When I call the Police, what information should I have ready to give them?
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 Police Officer that answers your call may 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 are 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? ( license, color, make, model, year)
What was the direction of travel for anyone leaving the scene on foot 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?
What should I do if I witness criminal activity of if I am the victim of a crime in Torrance?
First, make sure you are safe, then contact our Department. If the situation is an emergency, call 911. If it is not an emergency, call the Torrance Police Department at (310) 328-3456. Follow the directions and answer the questions being asked by the police officer that answers the phone call. Remain calm. If possible, make written notes of what you have seen, including descriptions, times and locations, while your memory is still fresh.
If I see something or someone suspicious, should I call the Police?
Yes, you are the one who knows best what is or is not suspicious in the places that you frequent, your neighborhood or place of work. Almost a day does not go by in the City of Torrance that the report of suspicious activity by a citizen results in the detention or arrest of someone involved in criminal activity. If it's an emergency, call 911. For non-emergency, call (310) 328-3456.
What are the top five (5) traffic violations that cause traffic collisions?
Avoiding these violations of the vehicle code, and driving defensively around those that are violating these sections can greatly reduce the livelihood that you will be involved in a traffic collision. The top five traffic violations that cause traffic collisions are:
21703 (a) VC
Following to close. You must follow the vehicle in front of you a distance that allows you to stop, no matter how quickly that vehicle stops. The three (3) second rule will allow you to easily judge this distance. The three second rule indicates that if you see the vehicle in front of you pass a object (i.e. cross walk line, light pole, etc.) you should not pass that same object in less than three seconds.
21453 (a) VC
Failing to stop for red signal lights.
23152 (a) VC
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Speeding. In excess of the posted speed limit, or driving at any speed that is unsafe, based on the conditions present (rain, fog and other conditions may dictate that even the posted speed is not safe.)
21801 (a) VC
Left turns. A driver may not negotiate a left turn when another vehicle is approaching head on, that is so close as to be a hazard
I observed a reckless driver, can I report them?
Often times reckless drivers are impaired drivers. The Department encourages you to report DUI and reckless drivers. To aid us in locating the violator we will need as much information as possible such as a description of the vehicle (and driver, if possible), a license plate number, direction of travel and time lapse.
If you are calling on a cell phone while following the reckless 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.
IMPORTANT: The Department does not want you to become part of the problem. 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.
What should I do if I witness a collision?
If you witness a crash, if possible, stop on the side of the road and stay until the police arrive. If you are not able to remain, you should call the Police Communications Center at (310) 328-3456, 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 officer.
What are the reporting requirements if I've been involved in a traffic collision?
If you are involved in a vehicle accident that occurred in California, you must report it to DMV if:
There was property damage of more than $750, or
Anyone was injured (no matter how minor), or
Anyone was killed.
Each driver must make a report to DMV within 10 days, whether you caused the accident or not and even if the accident occurred on private property. Mail the completed report form to the address on the form.
You can read the California Driver Handbook "Reporting The Accident To DMV" for additional information.
Any person involved in a traffic collision, that meets the criteria, can go to their local police station to make a report. The report should be made as soon as possible. The person reporting the collision needs to bring along the following information:
The time and location (street address/cross streets) where the collision occurred.
The license plate number of the vehicle he or she was driving when they were involved in the traffic collision.
Driver's license, insurance information (name of the insurance company and their policy number).
The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all passengers in their vehicle.
If known, the license plate numbers, names, addresses, and phone numbers of all other involved drivers and passengers.
How long can a vehicle be parked on the street? What can I do if a vehicle has been parked and not moved for a long time?
A vehicle can only be parked in the same spot for 72 hours. If you become suspicious of a certain vehicle that has exceeded the 72-hour limit, please call the Torrance Police Department's Traffic Division at (310) 618-5557.
Who do I call if I see an abandoned vehicle (or one that hasn't moved for 72 hours)?
Call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline at (310) 618-2344 and leave the information requested.
Who do I call to report on-going traffic problems?
Call the Traffic Division at (310) 618-5557, Monday-Friday, 7:30a.m. to 5 p.m., and give the information to our Traffic Office. Or check out the Traffic Division online.
Who do I call if I am aware of immediate traffic hazards?
Call 911 if the hazard poses a threat to life. Otherwise call (310) 328-3456 and give our Communications Center the information.
What is a DUI cost recovery fee?
