Q: When I call the police, what information should I have ready
to give them?
A: The information needed will vary based on
what is being reported. The following is a list of questions that
could be asked when you call for police service. Not all questions
would be applicable to every call. The Communications Operator
is going to want to know:
- What is occurring or has occurred?
- The location of occurrence?
- Your name and phone number? (anonymous calls are accepted)
- Your location, if different from location of occurrence?
- The time of occurrence?
- Are there any injuries?
- Is anyone intoxicated?
- Are there weapons involved?
- How many people are involved?
- What is the descriptions of people involved? ( start from
the top, i.e., gender, race, hair color, eye color, height,
weight, scars/tattoos, clothing)
- What is the description of the vehicles involved? ( tag,
color, make, model, year)
- What was the direction of travel for anyone leaving the
scene on foot or in a or in a vehicle?
- Are there any witnesses? Are they still on the scene?
- Are there any animals at the house? Inside or outside?
- Is the location fenced? Are there any clotheslines or pools?
- Has anyone been outside?
(Questions 14 - 16 are necessary for the safety of approaching
officers. Also, if police K-9's are used, this information will
assist in effectively deploying the police dogs.)
Q: I am purchasing a home. What is the crime rate in the area?
A: The Police Department publishes monthly crime
reports on the department's web site which represent criminal
activity city-wide. The police department does not designate any
neighborhoods as high or low crime areas. Crime rates vary year
to year and location to location. A citizen may order a customized
public records report from the Records Section which will list
police activity for the time period specified, at a certain address
or zone in the city. Specific call types may also be specified,
as there are over 80 possible call types. There is a fee for these
reports, in accordance with the public records laws of the State
Q: How much does it cost to register my alarm system?
A: There is no charge to register your alarm,
however all business and residential alarms in the City must be
registered with the police department.
Q: What are the driving curfews for juveniles?
A: A person who holds a drivers license who
is under 17 years of age, when operating a motor
vehicle after 11:00pm and before 6:00am, must
be accompanied by a driver, 21 years of age or older, who holds
a valid license to operate the type of vehicle being operated
unless the juvenile is driving directly to or from work.
A person who holds a drivers license who is 17 years
of age, when operating a motor vehicle after
1:00am and before 5:00am, must be accompanied by a driver,
21 years of age or older, who holds a valid license to operate
the type of vehicle being operated unless the juvenile is driving
to or from work.
Q: What hours is construction permitted?
A: Building construction activities that create
loud and raucous noise may not take place after 6:00pm or before
7:00am and no time on Sunday except in the case of urgent necessity
in the interest of public health and safety, in accordance with
Q: Will police respond to noise complaints?
A: If you are willing to sign a complaint against
the person or persons that are creating the noise as defined in
3-1508 of the City
Of Clearwater Community Development Code, an officer will
be dispatched to address the complaint. In many cases, callers
reporting noise complaints prefer to remain anonymous. In those
cases the complaint will be dispatched to an officer to check
in the course of his duties. If the officer determines that the
noise is a violation under the ordinance, he/she will address
the source of the noise. If the noise has stopped by the time
an officer arrives, no police action can be taken.
Q: Will police respond to a call of a barking dog?
A: An officer will be dispatched on the same
basis as that of a noise complaint (above) and provided the caller
is willing to sign a complaint. If the dog is a nuisance on a
regular basis, Pinellas County Animal Control should be contacted
at (727) 582-2600.
Q: Will the Clearwater Police respond if I lock my keys in my
A: Unless there is an immediate danger to public
safety (i.e., a child is locked inside), you will be asked to
contact a towing company or a locksmith. If the vehicle is running
and creating a hazard or if a child is locked in the car, the
Department will respond along with an officer if necessary.
Clearwater Police officers do not respond to routine lock-outs;
we will respond to animals locked in a car if the windows are
closed and the situation could constitute animal cruelty.
Q: What should I do if a police officer stops me while I'm driving?
