Application for Release of Information

UPDATE: During the COVID-19 Shelter in Place, please submit electronically, or via US Mail

Requests for release of information are reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if they can be approved. The police department has 10 days to determine if the information can be released to an authorized requester pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Upon receipt, you will be contacted once the request is processed and completed.


Requesting Information and Police Reports from Police Records Online

Citizens have options when requesting information and copies of police reports from PAPD Records.  Requests may be made over the phone, in person, via US Mail, electronic mail, or via the City of Palo Alto Public Records Request Portal.  In order to assist citizens in locating identifiable and focused records, we request that you download and complete the Application for Release of Information Records Disclosure Form and submit it to us via email, US Mail or in Person during business hours Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The applicable contact information is located on the application form.  If you do not have access to a computer, please call Police Records at (650) 329-2406.  Emailed submissions will be received during business hours. The City has 10 days to respond to your request to inform you if we have records to release and when we anticipate the release of records. There is a fee associated but may be waived for victims of violent crime. Please see further instruction below and use the following link to download the form:

DOWNLOAD: Application for Release of Information Form

Email Option:

Download the application and fill out all of the pertinent information such as case number, date, time, and location of incident.  Please print the form and email to us.  Once we determine if we have disclosable records, we will contact you to discuss payment options and we may require a copy of your government ID if the records are privileged so we may ensure we are releasing them to authorized persons.

Mail Option:

Download application and fill out all pertinent information as directed above, print and mail to us. Our contact information is on the form.  Do not send cash. 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, or return your check if necessary. Please include a photo copy of your government issued ID.  Please indicate how we may contact you for processing questions, if necessary. Alternatively, you may compose a letter in lieu of using the application with all the same information. 

In Person Option:

Come to the Police Records Unit and verbally express your request to inspect Police Records Information or obtain a copy of a Police Report. We kindly ask if you would voluntarily fill out the Application for Release of Information – Records Disclosure Form so that we may obtain a focused and effective request. If you respond with a completed form, this may expedite your overall wait time. Some service reports (non-criminal) in nature may be available for release while you wait. Others must go through the Records Disclosure process that may take up to 10 working days.

  • Please bring a valid photo ID. (California Driver's License, California ID, or Passport) A photo ID may be required to obtain certain Police Reports.
  • We accept Cash, Visa or Master Card. Please make Personal check, Cashier's Check, money order for $13.00, payable to City of Palo Alto.
  • As stated above, if activity and staffing levels permit, we will try to provide the report for you while you wait. If not, we can mail it to you.

City of Palo Alto Public Records Request Option:

If you would like to submit a public request, please visit the City of Palo Alto Public Records Request Portal. Please note that certain information for Police Reports may need to be handled directly through the police department so that we may obtain government ID for privileged reports.