File a Complaint or a Compliment

Cooperate, then Complain

What should you expect when you are contacted by the police? What are the police expecting of you? Our officers are trained to handle an array of situations calmly and professionally, but it is important that you cooperate with the direction from officers and remain peaceful even if the interaction ends in an arrest.

Following your encounter with the police, if you feel there was misconduct or improper job performance you may contact the Santa Rosa Police Department and file a complaint. We take complaints very seriously and follow up on all allegations.

What to do during a traffic stop:What to do during a pedestrian stop:
  • 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 the officer if injured or medical attention is needed.
  • Stay peaceful.
  • 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 stop 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.
  • 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 want.
  • Ask for an incident or case number.


How to File a Commendation or a Complaint:

The Santa Rosa Police Department is committed to providing quality service to the community and welcomes feedback, including critical comments about employee performance. If you have a complaint or commendation, it may be made in person, by phone, by email or fax, and may be anonymous.

The following options are available:

  • Mail or drop off a letter to the Police Department at 965 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA  95404.
  • Call (707) 543-3559.
  • Send an email to srpdinfo@srcity.org
  • Pickup a commendation/complaint form, in English or Spanish, from the Police Department lobbies.
  • Download a commendation/complaint form. Forms are available in either English or Spanish.