Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about Town of Colonie Police department. If the information you need is not addressed here, please contact us at (518) 783-2744. For emergency assistance, dial 911.
If you are involved in a traffic accident on a roadway you may dial 9-1-1 which will quickly connect you to our Communications Center. If it is a minor crash such as a fender-bender in a parking lot, you can also dial the non-emergency number, 783-2744, to report it. An officer or officers will respond to provide assistance and make a written report of the incident.
If you need a copy of an accident report you may come to the front desk of the police department to request one. It is generally advisable to wait at least 48 hours after the accident to request a copy since it must be submitted and reviewed before it can be released. Accidents where a hit and run occurred or those involving serious injuries or death may take much longer. You may check on the availability of an accident report by calling the Police Front Desk at (518) 783-2744. The cost for an accident report from the front desk is $0.25 per page.
If you wish to obtain your accident report electronically, you can go to www.crashdocs.org. The cost of this service is $10.00.
If you are a victim of a crime or an incident occurs that you feel should be reported to the police you may 9-1-1 if it is an emergency and (518) 783-2744 for non-emergencies. An officer will respond to your location to interview you and determine whether a written report is needed. Alternately, you may elect to come to the police station at 312 Wolf Road in Latham to meet with an officer and make a report in person.
Reports of other incidents may be obtained by filing a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request form which is available at the Police Front Desk or digitally. This form is an application for the release of information. You will be notified within 5 days in regard to the release of information. Copies of some reports may be available sooner. Contact the Records Division ((518) 783-2809) for further information.
Your first response should be to contact Animal Control at (518) 783-2711 or, if they are not available, contact the Police Department at (518) 783-2744. It is also wise to inquire at the local veterinarian's office to see if anyone had contacted them in reference to finding a lost pet. The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society ((518) 434-8128) takes in stray/found dogs and cats and also keeps a list of any pets that have been reported to them as being lost. It is also a good idea to speak with mail carriers or delivery persons from your area to see if they have seen any animals wandering in their area. Placing an ad in the newspaper and distributing leaflets might also help in locating a lost pet. You may also post an ad online at Craigslist or on Steve Caporizzo's Pet Connection Facebook page.
If there is a Town of Colonie license on a found dog it would be an oblong shaped tag with a nine digit number issued by the Town Clerk. By calling Animal Control (518) 783-2711, the police (518) 783-2811 or the Town Clerk's office (518) 783-2736, the number could be traced to an owner. If the pet has no identification you should contact Animal Control (518) 783-2711 so that the dog can be picked up and taken to the Latham Animal Hospital or the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society where the owner can then redeem it.
The Town of Colonie covers an area of approximately 56 square miles and is inhabited by many wildlife species such as fox, skunk, raccoon, opossum, birds, deer, turtles and coyotes. If an animal is struck by a vehicle or appears sick in your yard or on the street you should not attempt to handle it because it's first response would most likely be to bite or, in the case of a deer, kick you. When an animal is encountered in these circumstances, contact the Animal Control Office (518) 783-2711 or the Police Department (518) 783-2811. Injured cats and dogs are taken to a veterinarian for treatment and then brought to the Latham Animal Hospital or the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.
Rabies is a virus which is carried by mammals. The virus is generally transmitted by biting and most often occurs when animals are fighting over food that is left outdoors. The most common animals with rabies are raccoons, skunks, bats, fox and occasionally woodchucks. Smaller rodents such as squirrels, chipmunks, and mice are less likely to have rabies. It is very important to keep your pets rabies vaccine up to date. If you believe an animal has rabies contact the Animal Control Office (518) 783-2711 or the Police Department (518) 783-2811.
In the event any animal bites a person or an unvaccinated pet, Animal Control (518) 783-2711 should be contacted. If the animal is wildlife that is still available, it can be tested for rabies at the New York State Rabies Lab. In the case of a dog or cat bite, Animal Control will contact the pet owner to verify if the cat or dog is up to date on its rabies vaccine. By law, all owned cats and dogs over 3 months of age must have rabies shots.
New York State law requires licenses for all dogs four months of age and up. Dog licenses are obtained through the Town Clerk's Office ((518) 783-2736) and need to be renewed every year. Positive proof of a current rabies shot is required. Contact the Town Clerk's office for complete licensing information.
Reports can be filed anytime at the front desk of the police department or an officer can respond to your Town of Colonie business or home. Before any enforcement action can commence several steps must be taken by you the complainant. To view these steps and print them please go here. If you have any further questions contact Investigations at (518) 783-2754.
Application packets for Town of Colonie residents are available at the front desk of the police department or can be downloaded.
Once the applicant has obtained all of the required items listed in the packet, they must then contact Officer Messmer at (518) 783-2754 to set up an appointment. During this appointment, the applicant will be given additional paperwork and information that is required to process their application. Applicants will be subject to an extensive background investigation which includes having their fingerprints taken. After the background investigation is completed the results, along with the application, is forwarded to the Albany County Clerk's office where it will be reviewed by a judge.
The entire process is currently taking approximately 1 year from start to finish, depending on how quickly the applicants return required paperwork. For more information obtaining a pistol permit, please call Officer Messmer at (518) 783-2754.
Yes. To have your property checked while you are away, please complete a Colonie Police Department Vacation Check Form. Forms can be returned to the Police Department front desk or emailed. Applications should be submitted within 48 hours of departure.
The Colonie Police department no longer provides the service of fingerprinting other than for criminal offenses.
If you would like to make a complaint about Colonie Police Department procedures or an individual police officer you should immediately contact the department by dialing (518) 783-2744. Explain to the communicator who answers the phone that you would like to speak to a supervisory officer about making a complaint and you will be connected to one as soon as possible. Alternately you may come to the police station at 312 Wolf Road, Latham, fill out a Department Complaint form and meet with a supervisory officer in person. Your complaint will be initially investigated by a supervisor on the involved officer's shift. It will then be forwarded to the shift commander for review. Ultimately all complaints are reviewed by the police administration.
Conversely, if you would like to commend an officer for his or her job performance, please call (518) 783-2744 and you will be connected with the officer's supervisor.
The Albany County Sheriff’s Office has a countywide registry for persons in need living in Albany County. The program is designed to assist residents with special needs who would need help to evacuate their homes during an emergency situation such as a natural or manmade disaster. Information from the application gives emergency responders any special needs of callers from their residents. Click here for more information.