POLICE SUPPORT SERVICES
The Support Services Division is overseen by Captain Chris Karrer.
Support Services encompasses the Detective Bureau and those police functions that are not directly related to field enforcement. This includes the Records Bureau, Court Liaison, Property & Evidence, Facilities, Information Technology, administration of the Police Department’s grants and budget, Animal Control Services, Community Outreach, and Professional Standards. It is often referred to as the business of running a police department.
Our Detective Bureau is comprised of four detectives, including the supervisor. Unlike large police departments where detectives specialize in one area, each of our detectives must be well-rounded in all areas of investigation.
The Detective Bureau Investigates approximately 350 criminal cases per year, however, they also participate in crime analysis, warrant service, conduct Background Investigations on prospective employees, and provide outreach to our community members through a variety of programs. Our unique organizational structure also directs training and recruitment issues to the Bureau.
A newer investigative responsibility, also residing within the Bureau, is Homeland Security. Borne out of 9-11, this detail includes the specialized Terrorism Liaison Officer.
The Records Bureau provides a valuable support function for the Police Department. It is responsible for protecting and maintaining an up-to-date records management system, tracking subpoenas, managing evidence, meeting State and Federal reporting mandates, preparing documents for court, and tracking criminal cases from the time of arrest through adjudication or final court disposition the duration of the trial. The Bureau is also responsible for citation verifications, vehicle releases, and responding to public inquiries…but most importantly, they provide customer service.
The purpose of Professional Standards is to ensure the public trust and integrity of the Los Alamitos Police Department is maintained at the highest levels through the objective, complete, and impartial investigation of allegations of misconduct. We pride ourselves on hiring and retaining employees who demonstrate a considerable degree of character and ethical behavior. The dedicated men and women who serve the Los Alamitos community value the rights of all citizens and understand the importance of maintaining and improving upon their well deserved reputation of fostering positive community relationships. Accordingly, the police department is keenly aware of its responsibility in preserving its credibility, trust, and respect within the community and is committed to vigorously investigating allegations of misconduct.
Law enforcement has a unique relationship with the media. It is an art to balance the dissemination of information for safety awareness with an individual’s right to privacy. It is further complicated by the legal requirements of the California Public Records Act. Transparency is a necessary component of gaining or maintaining the public’s trust so we often see the media as a liaison to the public. The responsibility of serving as the Police Department’s Public Information Officer is assigned to the Support Services Captain.
The Department of Justice only accepts electronically submitted fingerprint images for requests for criminal offender record information for employment, licensing, certification, custodial child placement, or adoption purposes. The Los Alamitos Police Department does not have the capability to provide electronic fingerprint services.
Information about public Live Scan Services can be found by visiting the Department of Justice’s website at http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php.
Fifty years ago officers were notified of pending calls when a beacon was lit on top of a tower. Today, police dispatch services are provided by West Cities Police Communications Center, a Joint Powers Authority serving Los Alamitos, Cypress, and Seal Beach.
Operating on one of the largest interoperable radio systems in the world (Orange County’s 800 MHz), and serving a combined population of the cities totaling approximately 100,000, West Comm provides professional communications services. In addition to non-emergency calls for service, West-Comm answers almost 25,000 emergency 9-1-1 calls each year.
Property and Evidence
Property is released by appointment only. To claim your property, please call (562) 431-2255, extension 419, to schedule an appointment.
REQUESTING A POLICE REPORT
To obtain a copy of any of the following Police Reports, you must complete a “Request for Police Records” form. These forms are available at the front counter of the Police Department. You will be required to provide photo identification in the form of a California Driver’s License, California Identification Card, Military Identification, Passport or Immigration Card. The fee for any report or log item is $1.00. If you are authorized by law to purchase a copy of a Los Alamitos Police Department report, your request will be accepted and processed within 7 to 10 working days.
Traffic Collision Reports
California Vehicle Code Section 20012 provides for the release of Traffic Collision Reports to: involved persons; drivers; injured passengers; guardians; parents of minors; owners of vehicles or property damaged; persons who may incur civil liability; and, authorized representatives of a driver, i.e., attorney or insurance company. Attorneys and or insurance representatives are required to provide written authorization signed by their client to obtain a copy of a report.
Crime and Incident Reports
The release of Police reports is governed by California Government Code 6254 and 6254(f). This section identifies the following parties as those to whom a police agency is required to provide information: victims; authorized representatives of the victim (signed waiver or authorization required); insurance carrier against which a claim has been or might be made; and, any person suffering bodily injury, property damage, or loss.
No copy of a report shall be provided if disclosure would endanger the safety of a person involved in the investigation or if disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation. Copies of reports will not be released if they contain the name, address and phone number of a witness or confidential informant, or the name, address and phone number of a victim of a crime as defined by California Penal Code Sections 220, 261, 262, 264, 264.1, 273a, 273d, 273.5, 286, 288, 288a, 289, 293, 293.5, 422.6, 422.7, 422.75, and 646.9.
The release of Arrest Reports is governed by California Government Code Section 6254 (f) (1). Contact the Orange County District Attorney’s Office at (714) 896-7261 to obtain a copy of your arrest report.
Juvenile Reports and Contacts
Juvenile information includes any document relating to juvenile contacts and/or arrests, even if court proceedings were not instituted, including records of temporary custody and detention of a minor. The release of juvenile information requires the permission of the Orange County Juvenile Court Judge. A Juvenile Court Petition will be provided at your request.
If you have any questions regarding the request or release of police reports, please call the Police Records Bureau at (562) 431-2255, ext. 402.
Bicycle licenses are available to residents of Los Alamitos only. The fee for a license is $3.00. Licenses may be obtained at the Police Department, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Bicycle licenses must be renewed every three years.
