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Police Department
Records Inquiries and Frequently Asked Questions

What happens now?
You have called the department and reported a crime. In most instances, the initial investigation is conducted by the uniformed patrol officer that was sent to your location or who met with you to discuss the incident. He/she will complete a case report detailing the events of your case, collect any evidence, and talk with any witnesses. The report will then be filed with the records section. These reports are reviewed by the Investigative Lieutenant, who will use a set of criteria to determine whether your case will be investigated by an investigator or returned to the uniformed patrol officer who took the report, if follow-up investigation is required.

How can I get a copy of the report?
You may pick up a copy of the report (including accident reports) typically, the next business day following the reporting of the incident. It may however, take between 3-5 business days before accident reports are available. You may also request a report be faxed or emailed.

Where can I pick up a copy of the report?
Police reports may be picked up at the Smithfield Police Department, located at 110 S. 5th Street, between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. If you are unable to come by the department in person you may write Police Records, 110 S. 5th Street, Smithfield, NC 27577 and request a copy of your report be mailed to you. There is no charge for police reports. You may also call 934-2121 or email to have your report faxed or emailed.

How can I get a copy of my local criminal record?
The Smithfield Police Department does not and cannot provide this service. Criminal record information may be obtained at the Johnston County Courthouse from the Clerk of Superior Court. The courthouse is located at 207 East Johnston Street, Smithfield, NC.

Suppose I remember something I forgot to tell the officer?
If you need to have additional information added to the report, you may call 919-934-2121 and ask to speak with an officer. The information will be given to the reporting officer to be added to the original report. If you prefer to talk to the officer who took the initial report you may call 919-934-2121 and ask to speak with that officer. If they are on duty they will be instructed to return your call. If they are off-duty you will be given their voice mail and you can leave them a message and they will return your call when they return to work. You should be aware that this may take several days for your call to be returned or additions to be made, depending upon their work schedule.

What kinds of cases will be assigned to investigators and what kind of cases are assigned back to the uniformed officers?
Generally, cases that require a great deal of investigative follow-up and cases of a more serious nature are assigned to investigators. Crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, forgery, fraud and felony larceny are usually assigned to investigators. Incidents requiring less intensive follow-up investigative work are generally assigned back to the uniformed officer who took the original report.

Will the detective/officer assigned to my case contact me?
When a case is assigned to a uniformed officer for follow-up investigation, that officer must contact the victim within 14 calendar days. When cases are assigned to members of the investigative team they are to contact the victim within 72 hours following assignment of the case. Both uniformed officers and investigators are responsible for maintaining contact with the victim as necessary throughout the investigation.

Why aren't all cases assigned to investigators for follow-up investigation?
Annually approximately 3500 incidents are reported to the Smithfield Police Department. The department has three general investigators, two drug investigators, and an investigative supervisor assigned to the Criminal Investigations Team. As you can see, it would be impossible to assign each and every case to an investigator. Because of this, some cases are assigned back to the uniformed officer and some are simply not investigated past the point of the initial report. We feel we must concentrate our efforts toward cases that have a chance of being solved. To make a better determination as to which cases will be further investigated, specific criteria are considered. These include likelihood that the case can be solved, officer/team workload, and the seriousness of the offense.

If my case is not solved quickly will it be forgotten about?
No. If no leads, evidence or other information is available, then the case is placed in an inactive file. Often, inactive cases are cleared at a later date through information developed from active cases. We encourage you to report all criminal violations to the police department. If you have a question or additional information about your case that may help us solve it, please contact the police department.

If I call to report an emergency, how long will it take for an officer to respond?
Our goal is to respond as quickly and as safely as we can to your call for assistance. As calls for police service are received they are assigned a priority. Calls with the highest priority are answered first. Example: We are notified of a burglary in progress. This call would be given a high priority rating. However, if the burglary was not in progress and all that was needed is an investigation and report to be made, this call will have a lower priority. The general rule is that the most serious calls are answered first.

How can I get my property back?
The police department only receives property in three ways: evidence, found property, and confiscated property.  Property may be claimed at the police department Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:00 PM by appointment only. Call and ask for Melissa Southerland to schedule your appointment. In order to claim property you must have current picture ID. There must be sufficient supporting information to prove ownership of any property to be claimed. Property collected as evidence can only be claimed with a court order which is obtained from court usually after the case has been tried. You may call Mrs. Southerland at 919-989-1073 if you have questions about claiming property.

What happens to unclaimed property?
Any unclaimed found property may be sold at a public auction after six months or destroyed.