Frequently Asked Police Questions

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Crime and Safety Employment Traffic Courts, Jail, and Fines Answers for Parents and Children Report Police Misconduct

Common questions we get at the Police Department

Crime and Safety

Q: I have spotted a suspicious person in my neighborhood/near my work, etc. How do I report this?

A: RPD encourages you to call 9-1-1 anytime you feel that a suspicious person may be in your area. An officer can respond and speak to the person to determine if the person is there legitimately. Be sure to describe the person and/or vehicle, if possible, to the 9-1-1 operator so an officer can recognize the person or vehicle at the scene.

Q: How do I search for crime in my area?

A: You can use our crime mapping service to search for crime on your street or area.

Q: How may I obtain a copy of a police report?

A: The Police Records Division, located at Police Headquarters, 6716 Six Forks Road, handles public requests for reports. Crash Reports are free of charge if you visit the Records counter or you can access it through the online system. Learn about getting police reports

Q: I would like to move to Raleigh and want to find out about crime in a certain area. How do I research this?

A: Once you have narrowed down the areas where you would like to live, you can use our crime mapping service to search crime in that area and on a specific street.

Q: I would like more information on registering a firearm or obtaining a carry concealed permit. Who do I contact?

A: Visit the Wake County Sheriff's page

Q: Do you have crime statistics available?

A: Visit Raleigh's Crime Data page


Q: I would like to become a RPD police officer. Where do I get more information and an application?

A: Visit our Police Recruitment page

Q: I would like to apply for a non-sworn position with the Police Department. Where can I find more information and apply?

A: Visit the City of Raleigh Jobs page

Q: I need to be fingerprinted. Where can I go to do this?

A: Visit the Wake County CCBI


Q: Where can I find out about traffic accidents?

A: The Traffic Accident Map and associated information is a capture of Raleigh - Wake County ECC (RWECC) computer-aided dispatch system's (CAD) active incidents, which updates every 15 minutes.

Q: Where can I get a copy of a traffic accident report that happened in Raleigh?

A: Search the Raleigh Police Department's Crash Report Database

Q: Where can I get traffic alerts?

A: Discover street closings that are planned and may affect traffic patterns across the city over the next several months.

Q: I have observed many drivers speeding through my neighborhood and I am afraid someone might get hurt. What can I do?

A: Please visit the Neighborhood Traffic Management page for more information.

Q: Where can I learn about traffic calming?

A: The City of Raleigh wishes to promote safe and efficient public streets that contribute to a positive quality of life for residents through various means. Neighborhood Traffic Management is one way towards this goal.

Q: Where can I pay a traffic ticket, or get more information on an outstanding ticket?

A: The Wake County Court may have your answers.

Q: How can I report an unsafe driver?

A: Citizens can report traffic violators or safety concerns by calling 9-1-1.

Courts, Jail, and Fines

Q: What is a false alarm and why am I being fined?

A: An alarm is false when, upon inspection by the police department, evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system. An alarm user shall be subject to fines, warnings and suspension depending on the number of false alarms emitted from an alarm system within a twelve (12) month period beginning on July 1 of each year. View more information

Q: I received a traffic citation. What do I do now?

A: Please visit the Wake County Court's website for more information about paying your citation.

Q: I would like to know the final outcome of a court trial. How do I find out if someone was convicted in court after their arrest?

A: The Clerk of Court is the records custodian for legal documents and court proceedings. The Clerk's number is 919-792-4000.

Q: I want visit someone that is currently in jail. What are the hours and guidelines?

A: To visit someone at the Wake County jail, please visit the Wake County Sheriff Office website for more information.

Q: I need to bail my brother out of jail. How do I do that?

A: You may either pay the bond in full, post a property bond or hire a bondsman to co-sign your bond for a 15% fee. For more information, visit Wake County's website.

Q: I need to get more information on an outstanding traffic ticket. Who do I speak with to pay my ticket?

A: The City of Raleigh offers Raleigh Parking citation payments on-line through our Payment System. For more information, contact Customer Service Specialists at 919-996-3996.

Answers for Parents and Children

Q: What is child abuse? 

A: North Carolina law defines the following as child abuse: Any parent of a child less than 18 years of age, or any other person providing care to or supervision of such child, who inflicts physical injury, or who allows physical injury to be inflicted, or who creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury, upon or to such child by other than accidental means is guilty of child abuse. 

North Carolina General Statute requires any person or institution suspecting that a child has been abused to report the incident to Child Protective Services, a division of Human Services, in the jurisdiction where the abuse is alleged to have occurred. For incidents occurring in Wake County call 919-212-7990. Additional information can be located at the Wake County's Human Services page.

Q: When is a child considered neglected? 

A: A neglected juvenile is a juvenile under the age of 18:

  • Who does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker; or
  • Who has been abandoned; or
  • Who is not provided necessary medical care; or
  • Who is not provided necessary remedial care; or
  • Who lives in an environment injurious to the juvenile’s welfare; or
  • Who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law. 

Q: How and when do I report suspected abuse, neglect, or dependency? 

A: Upon being made aware of child abuse, neglect, or dependency occurring in Wake County, you should contact Child Protective Services at 919-212-7990. Reports can be taken over the phone or in person, and complainants are considered anonymous. For additional information regarding the reporting process, refer to the Wake County's page.  

Q: What should I do if somebody touches me where they are not supposed to or if potential sexual abuse exists? What should I do if someone is violent and hurts me a lot?