When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence, officers complete a cost recovery form. The form is forwarded to the Traffic Office where office personnel compile the fees which are based on the amount of time officers were required to spend on the investigation. The driver is then billed for this amount.
What do I do with my "Fix-It-Ticket" after it is signed off?
Your next step is to take it to Traffic Court or processing agency listed on the citation. Local citations may be due at the South Bay Court, Traffic Annex at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA, 90503, telephone (310) 222-8061, or http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/. The annex is located to the rear of the main court house, next to Los Angeles County probation and the juvenile court (3221 Torrance Blvd.)
Where can I get a "Fix-It-Ticket" signed off?
Fix-it tickets can be signed off at the Torrance Police Department, 3300 Civic Center Drive, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. We will gladly inspect the vehicle and, if the problem has been corrected, we will sign off on the back of the citation. The citation may be signed off by any police officer in California. It does not require the inspection be done by the issuing agency.
The Torrance Police Department charges $21 for a vehicle inspection on all fix-it tickets. This fee is in addition to any fees due to the court or processing agency.
Fix-it tickets can also be signed off by the California Highway Patrol for free.
How do I contest a traffic citation?
On the face of the citation you will find the address of the traffic court, as well as the date and time you are scheduled to appear. If you need to contact the Torrance Court, telephone (310) 222-8061, or go to the LA County Court website at: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/.
Once a traffic citation is written, the Torrance Police Department no longer has any jurisdiction over the citation and only a court of law may dismiss it.
How do I contest a parking citation?
Call the Traffic Division at (310) 618-5557, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will find instructions on the back of parking citations that will assist you in filing a response if you feel you were wrongly cited.
What do I do if I lost my traffic citation?
If you lost your traffic citation, you need to contact the courts for information to resolve your ticket. You can obtain court information by visiting the Los Angeles Superior Court Traffic Violation Information website at http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/Traffic/.
What happens if I refuse to sign a traffic ticket citation?
When you sign a traffic citation, you are only making a written promise to appear in court - it has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. If you refuse to sign, you will be arrested and taken before a magistrate within 72 hours.
How do I obtain a driver's license?
Driver's licenses are obtained through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Torrance office is located at 1785 W. 220th Street, Torrance, 90501, telephone (800) 777-0133. Further information can be obtained at the DMV website.
How do I obtain a copy of a Police report?
Records Division at (310) 618-5529.
My vehicle was impounded, how do I get it back?
You must obtain a vehicle release from the Torrance Police Department at 3300 Civic Center Drive, Records Division (310) 618-5529. The vehicle will only be released to the registered owner. If you are not the registered owner, you will need to obtain a notarized letter authorizing release of the vehicle to you. The registered owner or authorized person must have a valid driver's license or identification card issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicles.
The impound fee will be assessed by the Torrance Police Department and additional towing and storage fees may be required and must be paid at the towing company. Vehicles impounded for a 30-day hold due to the driver being unlicensed or suspended will not be released prior to the 30-day period without a Post Storage hearing being conducted by Traffic Division. The Watch Commander cannot release a vehicle impounded for 30 days.
Post Storage hearings are conducted Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 8 to 10 a.m. To scheduled a hearing, contact the Traffic Division at (310) 618-5557 or go to the Traffic Division during those time periods.
What happens to unclaimed property?
Property that has no value or is contraband is destroyed. Property that has value is sold at public auction. Citizens can view and/or bid on these items via the Internet at www.PropertyRoom.Com. Most law enforcement agencies have started using this company.
If a crime victims locates their property on Property Room.Com, they should contact the website to advise them of the stolen property and then they need to contact the detective handling their case and show a report that lists that item(s) as being stolen. They can then have the item returned to them. The website also has a service for victims to register their serial numbers of items lost/stolen, and in the event they are turned over to PropertyRoom.Com, they will return it.
What forms of identification are acceptable to pick up property?
We accept driver's licenses, resident alien cards, California identification cards, valid picture identification and birth certificates. Without proper identification we will not release any property.
If I'm unable to pick up my property, can I send someone to pick it up?
You will need to send a notarized letter of authorization to have someone else pick up your property. The authorized letter must have the name of the person picking up the property. The person picking up your property must bring a current pictured I. D. If you are incarcerated, the person picking up your property must have an authorization for release form from that facility. The form must include the owner's signature along with the person authorized to pick up the property.