A: You should decrease your speed and use your
signal to indicate which way you intend to pull over (always pull
to the right if at all possible). You should try to pull out of
the way of traffic and leave enough room so that the police vehicle
behind you is also able to get out of traffic. If you are pulled
over at night, try to stop in a well-lit area. Turn on your dome
light and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Do not begin
collecting your documents before being told to do so and do not
exit your vehicle unless asked by the officer. Stay calm and provide
the information requested by the officer relative to your driver's
license, registration and insurance card. Answer questions without
embellishment or storytelling. Please do not reach under the seat,
into the glovebox, etc., without telling the officer what you
are doing. Remember, the officer does not know who you are or
what your intentions are.
Q: I have heard of people impersonating police officers. How
can I be sure if someone is really a police officer?
A: There have been incidents of persons impersonating
a police officer by using a dash mounted blue light. All patrol
vehicles in the Clearwater Police Department are either marked
with a light bar on the roof, or equipped with multiple lights
mounted in headlights, grill and dash. If you are not sure that
the vehicle attempting to stop you is actually a law enforcement
vehicle, do not stop immediately. Signal the "officer"
to follow you and then pull over at a well-lit business with other
people around, like a gas station or convenience store.
Q: Where do I go to pay a traffic citation?
A: When issuing a citation, the officer will
provide an envelope from the court with instructions on how to
respond to the citation. Payment locations vary depending on the
type of citation and where it was issued.
Civil infractions, ( moving and non moving violations)
are payable in person or through the mail at the Clerk Of Courts,
14250 49th St. N., Clearwater, 33762.
Criminal traffic violations require a court
appearance on the date set by the officer. Drivers issued criminal
citations by officers north of Ulmerton Road will appear in the
North County Traffic Court located at 29582 US 19 N., Clearwater.
Those drivers cited south of Ulmerton Road will need to appears
in the South County Traffic Court, located at 1800 66th Street
N. in St. Petersburg.
You also have the option of contesting the charge in traffic
court. Those instructions are printed on the reverse side of your
For additional information on traffic citations and traffic court,
refer to the Clerk
of the Circuit Court web site.
Q: What should I do if involved in a traffic crash?
A: When you are involved in a traffic crash
you should stop and remain at the scene. If possible you should
move you vehicle off the roadway. There is NO law in Florida
that prohibits you from moving your vehicle out of the roadway
after a crash; in fact the law REQUIRES you to do so, if possible.
Have someone call the police at (727) 562-4242 or 911 if there
are injuries, and report the crash. Due to the mix of municipalities
and unincorporated areas in Pinellas County, you may be asked
questions in order to determine in exactly what jurisdiction the
crash occurred. Do not get into an argument with the other drivers
Q: What should I do if I witness a crash?
A: If you witness a crash, if possible, stop
on the side of the road and stay until the police can arrive.
If you are not able to remain, you should call the police communications
center at (727) 562-4242 or 911 if there are injuries, and advise
the operator that you have witnessed the crash. The operator will
forward your name and contact information to the investigating
Q: I have been involved in an accident. Do I need to file a
A: If you have been in a crash involving injury,
a drunk driver, a hit and run with suspect information, or if
your vehicle is disabled requiring a tow, you should notify the
policy agency having jurisdiction where the crash occurred for
a report to be completed. If the cars are interfering with traffic
flow and can be moved, then you must move them out of the roadway.
If you are involved in a crash with total damage of more than
$500.00 (all vehicles or property) and there are no injuries,
or criminal charges and vehicles are driveable, you are required
to obtain a white crash form from any Police Department,
Florida Highway Patrol, or Sheriff's office. The form should be
completed with the applicable information for all vehicles involved
and mailed to Tallahassee (address on the form ) with a copy to
your insurance company. (This form will soon be available on the
Clearwater Police Department web site so that you may simply print
out a copy and complete the number of forms needed.) If total
damage is less than $500.00, it is not necessary to report the
accident, however, you should exchange driver information among
the parties involved in the accident.
Q: How long must I wait for a copy of my police report?
A: Copies are provided upon request and upon
payment for copies. Depending on the nature of the police investigation
and case management review, reports are available in as little
as two days but can extend longer. Requests are fulfilled in the
order they are received. Call the Records Section at (727) 562-4440
or write to Police Records, 645 Pierce St, Clearwater, FL, 33756.
Fees are based on the Florida public records law.
Q: I observed a reckless driver. Can I report him?