The Los Alamitos Police Department will inspect vehicles and sign-off citations during regular business hours. A fee applies to this service:
Citation Sign-off: …………..$25.00
VIN Verification: …………..$25.00
Permits may be obtained at the Los Alamitos Police Department during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding any of these permits, please call the Los Alamitos Police Department business number at (562) 431-2255, extension 402.
The City of Los Alamitos has an Alarm Ordinance, which regulates the use of alarms. Los Alamitos Municipal Code 8.04.080 requires alarm owners to obtain a City Alarm Permit to use an alarm system, which triggers the response of the police, fire or other emergency agency. To operate an alarm without complying with the ordinance is a misdemeanor. Alarm permits must be renewed on or before January 1st each year.
To obtain an application for an Alarm Permit, you may call or come to the Police Department during regular business hours.
Alarm Permit Fees are as follows:
New Alarm Permits: $30.00 per year
Renewals: $25.00 per year
*Primary residents, age 66 and older, are exempt from the permit fee providing no business is conducted out of the location.
False Alarm Fees are as follows (LAMC 8.04.180):
First through third false alarm: No Charge
Fourth or more each calendar year: $200.00 per response
Los Alamitos Municipal Code 8.04.190-8.04.210 allows for the suspension, revocation, and/or discontinuance of police response to alarm calls for service at your location, which may be pursued at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
Recreational Vehicle Permits
Los Alamitos Municipal Code 10.24.090 states that no person shall park any vehicle of 22 feet or more in length or any recreational item upon any street or alley between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. As defined, a recreational item is a non motorized recreational vehicle or an item designed for recreational purposes including a detached camper shell, boat, trailer, coach, travel trailer, residential trailer, fifth wheel trailer, or camper trailer, detached or attached to another vehicle. Jet-skis, off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles, and airplanes are considered recreational items.
The issuance of Parking Exemption Permits is to provide a concise and uniform manner of parking for RV’s and other recreational items within the city limits, and also allow proper enforcement of the city ordinance.
A temporary parking permit may be issued at the discretion of the Chief of Police or his designee for overnight parking of a recreational item or RV. The permit is valid for the time period stated thereon and will be issued only in the event of special circumstances, which may include the following:
- The vehicle will be parked for the purpose of loading and unloading.
- The vehicle belongs to visitors or houseguests temporarily residing in the City.
- The vehicle is newly purchased and suitable permanent parking or storage is being arranged.
A temporary RV parking permit may be obtained at the Police Department during regular business hours. If a guest arrives unexpectedly after hours, you may contact the Watch Commander by calling police dispatch at (562) 594-7232 for emergency issuance of a permit. Permits must be displayed inside the front windshield or driver’s side window.
Neighborhood Parking Permits
As stated in Los Alamitos Municipal Code 10.24.070, parking restrictions apply to some neighborhoods in Los Alamitos. Signs are posted in those neighborhoods where parking restrictions are in effect.
If your neighborhood is designated for permit parking, you may come to the Police Department, during regular business hours, to obtain your permit. You will be required to complete an application and provide proof of residency in the affected area of Los Alamitos. Acceptable proof of residency is a California Driver’s License, utility bill or vehicle registration. Residents may also obtain temporary guest permits for their visitors.
Although there is no charge for your first permit, a replacement fee of $10.00 will apply to all replacement permits.
REQUESTING POLICE ASSISTANCE
To call the Police Department in an EMERGENCY, call 9-1-1
To request 24-Hour Police service in a NON-emergency, call (562) 594-7232
For Police Department Administrative and Business matters, call (562) 431-2255
Police Department Business Hours
The Los Alamitos Police Department lobby is open for administrative business Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
After hours, an officer can be summoned to the police department lobby by using the red phone located inside the lobby and requesting police service.
Reporting an Emergency
When you call the police, be prepared to give the dispatcher the exact location and nature of the emergency. Tell the dispatcher whether you need police, fire or paramedic service. The 9-1-1 number can be used to summon emergency assistance from any of these agencies.
After providing the nature and location of the problem, be prepared to provide the following information to the dispatcher. The dispatcher will ask specific questions based on the information you provide. Please answer the questions and listen closely for the follow-up questions as the dispatcher is trained to elicit not only the most accurate information but in an order most useful for responding police, fire, and paramedics. Do no become frustrated with the questions and think this is delaying your assistance. With the aid of state-of-the-art CAD capabilities, other communication personnel are in concurrent communication with emergency responders who will already be enroute to the emergency.
You will need to provide a description of the situation and when it occurred. You will need to report if anyone is injured. If the incident involves a suspect, you should try to provide a description including sex, race, clothing, hair color, facial hair, eyeglasses, hat, etc. Did the suspect have a weapon? When giving a vehicle description, provide the color, type of vehicle, make, model, license number, and direction of travel.
If the emergency call is for medical aid, be prepared to brief paramedics as they arrive by providing such information as the patient’s age, gender, and nature of the complaint or injury, including pertinent health history if known. If safety permits, open the entry doors and turn on adequate lighting. If there are double doors, open both to facilitate moving in equipment and evacuating the patient. If someone else is in need of paramedic service, tell them assistance has been called. Make the patient as comfortable as possible, and if you are able, loosen tight clothing such as belts and neckties.
If there are sufficient people at the scene, direct a volunteer, or draft someone to go outside and direct responding emergency personnel to the location. Remember, the responders will probably be familiar with the area and know which hundred block they are responding to, but if someone is there to wave them down, it can save precious seconds. This is especially important in multi-tenant housing areas or business complexes.
Dispatch services for the Los Alamitos Police Department are provided by West Cities Communications (West-Comm).