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How large is the Durham Police Department?
The Durham Police Department has 512 sworn positions and 116 civilian positions.
How do I hire an off-duty officer for my business or special event?
How do I become a Durham Police officer?
Go to the Recruiting page for detailed information on joining the Durham Police Department.
What should I do if I am in an automobile accident?
Our first concern is your health and safety. If you are involved in an accident, determine if anyone is hurt. If anyone is injured, call 911 and request an ambulance. Render aid to the injured if you are qualified to do so. Also, if anyone is injured, or the damage in the collision is greater than $1,000, then a police report is mandatory. If no one is hurt, or the damage is not greater than $1,000, then the two parties may settle any claims among themselves without legally being required to file a report with the police. If you decide to go this route, be absolutely sure that you do not need a police report, as the Durham Police Department does not investigate wrecks on a delayed basis.
If your vehicle is in the middle of a busy travel lane, and the damage is minimal and there are no injuries, it is best to move both vehicles out of the travel lanes. Although it is easier for the investigating officer if the vehicles are not moved prior to his arrival, there is a risk of further damage and injury when you remain in traffic.
Sometimes in my neighborhood, I see things that are out of place, or unusual, or people who are "suspicious". I don't really feel comfortable with calling the police. Can you tell me about the procedure?
At any given time there are patrol officers on the street. However, they cannot be everywhere in the city at once. The Durham Police Department counts on the thousands of eyes of our citizens to alert us to unusual situations. Anytime someone calls, a dispatcher will take the information, ask questions, decide on what/whom to send, and the urgency of the call. We will respond to every call for service, though obviously, the less important calls may take some time to get to. The Durham Police Department appreciates your calls and we rely on you to assist us by calling us whenever you see anything that is suspicious or unusual.
Property of mine was turned into the police department. How do I get it back?
The department receives property in two different ways, evidence and found property. Property may be claimed from the Property and Evidence unit at Police Headquarters by appointment during the following times:
1) Monday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment
2) Tuesday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment
3) Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon by appointment
4) Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment
5) Friday closed
Call (919) 560-4442 to schedule this appointment. You must have a current and valid form of identification. You must show documentation of ownership to support your claim. Property turned in as evidence may only be claimed with a court order. A court order can only be obtained from the court after the case has a final disposition entered.
How do I get crime statistics for a neighborhood?
How do I obtain a special events permit?
Should I install a burglar alarm on my home?
Having an alarm system is a matter of personal choice. Some people consider an alarm to be a deterrent to would-be thieves. Others feel that the alarm gives them added security when they are home or away. Alarm systems vary in cost, depending on what type of detection system is employed. Some components are readily available at home improvement centers for "do it yourself" installation. Many licensed alarm companies are listed in the phone book. We recommend that alarm buyers get at least two bids for the work, ask for references, and make sure there is training provided to everyone who will use the alarm system. False alarms waste police resources. For complete information on Durham alarm regulations, visit www.durhamnc.gov/council/false_alarm.cfm."
How can I obtain a restraining order?
Restraining orders or domestic violence orders are a function of the court system. You can find out more information by calling the Durham County Clerk of Court at (919) 564-7070. Also, our Domestic Violence Unit may be able to provide advice. They can be reached at (919) 560-4440.
How can I get fingerprinted for a job application?
Presently the Forensic Services Unit does not provide fingerprinting services to the general public. The exceptions to this are police personnel, City of Durham requests and Guardian Ad Litem Representatives. Appointments must be made in advance with the unit secretary at (919) 560-4432. If you are in need of the service and do not qualify under the exceptions above, you may contact the following agencies:
Durham County Sheriff’s Office - (919) 560-0905
State Bureau of Investigation, Raleigh - (919) 662-4500
City/County Bureau of Identification, Raleigh - (919) 856-6300
How do I get a permit to purchase a pistol? How do I get a concealed weapons permit?
You must apply to the Durham County Sheriff's Office in the Durham County Courthouse at 201 East Main St., (919) 560-0905. The police department does not have anything to do with this.
How do I get a copy of a police report or an accident report?
You must come to the Records Unit at Police Headquarters at 505 West Chapel Hill St. Reports are available on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also call the Records Unit at (919) 560-4423 to get a copy of a report faxed to you.
Do you have Neighborhood Watch programs?
What is Project Safe Neighborhoods?
