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Public Records Requests
Wait! You May Not Need to Make a Public Records Request
Sometimes the information you are trying to find is already easily available.
You can find and access documents, recordings, and video footage on our website.
- Check the Police Data or Public Reports pages.
- RecordTrac contains public reports that have already been made available.
You may find what you need without having to create a new public record request. If someone has already requested and obtained the record, you will find it on RecordTrac.
Access to Public Records Is a Right
You have the right to inspect and copy records of state and local government agencies.
The Oakland Police Department supports your rights. In most cases, we can and will provide the information you ask for.
- We cannot release information that interferes with an individual’s right to privacy.
- We cannot release information that may jeopardize the safety of an individual or the successful completion of a law enforcement investigation.
What Kinds of Records Are Public Records?
"Records" include any information owned, used or maintained by the Department in the conduct of its official business. This includes information recorded or stored on paper, computers, email, or audio or visual tapes.
Public records include:
You may request public records from the Oakland Police Department online, by phone, in person, or by mail
How to Make a Public Record Request
- Copy the Public Records request form to your computer
- Complete and save the form
- Note: If you are not using Internet Explorer and the form cannot be filled out electronically, look for these words at the top: "This PDF document contains forms. The filling of form fields is not supported."
- Click on the box (Open With Different Viewer) and then select Open with Adobe Reader (default) to open an interactive form.
- Email it to OPDPublicRecordsRequest@oaklandnet.com.
Over the Phone
Call the Public Records Request Coordinator at (510) 238-7143. This will make it easier for us to track and process your request, which will result in your receiving a more prompt response
Obtain a Public Records request form by either:
- Downloading it (get Acrobat Reader free) or picking up a copy in person at the Police Administration Building Patrol Desk on the first floor.
- Bring the completed form to the OPD Records Division Kiosk on the first floor of the PAB. The Records Kiosk is open to the public from 8:00 to 3:00 Monday through Friday.
Public Records Request Coordinator
Oakland Police Department
455 7th Street, Room 306
Oakland, CA 94607
What Information Is Needed to Find a Report?
The more information, the better. If a request is not specific enough, Department staff will help you identify information that will help them locate the record you want.
- Written requests help the Department correctly identify the records requested.
- When requests are made on the phone or in person, the Department may confirm the request in writing to ensure that we have correctly understood it.
Do I Need to Identify Myself?
When you make a request, you don’t have to provide ID or explain why you are requesting to inspect records. But if you plan to pick up the records or want them to be mailed to you, you will need to provide identification/address.
When Can I Expect to Hear About the Status of My Request?
- Requests for Public Records Guidelines and Department publications usually can be provided quickly.
- Requests for other records may take more time because the records must be located, reviewed for exempt information and copied.
All requests will be date/time stamped as received on the first business day after the request has been submitted to Records Division. Within 10 calendar days of the date/time stamped, you will be told whether your request will be approved, in whole or in part.
In unusual circumstances, the time limit may be extended by written notice to the person making the request, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be made.
Quick Reference Links
- Download a Public Records request form
- By phone: (510) 238-7143
- Public Records Information Line (available 24/7): (510) 238-3021
- Email: OPDPublicRecordsRequest@oaklandnet.com
- California Public Records Act
- City of Oakland Sunshine Ordinance
Contact Information for Assistance
If you need additional assistance with a Public Records request, please contact the Public Records Request Coordinator: (510) 238-7143.