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Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Call 9-1-1?

Dial 9-1-1 anytime you need an officer for any reason. The Renton Police Department does not have its own dispatching center at the station. Valley Communications in Kent dispatches all officers through a 9-1-1 system.  If it's a parking complaint, barking dog nuisance, abandoned vehicle or major emergency, you call 9-1-1! Your 9-1-1 call is received by a professionally trained Call Receiver. The caller's information comes up on a screen and includes the caller's phone number, address, and the name of the resident. (Call Receivers will need to confirm the information because it is not always accurate.) If you call from a cellular phone, you may need to provide your location and telephone number because that information may not be available. The Call Receiver will then enter the information into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and the Dispatcher will then send the appropriate emergency units. The Call Receiver and Dispatcher work simultaneously to avoid any delay in sending the help you need! And remember: Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up! Especially when you're calling from a cell phone! Too many times people hang up the phone before the Dispatcher has all the information, and valuable time is wasted when they have to call the person back!  You can also process complaints for neighborhood speeding, parking and abandoned vehicles online if it is not an emergency.

How Do I Use 9-1-1?

  • At a business or other location you may need to dial an outside line before dialing 9-1-1.
  • At a pay telephone, dialing 9-1-1 does not require a coin.
  • When using a cellular phone, you must specify that you are using such and be prepared to give your location, including the city and town.
  • To access TTY or TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf), press the space bar until a response is received.

Where can I get fingerprinted?

The Renton Police Department provides fingerprinting services for most applicants with the exception of juveniles and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) applicants.  Fingerprinting is available by appointment on Mondays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to Noon.  Call 425-430-7500.

How do I apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon?

To be eligible to apply for a Washington State Concealed Pistol License (CPL) at the Renton Police Department, you must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and reside within the city limits of Renton.

The fees for a CPL are:
New Application: $50.75
Renewal (90 to 0 days before expiration): $32
Late Renewal (0 to 90 days after expiration): $42
Replacement (If lost or stolen) $10

Payment of fees are due when you turn in your application. The fees are non-refundable if your application is denied. A CPL (if issued) is valid for five (5) years from the date of issue. Once the permit is approved it will be mailed directly to you. Allow 30 days for processing.

If you are applying for a new CPL, you may pick up an application at the Renton Police Department anytime of the day or night. Fingerprints are required for CPL applications.  You may schedule your fingerprint appointment at the same time you pick up an application (see times listed above).  Free gun locks are available upon request, courtesy of Project ChildSafe.

How do I get a copy of a police report?

The Renton Police Department provides involved parties copies of police reports and traffic accident reports for incidents that occurred within the city limits of Renton, and that the Department has investigated.

How to obtain a case copy:

  • You may apply in person by completing a Case Copy Request form at the front counter of the Renton Police Department. You will be given the option of having the report mailed to you or you may pick it up.
  • You may apply by phone at (425) 430-7629. The information needed will be collected over the phone. You will need to appear in person to pay the fee (if applicable) and receive the report. Proper identification is needed.
  • It takes approximately seven to ten days to process a routine request.  More complicated cases can take longer.

Attorneys, insurance companies, or other agencies representing an involved party in a Renton Police case, can mail requests to the Renton Police Department, Records Division 1055 South Grady Way, Renton WA 98057. Please place your request on your business letterhead, and include as much information pertaining to the date and time, nature of the case, and involved parties as you may have. Please include a statement that states your interest in the case. You may call the Renton Police Department to find out the fee associated with your request (425) 430-7629.

Washington State Law regulates who may receive copies of cases.  In some instances, your copy may be edited to withhold certain information pending disposition of the case or for other reasons.

How can I get rid of graffiti in my neighborhood?

When graffiti first appears, call the police.  Make sure somebody takes a picture of it (either you or the police), and then paint over it! This not only records and removes the graffiti, it also demonstrates to the offenders that it will not be tolerated. This is one of the most important things to do, as once the neighborhood is recognized as "not caring" by the offenders, the problem will continue or escalate.

Is there any connection between having a garage sale and subsequent burglaries at the site?

Sometimes, but not all the time. To have a garage sale safely, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Expect to have customers arrive early for the sale, no matter what time you have advertised for it to begin.
  • Have the garage sale in the front of your home, not inside your garage.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked that are not visible to you from your post, as well as any vehicles you have parked in your driveway. Be sure to remove any valuables from your car.
  • Keep earnings in a hip pouch and take large bills inside the house as a precaution.
  • Do not allow customers to use your bathroom or telephone. Direct them to the nearest public facility.
  • Have a couple of friends there with you at all times. There's safety in numbers!

Should I install a burglar alarm in my home? What kind?

There is no clear cut answer to this one. It is more a matter of personal choice.  Keep in mind, a burglar alarm is not a guarantee that you will not become the victim of a burglary.  An alarm provides a deterrent.  They should only be used as a backup to good physical security. Contact the Crime Prevention Unit for more information and assistance in choosing what's right for you and your family! (425) 430-7521

I want to have my house checked for proper locks, window latches, etc., to make my home safer for me and my family.  Who do I call?

Contact the Renton Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit. They will make an appointment with you to conduct a free residential or commercial security survey of your property. (425) 430-7521 or 430-7520

What can I do about speeding in my neighborhood?

Contact the Traffic Division of the Renton Police Department (425-430-7556) during business hours or email them. They may initiate a "speed survey" of the area and determine if there is indeed a problem.  You can also complete a Traffic Request Form online to advise the Traffic Division of the issue.

I am going on vacation. How can I protect my house?

  • Don't publicize your trip until after you return.
  • Join Operation Identification. Mark your valuables with your driver's license number, preceded with the letters "WADL," and display Operation Identification Stickers.  Be sure to record all serial numbers. Contact the Renton Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit at (425) 430-7521 during business hours for more information.
  • Don't leave large amounts of cash or jewelry in your home. Consider a safe deposit box, if appropriate.
  • Contact the Renton Police Department's Vacation House Check program. They will check your house daily (excluding holidays and weekends) to assist you in keeping your property safe while you're gone (apartments/condos excluded). (425) 430-7535 or (425) 430-7500
  • Consider using a trusted friend or relative as a house sitter while you're gone.
  • Check and lock all doors and windows.
  • Make arrangements for someone to:  Pick up your newspaper and mail daily; change the position of the drapes and pick up debris in the yard at least every other day; watch your house (preferably a close neighbor) and have them park their car in your driveway; and mow the lawn on your regular schedule.

I want to have my child's car seat checked to make sure it fits properly in my car. Who do I contact?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a web site that lists all inspection sites in the state.

Who should I call and complain to about a code violation?

You should contact code enforcement for the following violations:

  • Garbage, trash, and accumulated debris
  • Noxious weeds
  • Abandoned vehicles (on private property)
  • Unlicensed and inoperative vehicles stored on private property
  • Commercial vehicles parked in a residential zone
  • Structures built within setbacks
  • Signs placed in the right-of-way
  • Illegal signs on private and public property
  • Fences over 6 ft in residential zones
  • Fences over 4 ft in residential front yards
  • Fences in disrepair
  • Tree branches hanging low over sidewalks or streets, vegetation growing onto or over sidewalks
  • Construction or grading without the proper permit
  • Vacant buildings open to unauthorized entry
  • Basketball hoops on the sidewalk or street
  • Illegal operation of business in a residential zone
  • Businesses operating without a business license or proper permits
  • Activities not in compliance with current zoning regulations

You can file a complaint by phone (425-430-7373) or by email.
You do NOT contact the Police Department or dial 9-1-1 for the above-listed complaints.