Project Safe Neighborhoods is Durham's comprehensive, strategic response to the gun violence in our community. PSN focuses on partnering federal, state, and local law enforcement with local community and faith-based organizations to develop research-supported strategies to reduce violent crime. Law enforcement targets violent repeat offenders to remove them from our neighborhoods, while community partners develop viable resources for those offenders who are committed to changing their past involvement in crime and gun violence. Together, law enforcement and the community work to change the norms that make gun violence acceptable through targeted outreach efforts and public awareness campaigns. For information, call PSN Coordinator Jennifer Snyder at (919) 560-4438, ext. 29230 or click on Project Safe Neighborhoods.
I have a warrant on me. How do I get it cleared up?
Go to the Durham County Magistrate's Office at the Durham County Jail at 219 South Mangum St. The public entrance is on the Mangum Street side. You can park for free in the gravel lot across the street from the public entrance between Vivian and Pettigrew Streets. If you have no transportation to the Magistrate's Office, you can call 911 and an officer will be dispatched to your location to arrest you and take you to the Magistrate's Office to serve the warrant.
I have a criminal summons on me. How do I get it cleared up?
Call 911 and an officer will be dispatched to your location to serve the criminal summons on you. You will not be arrested due to a summons. The officer has to give you your copy of the summons and also will ask you some questions so he or she can fill out a report.
How do I take out a warrant on someone? Why did an officer tell me to take out a warrant on someone instead of just arresting him right there?
In North Carolina, a police officer can only make a misdemeanor arrest when the offense is committed in his/her presence (and certain other specific times). Because of this, an officer may tell you that you need to go take out a warrant against the offender because the offense did not occur in his presence. For example, if someone assaults you and the officer tells you to go take out a warrant on the suspect, you must go to Durham County Magistrate's Office at the Durham County Jail at 219 South Mangum St. The public entrance is on the Mangum Street side. You can park for free in the gravel lot across the street from the public entrance between Vivian and Pettigrew Streets. Please note that you need to know the suspect's name and address and be totally sober (not have any alcohol on your breath) before the magistrate will issue you a warrant. To find out a court date, go to this website. To check a bond or see if someone has been jailed in the past 30 days, go to www.co.durham.nc.us/departments/shrf/IPS/current.cfm. To see if someone has been involved in the North Carolina prison system, go to this website.
What do I do if my vehicle has been towed? Who do I contact if I have a towing complaint or issue?
If your vehicle has been towed, call the Durham Police Department front desk officer at (919) 560-4427. If we towed your vehicle, we can look it up in the tow log and give you the tow business information. You will need a current registration and photo ID to show proof of ownership. Vehicles will only be released to registered owners unless circumstances prevent this, at which time you need to contact the Towing Inspector to make other arrangements. If you have a towing complaint, contact the Towing Inspector, Officer J. Massimo, at (919) 560-4322, ext. 29173
How do I apply for an ABC permit?
Contact Durham Police Officer J. Massimo at (919) 560-4322, ext. 29173. For information, go to ABC Permit FAQs.
You arrested someone. What is his or her bond? Where are they?
When a Durham police officer arrests someone, he/she may be taken to headquarters or to a police substation for questioning and processing. After any questioning is completed, they will be transported to the Durham County Jail, where a magistrate will determine the conditions of their release. Once the magistrate sets a bond, they will either be let go (unsecured bond or written promise to appear) or kept in the Durham County Jail (secured bond, cash bond, no bond.) Once they are in the jail, they are in the custody of the Durham County Sheriff's Office. The Durham Police Department does not have prisoner information. You may call the Durham County Sheriff's Office intake office at (919) 560-0772 for inmate information. You may also call the magistrate on duty at (919) 560-6826. Sometimes people are arrested due to out-of-area warrants. They are normally held in the Durham County Jail until the agency that wants them can arrange to pick them up and transport them back to where they are wanted. Also, sometimes the Durham Police Department will arrest someone on federal charges. These prisoners are sometimes taken directly into federal custody.
What can I do about stray dogs and cats and barking dogs?
The Durham County Animal Control Department takes care of all animal services in both the City and County. They can be reached at (919) 560-0630 during business hours. After hours, either leave a message or call 911 if there is an emergency such as a dog bite or an injured animal. If your dog or cat has been impounded, call the Durham County Animal Shelter at (919) 560-0640.
