Police Department FAQs

FAQ's listed here are frequently asked questions of the Police Department employees! If you have a more specific question that you would like and answer to, simply e-mail it to us and we will respond to you, and we will post the question and answer on our FAQ section. Others may have the same, or similar, question so we do not think any question is unworthy. Some questions, however, that address personnel or confidential matters may not be fully addressed here. While we do want to be open and forthright, we must also preserve the confidentiality of others as required by a number of statutes.

  1. How do I become a Milpitas Police Officer?
  2. How can I sign up for a Ride-a-long?
  3. I have heard the term COP. What is it?
  4. Why do so many officers go to a call?
  5. Why do officers go to a house for 9-1-1 hang up calls?
  6. Why do Milpitas officers write so many tickets? Does anyone ever get a break?
  7. What does "Milpitas" mean?
  8. Why is there only one officer in a police car?
  9. Does Milpitas have a canine program?
  10. What do the police dogs do?
  11. What other special things do officers do?
  12. I had a bad experience with an officer. What should I do?
  13. Where is the police department located?
  14. What does S.W.A.T. stand for?
  15. What do Dispatchers do?
  16. How can I become a Dispatcher?
  17. Does Milpitas have a reserve officer program?
  18. What are the requirements?
  19. I need a copy of a police report. Where do I get it?
  20. I called for a police report and an officer called me on the phone to take it. Why?
  21. Where can I get home safety information?
  22. How can I start a Neighborhood Watch Program on my street?
  23. I saw someone commit a crime, but I don't want them to know who called. What can I do?
  24. Are there gangs in Milpitas?
  25. Is my neighborhood safe?
  26. A lot of cars speed on my street. Can you do anything?
  27. I received a ticket for an equipment violation. What do I do?

1. How do I become a Milpitas Police Officer?

The minimum requirements are:

The Testing Process:

2. How can I sign up for a Ride-a-long?

Ever wonder what an officer does during a shift? Ride-a-longs are available to Milpitas residents only. Sign up through the Police Community Relations at (408) 586-2529.

3. I have heard the term COP. What is it?

COP generally stands for Community Oriented Policing. In Milpitas, it is not radically different from what we have always done. We are responsible for improving the overall quality of life for Milpitas residents. Officers are assigned to a geographical area, or "Beat", for six months. This gives the officer an opportunity to get to know the residents and merchants. Our primary objective is to be a peace-keeper and problem solver. We will respond to any call for service, if requested, and make sure it does not get out of hand. And, if we cannot resolve the problem ourselves, we will refer you to an agency that can. Public service is very high on our priority list.

4. Why do so many officers go to a call?

If you watch the news, you must notice sometimes our society is a violent one. Also, the first rule of law enforcement is: go home safe at the end of your shift. Because our job is to be peace-keepers in a violent society, our Department has adopted a policy of dispatching two officers minimum to any call that may be potentially hazardous. Our dispatchers will also automatically dispatch a fill officer on every car stop. The primary officer has the discretion to cancel the fill once he feels he can handle the situation without assistance. Milpitas is fortunate to have never had an officer killed in the line of duty, and we hope it stays that way.

5. Why do officers go to a house for 9-1-1 hang up calls?

Once you dial 9-1-1, even if you don't speak to a dispatcher, the originating phone number and address are printed out in our communications center. Because of the possibility that someone needs help and could not ask for it, or may have been forced to hang up the phone, we send an officer to the location. If it was a business line, dispatch may call the business back. Reminder: if you dial 9-1-1 in error, please stay on the line and talk to the dispatcher.

6. Why do Milpitas officers write so many tickets? Does anyone ever get a break?

Traffic is one of Milpitas' most pressing problems. You only need to try to drive through town during the commute, or at lunch time. The officers do not have "quotas" and, as a matter of fact, quotas are illegal. They are charged with writing citations as means of educating the motorist that they have done something wrong, just as if your boss disciplines you at work for a policy violation. If you receive a citation you have three options to take care of it. 1) Pay the fine. 2) Appear in court. 3) Attend traffic school. If traffic school is offered as an option, the citation will be dismissed and will not appear on your driving record. This might be important when your insurance renews. Will you win in court? Maybe. Our officers may be disciplined if they don't appear in court, so expect the officer to be there. Also, most officers have appeared a number of times and are good at making a presentation.

7. What does "Milpitas" mean?

"Milpitas" is taken from an Aztec word meaning "little cornfields."

8. Why is there only one officer in a police car?

Milpitas generally has between 5 and 8 officers in the field on a shift. More during the shift overlaps. Because Milpitas is not too spread out, we can get officers to an emergency call within minutes. During non-call times, it allows more cars to spread out and engage in crime prevention activity.

9. Does Milpitas have a canine program?

Milpitas has a very proud tradition in its K9 program. We have one of the oldest programs in the Western United States.

10. What do the police dogs do?

All our police dogs are trained for building searches, area or open field searches, tracking, and handler protection. Some of the dogs have also been trained for narcotics searches. 80% of their work is building searches. Currently, the dogs are owned by their handlers and trained by an outside trainer under contract to Milpitas. The dogs live at home with the handlers and work only with the one handler. Contrary to what most people believe, the dogs are not "vicious" animals. They are trained so the handler has a high degree of control. They will only bite if commanded, or in defense of the handler.

11. What other special things do officers do?

Because Milpitas is a small department, the officers wear many hats. Besides the S.W.A.T. and K9, there are officers that double as first aid, firearms, and defensive tactics instructors, hi-tech investigators, commercial traffic enforcement, hostage or crisis negotiators, armorers, and a host of other support functions.

