Police Department FAQs

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How may I obtain a copy of a police report? 

Police-2-Citizen web site (use Internet Explorer) - http://www.wspdp2c.org/

Where do I file a police report online?

Police-2-Citizen (use Internet Explorer)

How can I get a copy of my arrest record?

Certified copies of your arrest record which include court dispositions are available from the Forsyth County Clerk of Court in Room 216, Hall of Justice, 200 N. Main St., Winston-Salem. The phone number is 336-779-6300. There is a fee for these records.

Arrest records maintained by the Winston-Salem Police Department are not certified and do not contain dispositions. These are available from the Records Division in the Public Safety Center between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is no charge for an arrest record. These records contain only arrests made by Winston-Salem Police and Forsyth County Sheriffs Department. Our records should not be used for employment or other such purposes.

How can I get a copy of my accident or incident report?

If the incident or accident was investigated by the Winston-Salem Police Department, the public portion of the report may be obtained by contacting the Records Division in Room 130 at the Public Safety Center, 725 N. Cherry St., Winston-Salem. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no charge for a copy. To speed your request, please bring the incident number with you. The phone number is 336-773-7922.

Most reports may also be obtained online at Police-2-Citizen web site (use Internet Explorer)

What if I need more information than what the “Public Record” contains?

Requests for the investigative portions of a criminal incident report will be referred to the Public Safety Legal Advisor for review. The top portion of the Request for Release of Information form (Authorization for Release [pdf] must be completed and submitted to the Records Division for processing. Requests can take up to 14 days to process. To check on the status of your request, please contact the Records Division at 336-773-7922.

How do I get property back that was taken as evidence?

All property releases begin with the officer assigned to your case. Once the officer authorizes the transfer of property, the owner should call and confirm an appointment with Evidence Management Staff at 336-726-7285. The owner should bring photo identification and any related forms or applications to 1200 Patterson Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC. 

Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The supervisor can be reached at 336-726-7270

Does Evidence Management sell or auction property?  In particular, do you sell cars?

Evidence Management does not sell or auction any type of property.  People interested in items for sale or auction should refer to www.propertyroom.com

I've been to court today and my case was dismissed.  Can I have my property now?

In the event of a case dismissal, the case officer must first authorize the release of the property back to the owner before he/she will be able to retrieve that property.

I need to be fingerprinted for an employment application. Where can I go to do this?

At the Public Safety Center, 725 N. Cherry Street, Winston-Salem.  Every Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. - $10 per card, CASH ONLY. Photo identification (driver's license, ID card, passport, etc.) must be presented.

I have an outstanding traffic ticket. Who do I speak with to pay my ticket?

Parking tickets received within the City of Winston-Salem may be paid online. You will need your parking ticket number or license plate number to view your violation(s). 

Need to ask a question? Call 336-727-8000.

Dispute over ticket? Online appeal process and form or call Parking Enforcement at 336-727-2104.

I would like to move to Winston-Salem.  How can I find out about crime in a certain area? 

Police-2-Citizen (use Internet Explorer)

How do I get a gun permit?

Application for handgun permits takes place on the 2nd floor (main entrance) of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Administration Building located at 301 N. Church Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

 Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)

 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.


I would like to become a Winston-Salem Police Officer.  Where do I find more information and an application? 

Steps of the application process (sworn position)

I would like to apply for a non-sworn position.  Where can I get more information and apply? 

Non-sworn postings are on the City of Winston-Salem's Job Opportunities page.  

What is the Child Safety Seat Law?

According to the NC Child Passenger Safety (CPS) law, children are required to be in a booster seat or some other type of child passenger restraint system until they reach eight years of age or 80 pounds, whichever comes first. Most drivers comply by using belt positioning booster seats, but other child restraints with harnesses rated for use over 40 pounds are legal to use as well.

Where can I get my child safety seat checked?

At the Winston Mutual Building, 1225 E. Fifth Street, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Requests for child safety seat installations can be made by calling the Community Resources Unit directly at 336-773-7835. Please allow at least 30 minutes for the installation.   

When calling to make an appointment, please be prepared to provide:

  • the make/model of the child safety seat
  • the serial number or the date of manufacture

At the time of the appointment, it is also is important to have:

  • the owner’s manual for the vehicle
  • the owner's manual for the child safety seat

Where is the Forsyth County Jail?

The jail is located at 201 N. Church St., Winston-Salem

Where is the Forsyth County Courthouse?

The Forsyth County Courthouse is located at 200 N. Main St., Winston-Salem.

Where is the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office?

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is located at 301 N. Church St., Winston-Salem.

Who can I contact about my home alarm system and the city ordinance?

The False Alarm Reduction Unit can be reached at 336-773-7886.

Where can I find detailed information on a specific city ordinance? 

City Ordinances on the Municode web site  

Where can I find detailed information on a specific state law or General Statute?   

North Carolina General Assembly web site

What do I do if I suspect my identity has been stolen? 