A: You should tell the person to stop. Then, tell your parent, teacher, the police, or some other adult that you trust. Don’t be afraid to tell someone – you didn’t do anything wrong and you deserve to be safe.

Q: Will I have to go to court?

A: Maybe, unless there is a guilty plea by the offender in court.   However, everyone involved in the case will do everything possible to make going to court easier. 

Q: Will my friends at school find out about it?

A: The confidentiality of juvenile information is protected under state law and Raleigh Police Department policy.  

Q: How can I obtain a photo ID for my child?

A: Most North Carolina schools provide school ID’s for your children. You should have your child obtain a new ID and photo each year to reflect any physical changes that may have occurred. A child of any age may also obtain an identification card through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles with proper documentation.  Additional information may be obtained at NC DMV's website or Indetakid's website.

Q: What constitutes child abduction in North Carolina?

A: North Carolina law states that it is a Class F felony for a person:

  • Without legal justification or defense,
  • To abduct or induce, 
  • Any minor child who is at least four years younger than the person, 
  • To leave any person, agency, or institution lawfully entitled to the child's custody, placement, or care. 
  • This does not apply to any public officer or employee in the performance of his or her duty.

Q: Is it a crime to take a child out of state if a custody order is in place?

A: Yes. North Carolina law states that it is a Class I felony if:

  • A federal or state court has awarded custody of a child under age 16, and,
  • A person with the intent to violate that court order, 
  • Takes or transports or causes to be taken or transported, 
  • Any child from any point within North Carolina to any point outside North Carolina or keeps any such child outside the limits of North Carolina. 
  • Evidence that the child is kept outside the limits of the state in violation of the court order for a period in excess of 72 hours is considered a clear indication of intent to violate the order at the time of the taking.

Q: What is a delinquent juvenile?

A: A delinquent juvenile is a juvenile who is at least 6 years old and less than 16 years old who commits a crime or infraction under state law or under a local government ordinance, including a violation of the motor vehicle laws.  

In cases involving delinquency, a law enforcement officer will complete a juvenile petition regarding the delinquency and the juvenile will be released into the custody of their parent, guardian or custodian. In some felony cases where it is not appropriate to release the juvenile into the custody of a parent, guardian, or custodian, the officer will contact a juvenile court counselor for assistance in obtaining a secure custody order so the juvenile can be placed in a detention facility.

Q: What is an undisciplined juvenile? 

A: An undisciplined juvenile is a juvenile who is at least 6 years old and less than 16 years old:

  • Who is unlawfully absent from school; or
  • Is regularly disobedient to and beyond the disciplinary control of the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or custodian; or
  • Is regularly found in places where it is unlawful for a juvenile to be;  or
  • Has run away from home for a period of more than 24 hours.  NOTE:  A juvenile may be reported “missing” to law enforcement officials without waiting 24 hours.
  • A juvenile who is 16 or 17 years of age is undisciplined for the same behavior described above EXCEPT for absence from school.  When a juvenile reaches the age of 16, North Carolina law does not require school attendance. 

The parent of an undisciplined juvenile should contact Wake County Juvenile Services for assistance in obtaining a juvenile petition. They are located on the 8th floor of the old Wake County Courthouse at 316 Fayetteville St, Raleigh NC. For additional information call 919-715-3333 or go to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website and visit the "Juvenile Justice" link. 

Q: Are police reports regarding juveniles public record?

A: No. North Carolina law states that all law enforcement records and files concerning juveniles are to be kept from public inspection and therefore, are not public records. The publication of pictures of runaway juveniles is done with parental consent.

Q: My child is moody, depressed, violent, and/or suicidal. What can I do to help him/her?

A: While some “growing pains” are to be expected as your child faces the challenges of growing up, dramatic, long-lasting changes in personality, mood, or behavior are red flags. If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, make an appointment with the doctor and ask for a depression screening. If your child exhibits violent behavior, or expresses suicidal intentions, call for immediate police assistance. Officers will help make the environment safe, then provide you with assistance in obtaining an emergency mental commitment if it is necessary. The troublesome behaviors and emotions you’re seeing are signs of a problem. Don’t put things off and hope it will get better on its own.  For additional information regarding services go to the Wake County's Human Services page.  

Q: What should I do if my child has run away from home?  Do I have to wait 24 hours before calling the police?

A: You may call the police to make a “missing persons” report as soon as you believe your child has run away from home. There is no time requirement for a missing persons report to be taken. Once the report is made, the juvenile will be entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person and a detective will be assigned the case and will attempt to locate your child. 

Q: What are some warning signs to look if you suspect that your child may be involved with a gang?

A: Some common warning signs include:

  • Admits to “hanging out” with kids in gangs
  • Withdrawing from family
  • Declining school attendance, performance or behavior
  • Has unexplained cash or goods, such clothing or jewelry
  • Confrontational behavior, such as talking back, name calling, verbally abusive
  • Staying out late without reason
  • Has an unusual interest in gang influenced music, videos, movies or websites
  • Uses unusual hand signals to communicate with friends
  • Carries a weapon
  • Comes home with unexplained physical injuries such as bruises, tattoos or brandings
  • Peculiar drawings or gang symbols on schoolbooks, notebooks, clothing or walls.

For more information about warning signs please visit the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association's website or the National Gang Center's website.

Report Police Misconduct

Q: How do I report police misconduct?

A: If you have an allegation of police misconduct, send an email to Include as much detail as possible, including the date, time, location of the incident, as well as the officer’s name - if you know it. You will be contacted by the Raleigh Police Department Office of Internal Affairs and Professional Standards.



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