How do I get property that was evidence from a court case?
The detective handling your case or the court must release all evidence. You may contact the Property Room to find out if the evidence is clear for release or contact the handling detective with inquiries about your case. Please provide your name and case number. The Detective Division number is (310) 618-5570.
How can I get my property that was taken for safekeeping?
You must bring proof of identification to the Property Room to have your items released.
I turned in found property, when can I claim it?
Any item turned into the Police Department, as found property must be kept for 120 days to see if the owner can be located. If the item has not been claimed, it can be released to the finder under certain circumstances. Please contact our Services Division at (310) 618-5521 for further information.
How do I retrieve my property from the Police Department?
You may call us at (310) 618-5521 during normal business hours. Please provide us with your name, a case number, a serial number or other descriptive information so we can more effectively check your property.
What are the Property room hours of operation?
Monday - Thursday from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
How can I find out inmate information for LA County?
Where will a Torrance Police arrestee be sent after he/she goes to court?
Arrestees who remain in custody after arraignment are remanded to the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
How can I find out if someone is int the Torrance jail?
Contact our jail at (310) 618-5631.
Is begging illegal in Torrance?
Yes, it is an offense to beg in a public place. You can report any instances of begging to us by calling (310) 328-3456. Please be prepared to describe where the individuals are, what they look like, whether they are begging passively or aggressively, and what they said. You should also tell us if a child is involved. While Torrance is compassionate toward those less fortunate, frequently those that beg in public places are supporting a drug or alcohol habit. Additionally, these individuals frequently engage in petty thefts, and crimes of opportunity, both of which degrade the quality of life for those living in or visiting the City of Torrance.
Where/How do I obtain a permit to carry a firearm?
California has strict restrictions on the criteria to carry a concealed firearm, however the Chief of Police may in certain circumstances issue a permit to a resident of the City of Torrance. The first step in this process requires that you contact the Department Intelligence Officer at (310) 618-2328 during normal business hours.
I would like to hold a "Casino Night" theme fund-raiser. Where/how do I obtain the proper permit?
"Casino night" fundraisers are subject to the State of California laws which prohibit gambling. There are some general guidelines about what constitutes gambling and what is prohibited under State law. Please refer to the following links to attain additional answers to your questions. You may also contact the Department Intelligence Officer during normal business hours at (310) 618-5709.
Can I drink alcoholic beverages on Torrance beach?
The consumption of alcoholic beverages is not allowed on our beaches. Open alcohol is not permitted on any public property in the City of Torrance.
Can I put after-market tinting on the windows of my vehicle?
The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are:
The windshield and front driver's side and passenger's side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting.
If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.
The law prohibits any person from driving any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows, with certain limited exceptions.
However, legislation signed into law effective Jan. 1, 1999, exempts from the above prohibition specified clear, colorless, and transparent material that is installed, affixed, or applied to the front driver and passenger side windows for the specific purpose of reducing ultraviolet rays. If, as, or when this material becomes torn, bubbled or otherwise worn, it must be removed or replaced.
Is it legal to use my cellular phone while I'm driving?
No. As of July 1st, 2008, it is illegal for motorists to talk on their cellular phone while driving.
How can I obtain a restraining order?
For those in the Torrance area restraining orders are obtained at the Torrance Superior Court, 825 Maple Ave., Torrance. The public should go to the 5th floor of the courthouse to an office outside the far north courtroom. Staff there will assist you.
Does the Torrance Police Department issue restraining orders?
No, restraining orders are obtained from a court of law. However, if you need an Emergency Protective Order for domestic violence which has occurred during those hours when the court is closed (i.e., over a weekend or holiday), you may obtain it at the Police Department by coming to the lobby or calling one of our business lines for assistance. NOTE: Emergency Protection Orders are available through the Police Department on a 24-hour basis, and are valid for only 5 court days.
Can solicitors solicit in the city of Torrance?
Yes, but there are municipal codes that solicitors must follow. Below are some of the most used municipal codes for solicitors.
SECTION 31.3.1. - CARRYING ON BUSINESS WITHOUT LICENSE
No person (whether as principal or agent, clerk or employee, either for himself or for any other person, or otherwise) shall carry on any business in the City without first having obtained a license therefor from the City, and without complying with any and all applicable provisions of this Division. Each day that such business is so carried on shall constitute a separate violation of this Division.
