How to Search Chicago Police Records
Whether you need a copy of an accident report for your insurance company or are applying for a job and want to check your criminal record, a search of Chicago police records could provide you with the information you need. In order to conduct a Chicago police records search, you must first identify the law enforcement agency in possession of the records. This may pose a challenge because there are a number of Illinois state, federal and local law enforcement agencies operating in and around Chicago. Once you know the agency holding the records you need, you must follow its procedures to obtain them.
Chicago Police Record Include
- Arrest Records
- Traffic Citations
- Criminal History
- DUIs / DWIs
Chicago Police Records Are Public Record
Many Chicago police records are public record according to the FOIA. The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is to make documents and records related to the affairs of government, including activities of law enforcement agencies, available to members of the public. The law recognizes personal privacy issues and legitimate concerns by police officials about the effect disclosure of information could have on investigations and prosecutions in pending criminal cases, so it allows certain information to be withheld.
Social Security numbers, telephone numbers and other private and personal identifying information about people may be withheld. Records pertaining to pending criminal investigations or that would reveal law enforcement tactics or investigative techniques do not have to be disclosed under the state law.
Chicago police records available to the public include information about traffic accidents through police accident reports and rescue reports. Also available are police arrest records and police blotters. Police blotters are records, usually recorded chronologically, of arrests made by a police or law enforcement agency.
Also included in records obtained through a Chicago police records search are fingerprint information and criminal record history of individuals who have been arrested. Mugshots taken at the time of a person’s arrest are also available.
Chicago Law Enforcement Agencies
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Secret Service
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- United States Marshals
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Federal Air Marshal Service
- Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service
- U.S. Postal Inspections Service
- Diplomatic Security Services of the U.S. Department of State
Chicago Police Department is only one of several law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction within the Chicago area. State, federal and local police and law enforcement agencies also enforce the laws and carry out operations within the city of Chicago. The following are some of the federal law enforcement agencies with offices or operations in Chicago
Law enforcement agencies of the state of Illinois conducting investigations and enforcement operations in Chicago include the following below.
Law Enforcement Agencies of Illinois
- Chicago District of the Illinois State Police
- Illinois Secretary of State Police
- Department of Investigations of the Illinois Attorney General Office
- Illinois Fire Marshal Arson Investigators
- Illinois Department of Revenue Investigators
Local police agencies include those associated with colleges and universities, hospitals, and Cook County, including the following below.
Chicago Local Police Agencies
- Cook County Sheriff’s Office
- Forest Preserve District Police
- John Stroger Hospital of Cook County Police
- University of Chicago Police Department
- Northwestern University Police Department
Chicago university police departments routinely patrol the streets adjacent to the campus, so it is not unusual for a police officer employed by a university to make an arrest, assist an accident victim or respond to a call for assistance off school property.
The vast number of law enforcement agencies operating within Chicago poses a challenge for anyone in need of obtaining Chicago police records. Your search will be made easier if you first identify the agency most likely to have possession of the records you need. For example, an arrest occurring on a street in downtown Chicago might not result in arrest records held by the Chicago Police Department if the arrest was made by members of the Illinois State Police.
Where to Look for Chicago Police Records
The procedure and process for conducting a search of Chicago police records may vary from one law enforcement agency to another, so it’s a good idea to check the agency’s website or make a call to find out the process, cost and record availability. Some records, such as information about outstanding arrest warrants, https://home.chicagopolice.org/tag/warrants/ are available to the public through the website of the Chicago Police Department. You could also obtain warrant information through third-party commercial websites https://www.searchquarry.com/illinois-warrant-search/ .
Large police agencies, such as the Chicago Police Department, make arrest records available through an online https://home.chicagopolice.org/online-services/adult-arrests/ search. All you have to do is access the department’s website, go to the section for searching for arrest records, type in the first and last name of the person along with the criminal offense and the record of arrest can be accessed.
Chicago criminal history http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/NewWebsite/Departments/Criminal-Division/KB/Obtaining-a-Criminal-History-Search.aspx searches can be conducted through the Illinois State Police. However, if the arrest occurred in Chicago prior to 1985, the person must obtain an arrest record or rap sheet from the Chicago Police Department before mailing a request for a criminal history to the state police headquarters in Joliet, Illinois.