports and records must go through the records disclosure review process, which may take up to ten working days.

Please bring your valid government-issued identification, which may be required to obtain certain types of police reports.

Please be prepared to pay a $13.00 fee to process your request.  At the front desk, we accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, or check, cashier's check, or money order payable to the City of Palo Alto.

Request Information By Phone

Feel free to call us at (650) 329-2406 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and a member of our Records Unit will help you with your request.

Request Information via the City's Public Records Request Page

If you would like to submit a public records request, please visit the City of Palo Alto Public Records Request Page.

Please note that certain requests for police reports may need to be handled directly by the Police Department, as we may require a copy of your government-issued identification if the records are considered privileged.  This is so that we can ensure we are releasing them to authorized persons.