SECTION 34.1.5. - HOURS OF CANVASSING OR SOLICITING
No canvasser or solicitor selling or pretending to sell, or offering for sale or demonstration, goods, wares or merchandise of any kind or character, or any article, material or substance, shall ring the bell or knock on the door of, or attempt to gain entrance to, any residence, dwelling, flat, or apartment after 9:00 P.M., in the evening of any day and before 9:00 A.M. in the morning of any day.
SECTION 34.1.6. - SIGNS APPLYING TO CANVASSERS OR SOLICITORS
a) No person for the purpose of peddling or soliciting, or pretending to peddle or solicit shall ring the bell or knock at or on any door or building, or attempt to gain admittance to or cause or hire others for the purpose of peddling or soliciting to attempt to gain admittance to any premises whereon a sign bearing the words: "No Trespassing," "No Peddlers," "No Advertisement," "No Canvassers," "No Solicitors" or any similar notice, indicating in any manner that the occupants of said premises do not desire to be molested or to have their right of privacy disturbed.
b) The above provision shall apply to either canvassers, solicitors or both of them if any sign bears the words set forth in this section or refers by other terms to those persons who are defined in Section 34.1.2
c) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any peddler or solicitor who knocks at any door or rings any bell at the prior invitation or with the prior consent of some member of the household at which he so applies for admission.
SECTION 34.2.1. - FUND CERTIFICATE
a) Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall solicit funds for himself or on behalf of any other person without a certificate to do so and except in compliance with the provisions of this Article. When such certificate has been issued to any person, other than an individual, the individual agents and solicitors for such person shall not be required to obtain individual certificates, but shall be required to have and keep with them and available for inspection a true and legible copy of the original certificate issued to the person on behalf of whom or which the solicitation is being done.
b) The provisions of this Article shall apply to telephone solicitations where any portion of the process, including the making of telephone calls or the physical collection of monies solicited occurs in the City.
Many times people who have been arrested allege that they are not guilty of the charge. The validity of the arrest and the guilt or innocence of the person must be determined by a court of law, not the Police Department. Only the court is empowered by law to adjudicate such matters. The court proceeding provides an impartial forum where both sides of the case can be heard and the truth determined.
Under California Civil Code Section 47.5, it is unlawful to file a complaint against a Peace Officer with the knowledge that it is false and that it is made with spite, hatred or ill will. Additionally, under California Penal Code Section 148.6(a)(1), you can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor if you make a complaint against an officer knowing that it is false.
How a Personnel Complaint is Handled
The Personnel Division is responsible for the coordination of all investigations into allegations of misconduct by a member of the Torrance Police Department.
A misconduct investigation requires that the assigned investigator talk to you. The investigator's role is that of a "fact finder" and in such capacity he or she will talk with all known or available witnesses, as well as other involved parties (including Department employees). The assigned investigator does not determine guilt or innocence, nor do they recommend any punishment. The investigator is solely responsible for completion of a report concerning the investigation.
The Police Department tries to respond to misconduct investigations as rapidly as possible. However, this investigative effort can sometimes be very time-consuming and involved. It is important that all the relevant and obtainable facts are known. You may check on the status of a particular investigation by contacting the Personnel Division at (310) 618-5707.
After the investigation has been completed, it is submitted for administrative review. The final reviewer is the Chief of Police who determines the appropriate action to be taken. You will, in all cases, be notified in writing concerning the results of the investigation.
How to File a Written Complaint
If you feel more comfortable making your complaint in writing rather than talking to a Police Supervisor, you may send your letter outlining the facts of your complaint addressed to:
Chief of Police
Torrance Police Department
3300 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA 90503
There is no established format for the written letter complaint, but you need to write down the important facts. It would also be helpful to list all known witnesses, their names and addresses. It is important that the follow-up investigator contact you. Therefore, please include your return mailing address, a contact telephone number, and your hours of availability.
How to Make a Complaint
Any individual who is directly involved in or witnesses an incident in which he or she believes a member of the Torrance Police Department has acted in a manner, which, if true, would be classified as misconduct, should bring the matter to the attention of the Department by calling the on-duty Watch Commander at (310) 618-5737.
To file a complaint in person, come to the Torrance Police Department located at 3300 Civic Center Drive. When you come in, please inform the desk officer that you wish to speak to the on-duty Watch Commander regarding a complaint against a member of the Torrance Police Department. It is important that you request to speak with the Watch Commander rather than give details to the desk officer. The desk officer has no involvement in the complaint process.