A: We encourage you to report DUI and reckless
drivers. To aid us in locating this violator we will need as much
information as possible such as a description of the vehicle (and
driver, if possible), a tag number, direction of travel, and time
lapse. If you are calling on a cell phone while following this
errant driver, try to stay on the line. This will allow the dispatchers
to update responding units to the violator's location and direction
of travel. Never compromise your own safety or violate the laws
and rules of driving that apply to you as well as everyone else
on the road.
Q: What should I do if I witness criminal activity or if I am
a victim of a crime in Clearwater?
A: First, make sure you are safe, then contact
the police. If possible, make written notes of what you have seen,
including descriptions, times, and locations, while your memory
is still fresh. If the situation is an emergency call 911. If
it is not an emergency, call the Clearwater Police Department
at (727) 562-4242. Follow the directions and answer the questions
being asked by the police or emergency call taker. Remain calm.
It may be necessary for the police officer to speak to you directly;
be prepared to meet the officer or provide a contact phone number.
Q: Is there a curfew in Clearwater?
A: At the present time there is no curfew for
juveniles in Clearwater.
Q: Where can I find information on the City of Clearwater's
Code of ordinances?
A: You can find them at the Clearwater
Public Library, City
Hall, and on
Q: Can I drink alcoholic beverages on Clearwater Beach?
A: The consumption of alcoholic beverages is
not allowed on our beaches. Open alcohol is not permitted on any
public property in the City of Clearwater.
Q: What can I do to crime-proof my home or business?
A: It is impossible to completely "crime
proof" your home or business; however, it is possible to
take steps that can make your property less vulnerable to burglary,
such as using the proper locks, doors, windows, alarms etc. You
can contact our Crime Prevention Unit at (727) 562-4141 to inquire
about lectures on home security or to request a personal security
check on your home. Both services are free.
Q: How can I start a Neighborhood Watch Program in my neighborhood?
A: If you live in Clearwater, contact the Clearwater
Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit at (727) 562-4141.
Q: Who is the Clearwater Police Chief and how many police officers
does Clearwater have?
A: Our present Chief of Police is Anthony Holloway.
He has been Chief of our Department since February of 2010. He
worked for Clearwater PD for 25 years before leaving to become
the Chief of the Somerville, Massachusetts Police Department.
He was there for two years before returning to Clearwater as it's
Chief. The Clearwater Police Department began as a one man department
in 1915 and now has more than 450 employees. Presently there are
248 sworn officers on the department.
Q: What is the difference between a police officer and a detective?
A: A detective is a plain-clothes police officer
responsible for the follow-up investigation of crimes and incidents.
A uniformed patrol officer responds to and handles the
initial investigation of calls for police service. The detective
continues the investigation started by the patrol officer but
may also initiate specialized investigations directly assigned
to the detective unit. In Clearwater, a patrol officer
and a detective are of equal rank.
Q: How do I compliment or complain about a Clearwater Police
Officer or other employee?
A: We prefer that you start with the officer/employee's
immediate supervisor; in the case of a police officer, that would
be a sergeant. You may find out who the supervisor is by asking
the officer/employee or contacting the Communications Center at
(727) 562-4242. Other methods include:
Use our online Citizen Request Center
Contact our Office of Professional Standards during business
hours at (727) 562-4304.
Call our 24-hour Citizen's Hot Line at (727) 562-4080.
Email us at email@example.com.
Write to us at the Office of Professional Standards, Clearwater
Police Department, 645 Pierce St., Clearwater, FL, 33756.
Q: How can I obtain a Clearwater Police Patch?
A: Write or call the Clearwater Police Department
Special Operations Section at:
Or send e-mail Elaine Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: My tag was stolen. Can I place a paper tag on my vehicle
until I get another one?
A: When your tag is stolen a police report is
required. If you know where the tag was stolen the report should
be filed with the agency in that jurisdiction. If you are uncertain
where that tag was taken, notify the agency having jurisdiction
where the tag is registered. The law does not allow for a home-made
paper tag to replace the lost or stolen tag in the interim of
obtaining a replacement. A vehicle without a tag cannot be driven
on public streets nor can a tag from another vehicle be used.