Contact the three credit reporting agencies and place a "FRAUD ALERT" on your credit files.

You can also obtain a FREE copy of your credit report by visiting Annual Credit Report (the official site for your free annual credit report). 

I believe that an e-mail I received is potentially a scam.  Who can I report this to? 

Unwanted or deceptive e-mail (spam) can be forwarded via e-mail to the ( spam@uce.gov )

What if someone has used my identity for employment purposes or to file a tax return? 

The IRS is responsible for administering and enforcing tax laws. If you believe someone has assumed your identity to file federal Income Tax Returns, or to commit other tax fraud, call toll-free: 1-800-829-0433. Victims of identity theft who are having trouble filing their returns should call the IRS Taxpayer Advocates Office, toll-free: 1-877-777-4778.

Crime Scene Integrity:

Forensic Services Division will have the most success processing a scene that has been secured and undisturbed. Don't use the door where the suspect made entry and don't drive the car for two or three days and then report the crime. Forensic Services Division personnel will be provided information by the case officer and will also talk with victims to determine items touched or handled (out of place items) or items that don't belong at the scene and possibly left by suspects.

Vandalism Calls:

When vehicles or buildings have been "egged," spray painted, or bricks/rocks thrown through windows, Forensic Services Division is usually not called due to the lack of evidence. If spray paint cans are left at the scenes, officers have been encouraged to transport them to Forensic Services Division for processing for latent prints. Rocks and bricks are rough textured surfaces are not conducive to latent print processing

Auto Breaking/Entering:

On a "smash and grab" (window broken out with rock or brick and subject reaches inside to remove purse or item from the front seat; door is still locked and untouched), latent print processing would be of no benefit. The rock/brick is not conducive for latent print processing and the vehicle surfaces were not touched by the suspect.

Latent Prints:

Latent prints are deposited or left on an item when a person touches it. The friction ridges allow us to grip an object without it sliding out of our hands. Oils and perspiration are secreted and are on the friction ridges. These are deposited on the items touched leaving a latent (invisible) print. Lasers, light sources, chemicals and powders are available to develop prints; however, powders applied with small brushes are the most common. Powders are applied lightly to items/surfaces touched by the perpetrators in an attempt to develop the invisible print and make it visible. The most common powder is black powder. Once a print is developed with powder, it is lifted with transparent tape and affixed to a lift card.

Fingerprint powder:

Can the powder be easily cleaned? On non-porous surfaces such as metal and glass, same can be removed using a small amount of 409, glass cleaner, etc. on a rag. Using water or a soaking wet rag can make cleanup more difficult. On porous items, a metallic powder is utilized and can be more easily wiped off. Powders can leave a slight stain or discoloring on porous surfaces.

Can you tell the age of the print or if it was left by a male or female?


Are fingerprints fragile evidence?

Yes, the oils and perspiration are deposited on porous and non-porous surfaces. Basically they are sitting on top of surface and can be wiped or washed off and easily destroyed.

Are all items/surfaces conducive for latent prints?

No, many surfaces are too textured, rough, oily, dirty and rusty. Many surfaces are textured (appliances, dash boards, countertops, etc.) to conceal or prevent fingerprints that would require constant cleaning.

Are prints destroyed if the area is cleaned or secured prior to an officer arriving on the scene?

Most likely

What are elimination prints?

In the event the technician is able to develop latent prints at the scene of a crime, victims or those that have most likely handled these items (with the exclusion of those under 16 years of age) will be requested to provide a set of elimination prints. These are rolled in ink at the scene by the technician within a couple of minutes. The elimination prints are then compared by an examiner to the lifted prints to "eliminate" the lifted prints as belonging to the victim.

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (a person or living organism's genetic makeup)

How can DNA be left at a scene?

Touch DNA (items handled or touched if ungloved are potential sources) or through body fluids.

Drink cans or cigarette butts left at a scene:

These are potential sources of DNA; however, in property crime calls, the NCSBI does not process items for DNA due to cost and time and Forensic Services Division does not routinely seize these items for crimes of this nature. DNA testing is very costly and time consuming. Currently there is a backlog for testing for DNA at the NCSBI on major crimes. Not feasible in MIP, Auto B/E, Larceny, HBL, etc.

Shoe prints/tire treads:

Dependent upon the quality, these can be cast by Forensic Services Division personnel with dental stone which will usually dry in 45 min. to 1.5 hours.....dependent upon the environmental conditions. These are usually not done in random property crime calls. Forensic Services Division Supervisors will assess the crime and crime trends for the area to determine if casts are completed.

Photographs for Insurance purposes:

Forensic Services Division personnel do not take photographs for insurance purposes. In some cases victims request to purchase photographs for various needs; however, these photographs are not released (sold) without approval from the case officer, the officer's supervisor and the Department's legal advisor.

If latent prints are developed in my case, can I contact Forensic Services Division to determine if they have been identified?

No, if you have questions regarding your case, contact the investigating (case) officer. 

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