What is Partners Against Crime (PAC)?
The Partners Against Crime program promotes collaboration among police officers, Durham residents, and city and county government officials to find sustainable solutions to community crime problems and quality of life issues. It is a community based volunteer organization that promotes and executes safety strategies to prevent crime at the neighborhood level. For more information, please click here.
What is CrimeStoppers and how does it work?
CrimeStoppers is a program that involves police, media and citizens in the fight against crime. Durham CrimeStoppers includes crimes investigated by the Durham Police Department, Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Duke University Police Department, North Carolina Central University Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves. To leave a tip for Crime Stoppers, call (919) 683-1200.
Can the police open my car if I have locked my keys inside?
Durham police officers are no longer allowed to open locked cars as a courtesy, due to the possibility of damaging the electric components found in the doors of newer cars. If there is an emergency, such as a child locked in the vehicle, an officer may open the car by breaking a window. If it is not an emergency, we suggest that you call a locksmith. Durham police officers do not carry "Slim Jims" in their cars for citizens to borrow.
Can I make a police report at any time of day and do I need to make an appointment?
The Durham Police Department can take a police report at any time of the day or night. Remember, however, that the chances of us solving a crime go down substantially if you wait a long time to report a crime. If you want us to be able to help you, please report any crime as soon as you are aware of it.
Can I make a police report over the telephone or does a police officer have to come to my house? When you call 911 to report a crime, the 911 call takers determine whether a call can be handled by our Telephone Response Unit. Examples of calls like this would be police advice calls and stolen items where there is no crime scene to process.
Is there a waiting period before I can report someone missing?
No. You can report someone missing as soon as you realize that they are missing. It is helpful to report missing children and elderly persons as soon as possible, so that we can get a search organized.
Someone has abandoned a junk car in my parking lot or on my property. Can the police tow it away for me? Someone has abandoned a junk car on the street near my house. Can the police get rid of it?
The Durham Police Department can only tow abandoned vehicles that are on the public streets or highways of our city. If the vehicle is a danger to motorists (i.e. left in the roadway) then we can tow it immediately. If it is parked out of the travel lane, we have to tag the car and send the owner a notice to move the car. If it is not moved in seven days, we will then tow it. If the vehicle is on your property, contact a towing company (look in the yellow pages of your phone book under "towing"). They will remove the vehicle at no cost to you. For abandoned vehicles on property where the owner is unknown to you, call the City of Durham Department of Housing and Community Development at (919) 560-4570.
I want to learn more about the Citizens Police Academy.
The Durham Police Department holds an annual bilingual (English/Spanish) Citizens Police Academy. Click here for more information.
How do I find out more about National Night Out?
National Night Out is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday in August. Find out more about Durham’s award-winning National Night Out program.
I do not have any transportation and have to get somewhere. Can a police officer give me a ride?
The Durham Police Department does not provide rides to the public, unless they are under arrest or detention. We suggest that you contact the Durham Area Transit Authority or a local taxi company.
I have left my spouse and am living elsewhere but I need to get my clothing and other items. Can the police help me?
We can stand by while you attempt to pick up a change of clothes, the tools of your trade, and any medicines that you may need. We will not stand by for lengthy periods of time while you attempt to remove furniture or other items. The custody of any items is a civil matter, and we cannot make one party give anything to the other party. The pickup of any items other than what was mentioned above must be done in agreement with the other party.
I need to get a message to someone that does not have a telephone. Can the Police Department go to the person's home and deliver the message?
We can only deliver emergency messages, such as death notifications, and not routine messages.
My family and I are going on vacation. Can the police keep an eye on our home while we are gone?
Call the district substation where you live and request a house check. We will attempt to keep any eye on your property as much as possible.
We have a problem with speeders in our neighborhood. What can we do about it?
Call the district substation where you live and tell them about it. Also, you can contact the Traffic Services Unit at (919) 560-4935 and ask for them to conduct speed enforcement in your area.
What happens to unclaimed property?
Unclaimed found property will be sold at public auction after a specified period of time and after attempts have been made to contact the owner. Auctions are held periodically and will be advertised in the Herald-Sun newspaper and by yellow signs at police headquarters.
I have been charged with a traffic infraction or a crime. Can I reschedule the court appearance date?
The Durham County Clerk of Superior Court schedules all court dates. Contact them at (919) 564-7100 for information on doing this.