How do I file a complaint (Citizen Complaints)?
The goal of the Torrance Police Department is to provide a personalized quality of service that emphasizes the spirit of excellence and pride in the accomplishment of that service, with a visible expression of integrity and compassion. To help us identify problems in providing this kind of service, your input is important. Input regarding possible misconduct can be provided through the Personnel Complaint Process. This process provides the Department with an opportunity to explore the problem and take whatever action is necessary to correct it.
How can I commend a Torrance Police Department Employee?
We always enjoy positive feedback. Please send your written comments to:
Chief of Police
Torrance Police Department
3300 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA 90503
or if you wish, please call the Watch Commander at (310) 618-5737.
Does the Torrance Police Department offer a Ride-Along program?
The Torrance Police Department only offers ride-alongs to other law enforcement officers and potential candidates for employment with the Torrance Police Department. To schedule a ride along contact our Personnel Division at (310) 618-5707.
Can the Torrance Police Department do a vacation check on our house?
Yes, the Torrance Police Department provides vacation check services on your home while you are away. Just fill out the online Vacation Security Request form to let us know that you would like to make a vacation extra patrol request. Please be prepared to provide emergency contact telephone numbers for you, and/or nearby family or friends who we could contact if necessary. The information you provide will be passed on to the officer that patrols your neighborhood. While we cannot "watch" your house, the officers will try to check on it each shift. In conjunction with our extra patrol, it is best to have your house looked after by a family member, relative or trusted neighbor or friend.
Can a civic or youth group tour the Torrance Police station?
Yes, we allow civic groups to tour the station, but arrangements must be made in advance. Contact the Community Affairs office at (310) 618-6392.
Can a Police Department speaker be requested for a local citizen group meeting or event?
Yes, the Department has many officers and employees who are well qualified to speak on a variety of topics. To request a speaker for an upcoming event or meeting, call (310) 618-6392. You can fill out an online Speaker Request form.
Does the Torrance Police Department or its officers call residents to ask for donations?
The Torrance Police Department does not solicit for donations by telephone. However, some private organizations that have police officers as members do. If you have any questions about solicitations, call the Police Department prior to committing to any donations.
How many Police Community Centers do you have? Where are they?
Torrance Police Community Centers include:
The Downtown Torrance Police Community Center, located at 1215 El Prado Avenue in historic downtown Torrance, was opened on Nov. 12, 1994. Currently, free Tax Assistance for Seniors is being offered at this location. The Tax Assistance Program for Senior Citizens sponsored by AARP begins Feb. 1, 2012, and continues through April 13, 2012. Assistance is available Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, please call: (310) 618-2724 or (310) 618-2930.
Phone: (310) 533-0896
Fax: (310) 533-6805
The South Torrance Police Community Center is located at Walteria Park. The Center serves as a field police officer "satellite station" for officers only. No services are offered at this location.
Phone: (310) 373-8376 or (310) 373-8789
What are the jurisdictional boundaries of the Torrance Police Department?
The Torrance Police Department is responsible for the public safety of citizens and visitors within the geographical boundaries of the City of Torrance. While uniformed officers rarely leave the City, it is not uncommon for Detectives to investigate Torrance-related incidents outside of the City. Torrance Police Officers have police powers anywhere in the State of California.
I'm moving to Torrance, Can you tell me the best place to look for a house or apartment?
First of all, insure the neighborhood is within the city limits of Torrance. There are large areas of unincorporated Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles that have a Torrance mailing address but are within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office http://www.lasd.org/ or the Los Angeles Police Department http://www.lapdonline.org/.
You may consider contacting a realtor who specializes in people newly moving to the area and discuss any special needs, economic ranges, etc., that you may have.
If you have questions, our Police-Community Affairs Crime Prevention Officers can respond to your questions based on firsthand information at (310) 618-6392.
I plan to visit Torrance. Where are the safe areas and hotels?
The City of Torrance is part of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. We are a community that prides itself on our low crime rate. Visitors should realize that there are areas around our city that are called Torrance, however they are merely within the Torrance postal area and not within the City of Torrance. The Torrance Police Department does not patrol these areas, and has no control over criminal activity in them.
Torrance has one of the lowest crime rates of any city in Los Angeles County, however visitors should not leave their common sense at home. Lock your car doors, and secure your hotel room when you are not there.