Frequently Asked Questions

Reporting a Crime or Problem in Your Neighborhood

Image of a Police Car

Q. How do I report a crime that just took place?
A. Dial 911

Q. What is the non-emergency number for the police?
A. 314-231-1212

Q. When should I use 911? When should I use the non-emergency number?
A. 911 should be used during emergency situations that warrant immediate Police response, such as a life or death situation. The non-emergency number should be used when Police assistance is needed, but not urgent.

Q. How do I report a tip for a crime?
A. Contact Crimestoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477)

Q. How can I report illegal activity in my neighborhood?
A. Depending on the severity of the illegal activity, use 911 or the non-emergency number. If a crime is in progress, the best means of reporting it is to call 9-1-1. Please allow the responding officers to call you by phone in case they need more information to locate the source of the problem. They will not come to your door unless you want them to.

If you are concerned about an on-going problem, there are several options:

-For on-going drug or gang activity, you can call the Secret Witness Hotline by calling 241-COPS (241-2677). You can leave detailed information about what the activity is, who is doing it (or what they look like), when the activity usually happens, descriptions of vehicles involved, where drugs or weapons are hidden, how sales are made and so on. This information will be relayed to the appropriate Officers for further investigation.

-You can contact the Community Outreach Officer for your police district. The Officer will discuss the situation with the District Captain and, together, they will take whatever action is appropriate and available. Find contact information for your District by using the Your Neighborhood section of this website.

-Most Police Districts also hold Community Meetings, where you can express your concerns directly to the Captain, either face-to-face or through a reporting form (anonymous) that is available at most of these meetings. Be sure to also find out about the meetings of your Neighborhood Association or Block Unit, and share your concerns there, as well.

-For nuisance situations (derelict cars, trash in yards, dilapidated housing, missing street signs, etc.) contact the Citizen’s Service Bureau at 622-4800.

Q. How can we get more patrol in my neighborhood?
A. Call the Area Patrol Station for your neighborhood or the Community Outreach Officer for your district. Describe to them the reason more patrol is needed- what the problem is, who is involved, when is it happening, etc. The District Captain will direct cars to provide extra patrol, as available. Find contact information by visiting the Your Neighborhood section.

Q. How do I report a missing person?
A. To report a missing child or adult, call 9-1-1. There is no waiting period to report a missing person.

Q. How do I report identity theft or fraud?
A. Contact the Police District where you live or the Police District where the loss might have taken place. Locate the District by going to the Your Neighborhood section of this website.

Q. Can I call police if my neighbors aren’t following animal waste ordinances?
A. You should call your Neighborhood Stabilization Officer at 314-657-1392 or call the Citizens’ Service Bureau at 314-622-4800.

Q. Can I call the police if an unknown vehicle is parked outside my residence for an extended period of time?
A. You should call the non-emergency number, 231-1212, if the vehicle has been parked for more than 5 days without moving, or if there appears to be suspicious activity associated with the vehicle.

Vehicle and Traffic Related Issues


Q. What do I do if I’ve just been in an auto accident?
A. If you and the other parties involved are not injured and the vehicles are driveable, we advise you to move your vehicle to the curb or shoulder of the road if the vehicle is movable. If you are on the interstate highway, State law requires the motorist to go to the nearest exit before pulling over. This will help you to remain safe from other motorists on the road.

If there is an injury, particularly a serious injury, contact 911 as soon as possible to let them know about the accident and the injuries involved. Remain at that location, but make sure your vehicle is in a safe position if at all possible.

You do not need to call the police if:

  1. There are no injuries to all parties involved; and
  2. There is minor damage to all vehicles involved; and
  3. All drivers have a valid driver’s license; and
  4. Each vehicle is properly insured (at least liability insurance); and
  5. All parties involved agree to exchange information without law enforcement conducting an investigation.

State law requires a police report to be prepared under the following circumstances:

  1. When there is a fatality or injury that occurs as a result of the accident; or
  2. When government property is involved; or
  3. When a Metro bus is involved; or
  4. When one of the vehicles left the scene of the accident; or
  5. When property damage is in excess of $500 to any one person.

Q. What should I do if my car has been towed?
A. Contact the District from which the auto was towed.   The District should be able to provide more information on where the vehicle was towed and how to go about retrieving it. Visit the District pages of this website for contact information.  

Q. How can I get a copy of an accident report? How much does it cost?
A.  Persons involved in an accident can get a copy of the accident report by coming to the Records Service Center, 1st Floor, 1915 Olive St., or by sending a written request for it through the mail.  Attorneys and Insurance Companies must send for reports through the mail.  The fee for an accident report is $6.50.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS  OR CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED AS PAYMENT. For more information, visit the Records Division page of this website. If you are not the person involved in the accident or are not acting on behalf of the person in the accident, you must submit your request through the Public Information Division. For more information, visit the Public Information page.

Q. What are the hours for the Records Division?
A. Normal business hours for the Records Service Center are 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday.

Q. How do I pay a traffic citation?
A. Information on traffic citations can be found at the City’s website:

Q. How do I pay for parking tickets?
A. Information on paying St. Louis City parking tickets can be found at the City’s parking violations bureau website.

