Police Department Frequently Asked Questions

If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1. If you do not have an emergency but need to file a report, call our dispatch at 209-243-2399.

We are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. We are closed holidays and weekends but you can still call dispatch 24/7 at 209-243-2399 if you need an officer.

All traffic citations issued by the Newman Police Department are handled at the Stanislaus County Superior Court: 2260 Floyd Ave, Modesto, CA 95355.

Pay in person at the Newman Police Department, mail your check or money order to The Newman Police Department at P.O. Box 787, Newman, CA 95360, or pay by phone by calling 209-862-2902. Visit the Newman Police Department in person if contesting your citation.

To obtain a copy of records you must submit a request to the Newman Police Department. There will be a $15.00 fee and you will be required to show your ID.

Obtain a vehicle release at the Newman Police Department. Present proof of current registration, valid DL, or ID, and $180.00 cash/debit/or credit.

It is not required that you obtain a license for your bicycle, but the Newman Police Department strongly encourages that you register your bicycle. Registering your bicycle will help the police department track it down in case it gets lost or stolen. There will be a $5.00 fee for licensing a bicycle.

To report any sort of nuisance, call the Newman Police Department dispatch at 209-243-2399.

For animal complaints/Animal Control, contact the Newman Police Department at 209-862-2902.

Yes. A license is required if you live within city limits. A license for a neutered/spayed dog is $12 per year. If your dog is unaltered, it is $150 per year.

Yes! Twice a year we hold a low cost clinic. In May and October.

Our shelter is located at 712 Fresno Street in the alley next to the Corporation Yard. Our shelter is open to the public from Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, but please call the police department for access.

BE SURE YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE WHEN REPORTING A CRIME. There are details of information that the dispatcher will ask you for, to better inform the police officers who will be responding to your call for help.


1. Where is/did the crime take(ing) place?


1. What happened? (Describe the type of crime which has occurred or is occurring)

2. Are there any injuries? (If you do not know, just let the dispatcher know “I don’t know”.)


1. Did this crime just occur? Was it sometime during the night/day?

2. Timeframe of when it could have happened. (Timeframe can determine type of response.) Something that just occurred within ten minutes holds a greater possibility of catching the bad guy than a crime that occurred 10 hours ago or days ago.


1. Who was involved? Does this involve family members? Does it involve neighborhood kids? Etc.

2. Are they still on scene? If not, what was their last direction of travel? Did they leave on foot or in a vehicle?

If they are no longer on scene just tell the dispatcher landmarks if you are not aware of the direction, such as, “he just left from my home 241 Van Dyken Wy on foot and he is headed towards Quick Stop”. This information will assist the officer in intercepting the bad guy. The officer will always try to catch the bad guy if the crime just occurred before he makes contact with the reporting party or the victim.


1. Description of the person responsible, race, hair color, eyes, what were they wearing? Give as much of this information that you possibly can. The more accurate the physical description of the suspect, the better chance of catching him/her.

2. Description of vehicle involved. As a memory tool you can use:









Another helpful hint when trying to remember a license plate number, associate the letters and numbers to something familiar, making them easier to remember. Try to become familiar with the general license plate types for cars and trucks. Generally, cars will have one number, three letters, and three numbers. (ex: 1ABC234) Trucks will have one number, one letter and five numbers (ex: 1A23456). The dispatcher will attempt to gather the reporting parties information, last name, first name, address, and phone number; however, the reporting party/person may choose to remain anonymous.


The calmer you remain during the call, the faster the dispatcher can gather all necessary information to get a police officer on their way.

We, as law enforcement officers, often refer to ourselves as trained observers. We are trained to see details that the average citizen may overlook and more importantly, we are trained to accurately relay this information to others in an organized, concise manner— sometimes under duress. It is not that we have better memories than everybody else; rather, it is due to our training in observational psychology (the study of human physical characteristics and actions) and our daily reliance upon it. You too can learn how to develop your abilities of observation.

From a time line perspective, there are three categories of crimes:

1. A crime which is about to occur.

2. A crime in progress.

3. A crime which has already occurred.

When you call the police to report a crime, one of the first questions the dispatcher may ask you is, “Is this an emergency?” An emergency is any situation requiring immediate assistance and these are divided into two separate categories:

  1. Crimes against persons. (These types of crime are considered high priority)
  2. Crimes against property.

The next question the dispatcher may ask is, “What are you reporting?” You should respond by simply stating what the crime is. For example, “someone just robbed me”, or “I’d like to report a hit and run with injuries”, or “A woman is being beaten by a man”, or whatever the case may be.

As you are speaking on the phone, the dispatcher is typing the information into a computer and dispatching the call to an officer at the same time. If you start babbling, the dispatcher will abruptly guide you back to the correct line of questioning. Remember, the dispatcher is not intentionally being rude, but they have a job to do.

A series of questions will follow:

  • Where exactly did (or is) this crime occurring? (Exact address or landmarks)
  • What exactly happened? Are there any injuries?
  • When did it occur? Is it still occurring? How long ago? (Time frame: 10 min ago, an hour ago, yesterday)
  • Who was involved? Suspect? Victim?
  • What was the suspect’s last direction of travel?
  • Were there any weapons involved? Remember, anything can be considered a weapon.. a fist, a gun, a knife, hammer, bat, etc.

You will be asked a series of questions regarding the suspect.

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Height/Weight
  • Hair color, length and/or facial hair
  • Clothing description (including shoes)

The sooner a crime is reported to the police, the higher the chances of apprehending the suspect. Often times, after a “fresh crime”, if other officers happen to be in the area when the call was received, they have a reasonable suspicion that the person or vehicle they just stopped is connected to the crime, the police will detain the person or people matching the suspect description.

If you are the victim or witness of a crime, the police will advise you that they have someone detained and they would like you to look at. This is known as an “in field line up”. You will be read and asked to sign an admonishment that basically makes you aware that the person being detained may or may not be the guilty party. The police will then drive you to the location of the detainee to see if you can make a positive identification. In cases where the suspect is arrested some time after the crime, perhaps several hours or days later, you may be required to view a photo line up, sometimes referred to as a “six pack”.

For more information, please contact the Newman Police Department at (209) 862-2902.