Police FAQ

  1. Where is the Portage Police Division?
  2. Where do I visit/communicate with someone the police have arrested?
  3. Will the police respond to noise complaints?
  4. Will the police respond to a barking dog complaint?
  5. Will the police respond if I lock my keys in my car?
  6. What should I do if I am involved in a traffic accident?
  7. How long must I wait for a copy of my police report?
  8. How can I start a Neighborhood Watch in my neighborhood?
  9. How can I get my fingerprints taken?
  10. When I call the PPD for service, what information should I have ready to give them?
  11. How do I compliment/complain about a PPD officer or other employee?
  12. After I make a complaint about a PPD officer, what happens? 
  13. What should I do if a police officer stops me while I am driving?
  14. Can I report a crime without having a police officer come to my home/business? 

1. Where is the Portage Police Division?

The Portage Department of Public Safety - Police Division is located at 7810 Shaver Road.

2. Where do I visit/communicate with someone the police have arrested? 
The Police Division does not operate a holding facility.  All arrested persons are transported to the Kalamazoo County Jail, 1500 Lamont Avenue.  Once the person has been transported to the Kalamazoo County Jail, visitation is allowed. The phone number for the Kalamazoo County Jail is 385-6173.

3. Will the police respond to noise complaints?
Yes.  A police officer will be dispatched to address the complaint.  In many cases, callers reporting noise complaints prefer to remain anonymous.  In those cases, the officer will still respond; however, if the noise has stopped when the officer arrives, no police action can be taken.

4. Will the police respond to a barking dog complaint?
An officer will be dispatched on the same basis as that of a noise complaint.

5. Will the police respond if I lock my keys in my car?
The Police Division does not respond to routine lock-outs unless there is an immediate danger, i.e., a child is locked inside or in response to an animal locked in the car with the windows rolled up and the situation could constitute animal cruelty. Otherwise, you will be asked to contact a locksmith or towing company. 

6. What should I do if I am involved in a traffic accident?
Stop and remain at the scene.  If possible, you should move your vehicle off the roadway.  Have someone call the police.

7. How long must I wait for a copy of my police report?
Depending on the nature of the police investigation, reports may be available within five business days.  Some reports may take longer, and most are subject to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.  You may call the Police Records Section to check on the status of your request at 324-9258.

8. How can I start a Neighborhood Watch in my neighborhood?
If you live in Portage, contact the Community Policing Officer at 324-9255.

9. How can I get my fingerprints taken?
Fingerprints can be taken at the Department of Public Safety - Police Division, 7810 Shaver Road.

10. When I call the police for service, 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 will be applicable to every call.  The communications operator is going to want to know:

  1. What is occurring or has occurred?
  2. The location of the occurrence?
  3. Your location if different from occurrence.
  4. Your name and phone number. (Anonymous calls are accepted and responded to.)
  5. The time of the occurrence.
  6. Are there any injuries?
  7. Is anyone intoxicated?
  8. Are there weapons involved?
  9. How many people involved?
  10. What is the description of the people involved (gender, race, hair color, eye color, height, weight, scars, tattoos, clothing, etc.)?
  11. What is the description of the vehicles involved (tag, color, make, model, year)?
  12. What was the direction of travel for anyone leaving the scene on foot or in a vehicle?
  13. Are there any witnesses?
  14. Are there any animals at the house?  Inside or outside?
  15. Is the location fenced?  Are there any clotheslines or pools?
  16. Has anyone been outside?

Questions 14-16 are necessary for the safety of approaching officers.  Also, if police K 9’s are used, this information will assist in effectively deploying the dogs.

11. How do I compliment/complain about an officer or other employee?
We would prefer that you start with the officer’s/employee’s immediate supervisor.  In most cases this will be a sergeant.  There is always a police supervisor (a sergeant or lieutenant) on duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  You may also complete a complaint/compliment form on line or fill out a form located in the police lobby.

12.  After I make a complaint about a PPD officer, what happens?
If the complaint can be resolved by a supervisor, they will do so. These issues usually involve a question of why did the police do or not do something. If the complaint cannot be resolved at this step, it is documented on a department administrative review form and directed to the Public Safety Director. Minor complaints will be referred to a supervisor to investigate. More serious complaints are referred to Internal Affairs. In most cases, it will be necessary to take a recorded statement from the person complaining. This eliminates any confusion or misunderstanding. Any witnesses will also be interviewed. The employees involved will be interviewed under oath and recorded. Any video, audio, documents or other data will be collected. Internal Affairs will then compile all of this material into a file and refer all material to the Public Safety Director. The Public Safety Director reviews all of the documentation and makes a determination. If department employees violated department policy, corrective action will be taken. This may range from remedial training, counselling, and up to and including termination. If the documentation does not support a finding of policy violation, no action is taken. The person making a complaint will be notified of the finding in writing.

13. What should I do if a police officer stops me while I am driving?
You should decrease your speed gradually, use your signal to indicate which way you intend to pull over (pull to the right if at all possible) and come to a complete stop. If you are pulled over at night, try to stop in a well-lit area. Turn on your dome light and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Do not begin collecting your documents before you are requested to do so. Do not exit your vehicle unless you are requested to do so. Stay calm and provide the information requested by the officer relative to your driver’s license, registration and insurance card. Please do not reach under the seat, into the glove box, etc. without telling the officer what you are doing. Remember, the officer does not know what your intentions are.

14. Can I report a crime without having a police officer come to my home/business?
Yes, there are several alternatives.

  1. Make a report via telephone through the “teleserve” unit (329-4558).
  2. Submit a report here.

If there is a possibility that physical evidence exists, it may be necessary to have an officer come to you.