Records Bureau

The Records Department provides criminal information to law enforcement agencies and the public to aid an investigation and comply with the customer's right to know. The Records Unit collects and stores crime reports, crime data, and other documents to provide to the general public and the various components of the criminal justice system.



Police records functions include archiving reports, gathering crime statistics, storing non-criminal and criminal records, processing requests, and other materials. Special duties include providing information compliant with public records law and auto releases for towed vehicles.

Records Processed

Each year, records staff process approximately 7,000 reports generated by members of the Police Department. The records staff process restraining orders, impounded/stored/stolen vehicles, missing person reports, stolen property, subpoenas etc. The records staff also responds to Public Records Act requests received each year via telephone, fax, mail, and in person from the public counter. Each request is reviewed for dissemination per government statutes.

Records Requests

A request for a copy of a police report can be made in person with photo identification at the front counter in the Watsonville Police Department lobby. Requests can also be made by mail by writing to the Watsonville Police Department.

All reports are subject to release in accordance with the California Public Records Act. The fee is $42. When requesting a crime report or contacting the Records Section regarding an incident, please be prepared with the case number, date, time, and location of the incident.

Methods of Payment

Acceptable methods of payment:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Credit Card/Debit
  • Money Order payable to: City of Watsonville

Records Counter

The Records counter is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During these times, the public can contact records staff to request copies of traffic accident reports and crime incident reports. Records staff will do their best to answer any questions the public may have regarding police reports, local records checks, permits, tows, administrative reviews, etc.

Vehicle Releases

The Records Section issues vehicle releases when vehicles have been stored or impounded due to a California Vehicle Code violation. The vehicle's registered owner must be present to obtain the release or provide a required notarized authorization along with the vehicle's license plate number and/or vehicle identification number (VIN), a valid driver's license, and proof of Financial Responsibility. The vehicle release fee is $223 and must be paid before the release will be issued.

If you suspect your vehicle may have been stolen or impounded, you can contact the Non-Emergency number at 831-471-1151 and provide your vehicle license plate number or VIN to inquire about the vehicle's status.