Frequently Asked Questions – Swansea Police Department
Q: I need police assistance, but it’s not an emergency. Who do I call?
A: Any criminal or suspicious activities that are not emergencies should be reported to the Swansea Police Dispatch Non-Emergency number (618) 233-8114. Emergencies include crimes in progress or those that are about to happen, medical emergencies, and crimes which resulted in serious personal injury, property damage or property loss.
Q: How do I file a Police Report?
A: Reports can be filed in several ways, depending upon on the report type. With any report, a complainant can come to the police department. You can also call the police department and request an officer come to your location (providing it is in the village limits) to file the report. In cases where there is a scene and evidence, such as a residential burglary or traffic accident, it is best to call the police to respond as soon as possible. Accident reports where there is damage over $1,500.00 should always be taken at the scene while the vehicles are present. On minor accidents where there is no injury or controversy as to how the accident occurred or accidents on private property, the drivers should contact the police department from the scene and an officer will respond to the location to provide an exchange of information form. If there are any questions relating to filing the report, you can obtain assistance by calling the Swansea Police Department non-emergency number at (618) 233-8114.
Q. How can I get a copy of a police report or an accident report?
A: You may obtain copies of a police report if you are involved in a traffic accident, the victim of a crime or requesting reports, which are considered public data. You may come to the Swansea Police Department in person or call to make a request. There is a fee of $5.00 for all report requests. If you would like to get a copy of a report, you may call our records division Monday – Friday, 8AM – 4PM at (618) 234-4110. Please understand reports go through an approval process and may not be available for release immediately.
You can also obtain a copy of a Traffic Crash Report via the internet. In order to do this, go to https://www.buycrash.com/ and follow the prompts.
Please note, in order to obtain a copy of the report you will need to know the date of the accident, the last name of a driver involved in the accident, and one of the following items: the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN number) of a vehicle involved in the accident, the driver’s license number of a driver involved in the accident or the Accident Report Number.
Q: I need to be finger printed for a job application or a professional license, will the police department do this?
A: Yes. The Swansea Police Department performs this service for residents of the village and prospective employees of any business within the village limits. Please come to the police department, along with the print card you were given and explain what you need. Please note: We do not take fingerprints for Immigration and Naturalization Services.
Q: Will the Swansea Police Department provide extra patrols while I am away on vacation?
A: Yes. The Swansea Police Department does provide extra patrol/house watch for people who are out of town or on vacation. Please contact the police department to provide the information needed to perform this task. We request that you call the police department upon your return in order for the information to be removed from the extra patrol/house watch list. Vacation Check Form
Q: How can I obtain information on sex offenders in my neighborhood?
A: Information on sex offenders in your area can be found on the online Illinois Registered Sex Offender Database at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/
To conduct a check in another state visit the National Sex Offender Public Website at http://www.nsopw.gov/
Q. Will the police department help me install a child safety seat?
A: Although the police department does not have an officer who is a trained/certified Child Safety Seat Technician who can assist you with the proper installation of your child safety seat(s), the Fire Department does.
To schedule a check of your child safety seat or if you have any questions regarding child safety seats, call (618) 234-3291 and request to speak to Chris Tell, the Deputy Fire Chief.
For more information concerning the current Illinois law visit the seat check website at http://www.seatcheck.net/boostillinois.html
Q: My vehicle was towed by the Swansea Police Department, how do I get it back?
A: Only the Swansea Police Department can release your vehicle. In order to obtain a towed/impounded vehicle, the registered owner must respond to the Swansea Police Department to obtain a release form. Be prepared to show proof of insurance and valid registration. The tow release form will not be provided unless a licensed driver(s) is present when the form is received.
Once the release form is obtained, you must provide the form to the towing company and pay the towing and storage fees before your vehicle will be released. Payment is made directly to the towing company. Each towing company sets the rates for the towing and storage of vehicles.
Q: Am I allowed to burn yard waste in the village?
A: Yes. Residents may burn yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, twigs or similar yard waste generated on the site) between March 15th and May 15th, but only on Wednesdays and Saturdays and only between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m; and
B: between November 1st and December 15th, but only on Wednesdays and Saturdays and only between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m; excluding the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
If weather conditions do not allow for the burning of yard waste on the established days, an alternate day may be established by the Board of Trustees. Burn permits issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are exempt from the date and time requirement recited above.
Q: Why does it take two officers to respond to a call?
A: Many citizens call in and express concerns that there were two or more officers present during their encounter with the police. They often feel that they are not a threat to the officer and having more than one officer present is demeaning or implying they are a criminal. The following is written to explain why this happens and dispel any false rumors or misconceptions.
Officers are trained at a very early stage in their career to look out for one another. They are taught that they need to take the initiative to head toward the area and check on the well-being of other officers on calls and traffic stops. The officer on the traffic stop or call appreciates his/her fellow officers concern for their safety. In most instances the officer that stopped the violator did not request another unit.
Statistics tell us that for police officers, the most dangerous contact with the public is during a traffic stop. Officers are more likely to be injured or killed during traffic stops than at any other time.
Some traffic stops require the presence of two or more officers by departmental directive. When someone in the vehicle is to be taken into custody for any reason, two officers will be present. When an officer is going to conduct a field sobriety test, the need for an additional officer is evident by the increased possibility of taking an intoxicated person into custody. Officers stopping vehicles which match the description of one involved in a recent crime will always be assisted by another officer. Depending on the location of the stop and the number of occupants in the vehicle (numerous occupants and one officer is less than ideal) merits sending an additional unit(s) to assist with the stop.
Although we operate with one officer units, there are some occasions where there are already two officers riding together in the same squad car. The first twelve to sixteen weeks of a new officers training is spent with a field training officer in a two man unit.
I am sure there are other situations which would merit the presence of multiple units, but these are the most common. If you hear another person questioning the presence of two officers, please inform them of the need for officer safety and the fact they know they are a good person and are not going to harm the officer does not mean the officer knows that. In most situations we operate under the philosophy of "Better Safe than Sorry".
Q: Is there a curfew for minors?