The vehicle should not be driven until the replacement tag is
obtained and attached .
Q: How do I have someone evicted?
A: Evictions in Pinellas County are handled
through the Pinellas
County Sheriff's Office. The Clearwater Police Department
does not handle eviction orders. For information call the Sheriff's
Office at (727) 582-6200. You can also obtain information on landlord/tenant
actions at the Clerk of
the Circuit Court web site.
Q: Why is there a police helicopter flying above my house or
in my neighborhood?
A: The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office operates
an aviation section located at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport.
Deputies often fly in areas of the county looking from above for
illegal activity or situations requiring attention that otherwise
might not be observed by an officer or deputy on the ground. The
aviation section also assists other law enforcement agencies throughout
the county in searching for suspects, missing persons, stolen
cars, etc. The helicopter flying above your house or in your neighborhood
may be doing any of the aforementioned activities. Generally if
a crime has been committed in your area or someone is missing
you will see patrol cars in the area as well. In any case, if
in doubt lock your doors and stay inside. If you observe anything
or anyone suspicious call the police department and advise them.
Q: Can I volunteer my services at the police department? If
so, how do I go about it and who do I contact?
A: The Clearwater Police Department often utilizes
services of citizen volunteers in various divisions. For further
information click here.
Q: I understand that Clearwater Police Department is often in
need of School Crossing Guards. Who do I contact to become one?
A: Being a school crossing guard is rewarding,
part-time work that makes a positive contribution to the safety
of our children. Contact the Community Relations Section at (727)
Q: What is the Communications Center and what is its function?
A: The Communications Center is responsible
for answering both emergency and non emergency calls and dispatching
police officers to those calls. Approximately 50 civilian employees
work in shifts around the clock and each shift has a shift supervisor
responsible for the supervision of the Communications Center.
This Division is headed by a Police Captain who oversees the total
operation. About 65% percent of calls for police service are generated
through the Communications Division.
Q: How many calls does the Communications Center receive?
A: The Clearwater Police Department's Communication
Center receives an average of 23,000 telephone calls per month,
resulting in officers being dispatched to approximately 14,000
calls for service per month.
Q: How does 911 work?
A: All 911 calls made in Pinellas County are
first received at the Pinellas County Central Dispatch Center.
This center ascertains if the caller needs police, fire or medical
assistance. If fire, rescue, or medical services are needed, their
staff dispatches the appropriate apparatus. If police service
is required, the call is transferred to the appropriate law enforcement
agency. For this reason, if you need police and dial 911 you will
first speak to a county 911 operator before you speak to a Clearwater
Police operator. This occurs in all law enforcement agencies within
Pinellas County and is sometimes confusing to the caller.
Q: How does 911 prioritize calls?
A: All calls requiring a police response are
assigned a priority. Priorities range from "1" to "5",
"1" being the highest and "5" the lowest.
While we understand that all callers believe their call is important,
in the interest of public safety, we must have a method for determining
what call should be dispatched first. While you are speaking to
a call taker he or she is entering your information into a computer.
This information is transmitted to the appropriate dispatcher
who will in turn dispatch police to the required location.
Priority 1 or 2 calls require a police response and are generally
dispatched immediately. As information is being obtained from
callers of an "in progress" or "high priority"
incident that information is simultaneously disseminated to the
responding officers by the dispatcher.
Priority 3 calls are lower priority calls and may be an hour
or longer for a police response, depending on call activity in
the City at the time.
Priority 4 or 5 calls are generally handled by our Police Service
Technicians who will call the complainant back and take the report
by phone. A police officer is not dispatched to these calls, and
you will be informed of same. Calls of this type are taken in
the order they are received and require the caller to be available
at a telephone. Call back time is generally within the hour, depending
on the call activity at the time. Reports fitting the criteria
for telephone reporting are those that are not in progress, with
no injuries, no suspects in the area, and no witnesses to be interviewed.
Further, there must be no indication that a person is or will
be in any immediate danger. Information for these type calls will
be taken by the trained Police Service Technician and forward
to CID (Criminal Investigation Division), to be assigned to an
investigator, as any other case. Taking these type calls by telephone
allows us to keep police officers available for higher priority
public safety calls and is often more convenient to the caller