What Are the Different Units of the Palo Alto Police Department?

The Palo Alto Police Department is organized into various sections and units, each spearheaded by experienced officers and catered to address specific areas of law enforcement and community engagement. Let’s delve deeper into some of these significant units:

  • 24-hour Dispatch Center: This is the lifeline of the police department, where officers are on call non-stop to attend to emergencies and non-emergencies. They can be reached at (650) 329-2413.
  • Front Desk: For those who prefer in-person service, the front desk is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. They also provide phone service at (650) 329-2406. For after-hours and weekends, you can contact them at (650) 329-2413.
  • Field Services Division: Headed by Captain April Wagner, this division is responsible for patrolling and ensuring the safety of the city. Lieutenant Brian Philip serves as the Watch Commander for this unit.
  • Anonymous Tip Section: This segment provides various platforms for citizens to share tips anonymously, be it through voice mail, text messages, or e-mails. This encourages community members to come forward with valuable information without the fear of repercussions.

What is the History of the Palo Alto Police Department?

The roots of the Palo Alto Police Department stretch back to 1894, making it one of the oldest established police departments in California. Their commitment to serving the community 24/7, 365 days a year, has been unwavering since their inception. Over the years, the department has grown, adapted, and evolved, but its dedication to ensuring the safety of Palo Alto’s residents remains unchanged.

How Does the Palo Alto Police Department Serve the Community?

The Palo Alto Police Department’s approach goes beyond mere law enforcement; it’s about building strong, lasting relationships with the community. One of their core principles is community engagement. They believe that an informed and connected community is essential for public safety, and therefore, they frequently update residents on ongoing issues and safety tips.

They make use of modern tools and platforms, such as online reporting and tip systems, which empower the residents to play a more active role in maintaining security. The department also provides resources on various topics like victim assistance, immigration rights, and more, showcasing their dedication to holistic community care.

They emphasize transparency, accountability, and respect in all interactions. They believe that every community member plays a role in preventing crime and, thus, consistently encourage residents to stay informed and engaged with the dedicated officers of the police department. The mutual respect and collaboration between the Palo Alto Police and its community truly set a gold standard for community policing.


Address: 275 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301


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