12. I had a bad experience with an officer. What should I do?

First, try to step back from emotion and look at the situation objectively. Are you angry because you did not like the answers? Did the officer explain things in a way that was confusing? Was it a personality conflict? Or, was the officer truly wrong in how he or she handled your detail? Milpitas officers take a great deal of pride in their job and are very professional. However, we are human and make errors, just as anybody can. Many citizen complaints result from lack of familiarity with our policies and procedures. If you feel wronged, please call (408) 586-2400, and ask for the officer's supervisor, who may be able to clear things up. If that fails, please come in and pick up an officer complaint form. The complaint will be investigated. You will be notified of the conclusion of the investigation and provided as much information as can be released. Please remember, you can be prosecuted for filing a false complaint. For further information, click on Officer Complaint Procedure.

13. Where is the police department located?

The Department is located at 1275 North Milpitas Boulevard We are North of Jacklin Road and South of Dixon Landing Road It is an off-white building with a red tile roof on the West side of the road.

14. What does S.W.A.T. stand for?

Special Weapons and Tactics. These officers have extensive training in dealing with very hazardous situations, such as hostage rescue, and arresting known armed suspects. Their participation in S.W.A.T. is secondary to their normal job duties. We have team members in Patrol and Investigations. In a call out, they join together to resolve the situation.

15. What do Dispatchers do?

Communications dispatchers are very important to our success in the field. They are the people that answer the phones and 9-1-1 lines. They take the information you give them, put some order to it, and dispatch us to assist you. Through the computer terminals they have, they can obtain background on the people we contact, check for warrants, or drivers license status. It is a very demanding job and one that requires a great deal of skill.

16. How can I become a Dispatcher?

The application and testing process is the same process as a police officer. It helps to have some type of dispatching experience, but it is not required to apply. Call our Personnel & Training Section to see if there is an opening: (408) 586-2407.

17. Does Milpitas have a reserve officer program?

Yes. We have a reserve officer program under the supervision of a police sergeant and lieutenant. All of Milpitas' reserves are unpaid and provide needed support to the Department. It is a good way for someone to make a contribution as a volunteer, or try out law enforcement to see if it fits as a career.

18. What are the requirements?

The requirements and the testing process is very similar to the full time officers. However, you do not need the AA degree, but you do need to have attended the reserve academy. The information on the Academy my be obtained through the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium at (408) 270-6458.

19. I need a copy of a police report. Where do I get it?

Police reports are generally available 3 to 5 working days after the report was taken. You may pick up a copy from our office from 8:00 am to 11:30 PM Monday to Friday. Please call to make sure the report is ready. The number is (408) 586-2400 and ask for Records. There is a charge for copies of reports: $6.00 for the first 10 pages, and $1.00 per page after that; fingerprinting is $10.00 for ink cards; photocopies of traffic citations are $1.00 per; and, if your case includes audio cassette or video cassette tapes - there is a fee structure to duplicate these.

20. I called for a police report and an officer called me on the phone to take it. Why?

We staff the front desk at the station with a police officer from 3:30 PM to 11:30 PM, 7 days a week. That officer is there to handle walk in problems and to take phone reports. Phone reports are generally those that have occurred earlier, or there are no known suspects, or for insurance information. The desk officer will also take phone reports from people who are out of the area. Some of the types of phone reports might be: runaways, vandalism, lost property, prior thefts, restraining order violations (when the papers are on file), and information reports. Having a desk officer take a phone report frees up an officer in the field to respond to crimes in progress. Phone reports still receive the same attention that it would receive if the officer made personal contact with you in the field.

21. Where can I get home safety information?

Home and business safety information is available to you through Police Community Relations. They also have engravers to mark property. They may be called at (408) 586-2400.

22. How can I start a Neighborhood Watch Program on my street?

Neighborhood Watch is a program where the people on your street come together and meet. You exchange phone numbers and learn about crime trends in your area. You become the eyes and ears during the time we are not there and report suspicious activity to the PD. Police Community Relations sponsors the program and may be called at (408) 586-2400.

23. I saw someone commit a crime, but I don't want them to know who called. What can I do?

Milpitas PD has an anonymous crime tip hot line. The number is (408) 586-2500.

24. Are there gangs in Milpitas?

Milpitas has several gangs in town. But, we have several officers in our Special Investigations Unit working with them to keep the problems usually associated with gangs out of town.

25. Is my neighborhood safe?

Milpitas can take pride in the overall safety of its town. However, a neighborhood is only as safe as the residents want it to be. You need to become involved. Get to know your neighbors. Report suspicious activity. Take simple steps to prevent becoming a victim...like locking doors and windows. We, the police, cannot be everywhere, so we depend on you to do your part.

26. A lot of cars speed on my street. Can you do anything?

Contact the Traffic Division and let them know your concerns. They may assign a traffic officer, if the situation warrants it, or make arrangements for the radar trailer to spend some time on your street. The information is also passed to the Patrol officers to monitor as time permits.

27. I received a ticket for an equipment violation. What do I do?

The vast majority of equipment violation tickets require the violator to correct the defect, have a police officer sign the citation advising the violation has been corrected, and provide proof of correction to the court. Once the violation has been corrected, you may drive the vehicle to the Police Department between 3:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M. and the Desk Officer will sign the correction notice.


Milpitas Police Department Hours:
1275 North Milpitas Boulevard Monday-Friday: 8:00 am-6:00 pm
Main Phone: (408) 586-2400  
Crime Tip Hotline: (408) 586-2500 For Emergencies Dial: 911