The Novato Police Department Lobby is open. All other City facilities are currently closed for walk-in service following the Shelter in Place Order for the County of Marin. Please call for details about the services you are interested in. 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources


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Peace Officers would prefer not to use any force, avoid injuries, and improve our relationships with our community. Officers experience contacts with the community every day. Some are casual, positive contacts and some can be very stressful. Officers are trained to professionally handle a wide array of situations. Some encounters can lead to a detention or an arrest. It is important to remain peaceful and be civil, even if your contact ends in arrest.

 Following your encounter with the police, if you feel there was misconduct or improper job performance contact the officer’s agency and make a complaint. Police Departments take seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by their employees.    

Pedestrian Stop: What you should do/expect:

  • Expect the Officer to engage you respectfully and reciprocate the same

  • Consensual/Casual Contact – Officers contact many people in their community either during routine events or during a call for service. During these encounters you are free to end the contact and /or not speak with the officer if you choose.

  • Detention Stops – In a detention the police only need reasonable suspicion to stop/detain an individual. Reasonable suspicion means that there were objectively reasonable circumstances to suspect that the detained individual was involved in or was about to be involved in a crime. If you are being detained, you do not have the legal right to walk or run away or resist in any other manner.

 Traffic Stop: What you should do/expect:

  • Pull to the right.

  • Put the vehicle in park.

  • Roll down the window.

  • Turn on inside lights.

  • Keep your hands visible.

  • Expect the Officer to engage you respectfully and reciprocate the same.

  • Ask before reaching for anything.

  • You will be asked to provide a Driver’s License, Registration & Proof of Insurance.

  • You may be asked questions about the vehicle and other occupants.

  • If weapons are present leave them where they are and notify the officer. Keep your hands visible.

  • Notify Officer if injured or medical attention is needed.

  • Stay peaceful.

  • Complain to the Police Department if you believe you were mistreated.

  • The community can report misconduct without concern for reprisal or retaliation.


If you do not agree with the officer(s) actions

First: Cooperate with the Officer(s)

  • Answer questions if you want to, or request an attorney.

  • Provide any required documents (Driver’s License, insurance, etc.).

  • Sign paperwork not admitting guilt.

  • Ask the officer clarifying questions in a non-argumentative manner.

  • Ask for the Officer’s name and badge number if you would like it.

  • Ask for an incident or case number.

  • After the contact take notes about what happened. Have witnesses provide statements.

 Second: Complain to the Officer’s Agency

  • Contact the agency and make a formal complaint.

  • Ask for the name of the person the complaint goes to.

  • Follow-up with that person if you have not heard anything in a reasonable amount of time.

  • The agency will accept and address all complaints regarding the service provided by the agency and the conduct of its members.