Records Bureau / Evidence & Property

About Records

The Records Bureau is staffed by records specialists, and one records supervisor. It provides public assistance at the front counter. It processes, distributes, and maintains public record information to meet state and local mandates. All police reports are entered into various automated and manual systems to meet legal requirements. The bureau is responsible for maintaining compliance with all reporting of statistical data to the FBI, Department of Justice, and other related entities. The Records Bureau deals with on-going inspections of our jail facility, and records requirements.

Contact the Records Bureau at 510-215-4403 for assistance with:

  • Obtaining copies of crime and accident reports
  • Impounded vehicle releases
  • Public records requests pursuant to the California Public Records Act

The California Government Code governs the release of police records and reports. It can be found in sections 6250 - 6270.

About Evidence & Property

El Cerrito Police Officers, citizens and the ECPD Property section collect and recover many items of property every day. Once items are submitted as evidence or booked into the Property Room, only the property officers can handle or release the items. All property releases are done by appointment only. Hours for public appointment are Mon-Wed 8am-4pm, and Thursdays 10am-2pm. Appointments can be made by calling the Evidence Section, (510) 215-4438.

Safekeeping, Destruction or Property Observation:

All ammunition, illicit drugs or narcotics confiscated or turned in to police will be destroyed. Recovered and cleared stolen property and items held for safekeeping or observation are released to their owners, upon proof of ownership. Items are kept for 90 days. Unclaimed items will either go to charitable organizations or be disposed.

Found Property:

The California Civil Code section 2080.1(a) requires found property with a value of $100 or more be turned over to the police department. If unclaimed by the owner(s), the found items you turn in to police can be claimed by you prior to 90 days. Please call the Property Officer for instructions on how to do this before the 90 days is up. After 90 days any items unclaimed may be turned over to auction.

If you find property, please call the police as soon as possible. Found items may not be lost, but may actually be stolen or be an important part of a crime police are investigating. Your discovery of the items may help solve the case. Found property can be given to any police officer or brought to the El Cerrito Police Department 24 hours a day.

Turning in Weapons and Explosives:

If you have any firearms, ammunition or other type of weapon that you own and want to discard, you can bring it to the Police Department to be turned in for destruction at any time, 24 hours a day, or you can call us and a police officer will come to your residence. If you bring the firearm to the Police Department, make sure you follow all laws regarding transportation of the weapon and call us ahead of time to tell us you will be bringing it. Weapons turned in for destruction cannot be later released.

Claiming Firearms:

California law requires that any time a firearm is reclaimed from a law enforcement agency; the owner must undergo a background check by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). This is done by contacting DOJ at (916) 227-7527. They will provide information on how to file an application for a firearm release. After DOJ conducts a background check, they will provide a letter to the applicant authorizing him/her to own/possess firearms. An additional check will be made when you come in to claim the weapon. This is to ensure that there hasn't been a change to your record since the DOJ check. Be prepared to wait up to one hour. Information is available at the Attorney General website

If the firearm has been taken as evidence in a crime or suspected crime, clearance may have to be obtained from the Investigations Division or court order.