Technical Services Bureau

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The Technical Services Bureau is the Communications Center of the Novato Police Department. It includes the Records Section (Business Office), the Dispatch Center, and the Evidence Section. The following services are provided:

  • General Information
  • 9-1-1 calls
  • Incident Reporting
  • Requests for Police Reports
  • Incident and Premise History
  • Fingerprinting
  • Vehicle Release Information
  • Property and Evidence Release Information


The Novato Police Department Records Section is the custodian of all police business records and is responsible for forwarding reports to the District Attorney’s Office that have the potential for prosecution. Reports are reviewed for statistical accuracy and are processed. The report attachments are scanned into RMS (Record Management System) and kept electronically. The Records Section is also responsible for completing citizen report requests, assisting the public at the front counter and reporting crime statistics to the California Department of Justice.

Unlike many records sections, the Novato Police Records Section personnel are skilled call-takers, who in addition to answering and routing all the business calls, also accept non-emergency calls for service from the public. They enter these calls into CAD and assist the dispatchers with emergency calls.


The Novato Police Department Communications center is the most vital link between the officers and the Novato community. Dispatchers emergency line calls, interview the callers and enter information into the Department’s computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. The dispatchers prioritize calls for service and dispatch appropriate personnel. As they receive these calls, a dispatcher obtains initial information from individuals who are often emotional or frightened, assess the nature of the emergency, and determine whether the call requires police, fire and/or medical response, or other type of assistance, referral or information.

Dispatchers additionally perform a wide variety of tasks including answering, researching and routing requests for information, completing records and/or warrants checks when requested by officers and authorized agencies, processing and maintaining restraining orders and missing persons information, and completing a number of different data entry and administrative duties.


The Evidence Technician is responsible for receiving, cataloging and storing evidence and recovered property and must ensure that all evidence is properly packaged and stored to preserve it in its original state for prosecution. The technician retrieves evidence for court, arranges for analysis of evidence by the California Department of Justice Crime Lab and maintains the “chain of custody." The Evidence Technician takes possession of all found property turned in to the Department and arranges for return of the property when the owner is located.

Evidence items are kept in property until all court proceeding are complete. Some cases require special processing like homicide evidence and other cases with DNA or specific statutory and legislative requirements. Once the property is no longer needed for legal proceedings, the Evidence Technician arranges for its return to the owner, or disposition by auction or destruction according to state law.

Tips when visiting our business office:

Reporting Theft and Vandalism via online reporting: Click on the link to take you to online reporting to report or document theft of less than $900.00 in value, with no suspect information, or vandalism under $1000.00 in value, also with no suspect information. This process is used when there are no suspects or solvability factors and the reporting person does not want to speak with a Police Officer. The form meets insurance company documentation needs.

Reporting Traffic Collisions - after you have left the scene: "Counter Reports" may be used to document non-injury accidents, where the parties wish to record information previously exchanged at the scene of the collision. General information required includes: driver's names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle and driver's license information and insurance policy numbers. The Counter Report/Collision form can be completed at the Novato police department front counter or mailed out to the involved parties.

Reporting Abandoned Vehicles: Vehicles must have been parked in the same place for a minimum of 72 hours. Call 897-4361 and provide the location, vehicle color, make, model and license number as well as the length of time the vehicle has been parked in the same place. This information will then be given to the Police Interns who will mark the vehicles and put them on a list to be towed.

Requesting Copies of Police Reports: Collisioin reports are released to the driver or the drivers authorized representative. A $22.00 fee per report is payable with exact change or a local check. Requests must be made in writing and must include the requester's name, address and phone number, as well as the relationship to the report. The Records Supervisor reviews requests. Requests are processed as soon as possible and within 10 days. Traffic collision reports may take longer and can be requested online at

Requesting Incident or Premise History: Information about our calls for service is available either by requesting a specific event(s) or activity at a specific address. The fee is $1.00 per specific event(s) or $16.00 for a specified period of time at a specific address. A request form is available. The request must be in writing and include a reason for the request. The requester will be notified when the information is available, confidential information will be deleted.

Vehicle Release: Vehicles will only be released to the registered owner. A $135.00 release fee is required, either in cash for the exact amount or with a local check. The registered or legal owner must have (or be accompanied by a person with) a valid California Driver's License. Validity will be confirmed at the Police Department. The vehicle must be currently registered in the state of California. If the vehicle was impounded due to multiple vehicle code licensing violations, the vehicle will be held for 30 days from the date of the tow unless otherwise approved by the Traffic Sergeant through an administrative hearing.

Property and Evidence Release: Contact the Property and Evidence Technician at 415 899-7013, to schedule an appointment. Property will not be released without an appointment. Property held as evidence will not be available for release until the case has been adjudicated. Verification from the Department of Justice to ensure that the recipient is not in a prohibitive classification will be conducted prior to releasing firearms.

Auctions: The City of Novato does not hold auctions for surplus property. The City of Novato contracts who take the items and reimburses the City.

Public Fingerprinting Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Photo ID is required. The fee is $27.00 per card and requires exact change or local check. Fingerprinting is also preformed Monday-Friday at Mail Boxes Etc. in Ignacio, 883-1988 or the 7th Street office at 899-1686. Fingerprints for immigration can only be done at Immigration and Naturalization Services Offices: Call 202 305-7802. Contact the Marin County Sheriff's Office at 479-2311 for Live Scan (computerized) fingerprinting appointments.

Citizen Complaint: We accept all complaints and welcome the opportunity to explain our procedures and to ensure they are followed appropriately. If you have a concern regarding Novato Police services ask to speak to a Police Supervisor. Complaint forms are available in English and Spanish.

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