Q. I received a parking ticket even though I believe I was legally parked. Why did police issue me a ticket?
A. Tickets are written by police officers, but also by parking attendants who are not police officers but who work for the City’s Parking Violations Bureau. Regardless of who wrote the ticket, if you believe you received a parking ticket in error and wish to contest it, contact the Parking Violations Bureau’s Customer Service Section at 314-450-2830

Q. What can I do to prevent my license plates or tabs from being stolen? What do I do if they’ve been stolen?
A. Call 231-1212 to file a report for your stolen plates or tabs. You can also purchase a license plate cover to help decrease the chances of theft. Call the License Collector’s office at 314-622-4231. More information on these issues can be found at the Department of Revenue’s website:

Services for Citizens


Q. How do I get a Club™ for my car?
A. Clubs are available at the License Collector’s Office at City Hall. For more information call 314-622-4231. You can also contact the Neighborhood Stabilization Office at 314-657-1392.

Q. My neighborhood doesn’t have a neighborhood watch program, can I start one?
A. Yes. Call your district’s Community Outreach Officer for more information on Neighborhood Watch Programs. See the district web pages for more information.

Q. How can I arrange for an officer to speak at my school or to my group?
A. Contact the Community Outreach Officer in the District where the event is located. For more information visit the District Web pages.

Q. How can I get crime statistics for my neighborhood?
A. Crime statistics for all 88 neighborhoods in the city of St. Louis can be found on the Crime Stats section of this wesite.

Q. How can I obtain an order of protection?
A. For more information on Petitions for Order of Protection, visit the Missouri Courts website:

Q. How do I obtain a permit to carry a gun?
A. Permits are obtained through the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department. Visit their website at for more information.

Q. How can I get property that was seized by the Police Department as evidence or seized during a crime?
A. There are strict guidelines that determine if and when seized property can be returned. Visit the Unclaimed Property page of this website for more information. After certain legal requirements are met, unclaimed property is auctioned off through

Q. Who can I contact for information about Car Auctions?
A. Car auctions are conducted by the City of St. Louis Towing Division. Contact them at 314-383-7546.

Q. Does the Department offer finger print services?
A. The Department offers limited finger print services.  Visit the Records Division Page for more information

Q. Can I have a background check performed?
A. A background check (Records Check) can be performed on a person as long as proof of birthdate and social security number of that person is provided.  Only information that is open to the public will be released to those who are not entitled to confidential information under the Missouri State Sunshine Law or who do not have written notarized authorization to obtain confidential information from the party being checked.  The cost of this records check is $9.00.

Q. I’m a high school student, how can I learn about the Police Explorers program?
A. Visit the Police Explorers page of this website.

Q. What resources are available for dealing with a difficult child?
A. The Juvenile Court has numerous resources available to help parents and guardians with a child who is disobedient, as does the Missouri Division of Family Services Children’s Division. They can provide information on programs and counseling services to assist you with a difficult child, including temporary residential programs that include intensive counseling and intervention for both the child and the parent. You can contact the Juvenile Court at 314-552-2000. The number for the Children’s Division is 314-340-7000. We would also encourage you to consider involving your child in active programs such as the Department’s PAL program. For more information visit the PAL page.

Q. How can I get information about hiring off-duty police officers for security at an event or business?
A. Contact the Police Lieutenant Kirk Deeken at 444-5419.

Arrest Related Questions


Q. I have a warrant out for my arrest, what should I do?
A. Persons that have a warrant for their arrest should turn themselves in to police at one of the three area patrol stations. Find the addresses for each station on this page.

Q. How can I find out if someone has been arrested?
A. Once someone is arrested they are booked at the Justice Center. To find out if someone is being held, contact the Justice Center at 241-8339.

Q. If a person is reported missing and is subsequently arrested, is the person who reported them missing notified?
A. Generally, yes, but it depends upon the age of the missing person and the exact circumstances. Reporting parties for minors will always be notified.

Q. Where is the Justice Center located? Where do I make bond? How do I find out a bond amount?
A. Bonds are posted at the Justice Center located at the Northeast Corner of Tucker and Clark at 200 South Tucker. Contact the Justice Center at 621-5848 for more information.

Information about the Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis


Q. How can I get information on becoming a police officer?
A. Visit the Careers section of the website for more information on becoming a police officer or civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Q. How many officers work for the Department? How many civilian employees?
A. There are approximately 1350 officers who work for the Department and 520 Civilian Employees.

Q. How can I compliment an officer?
A. You can send a thank you letter to the Office of Public Information, 1915 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63103. You can also submit a compliment at Public Information - Commendation Form. These will be forwarded to the officer as well as his/her supervisor.

Q. How do I file a complaint against an officer?
A. Contact the Internal Affairs Division. More information can be found on the Internal Affairs section of the website.

Q. What if an organization claiming to be the police calls for a donation?
A. The Metropolitan Police Deaprtment works with two very reputable organizations, BackStoppers and   the St. Louis Police Foundation. Neither of these organizations solicit donations by telephone.  If you're contacted by someone soliciting for donations, contact the Better Business Bureau to see if the organization is reputable.