Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I get a copy of a police report?
Come to the Police Department, located at 78 S. Georgia, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You must fill out a Request for Information form. Some reports may be released immediately, others may take time to compile. Processing fees may be applicable. The law allows us up to 10 days to disseminate the material if the material is not deemed confidential. If you wish make the request by mail or fax, please print out the request for information form and mail it to Mason City Police Department, 78 S. Georgia, Mason City, Iowa 50401 or fax it to 641-421-3639. For questions concerning records, please email or call Jamie Simon at 641-421-3694.
Copies of collision reports are free to the drivers and / or owners involved. They can pick up a free copy at the PD. Insurance companies are charged $4.00 for collision report copies. Collision reports may be obtained online or at the PD by insurance companies.
Q. How much are parking tickets and what happens if I don't pay them?
Most parking tickets are $15 each if paid within 30 days of issuance. After 30 days of issuance, the fine raises to $20 each. Handicapped parking violation tickets are $100 with no fine increase after 30 days. Payments may be made at the police department or city hall. Unpaid parking tickets for residents of Cerro Gordo County are forwarded to the county treasurer's office for collection. These people will be unable to register their vehicles until the tickets are paid. People who reside outside of the county with four or more unpaid parking tickets are subject to vehicle immobilization (parking boot) or arrest for failure to answer parking violations.
Residents who wish for an administrative review of the parking ticket they received may make a request at the police department lobby or print out the Request for Administrative Review and mail it in. This request must be received within 30 days of the date on the parking ticket in question. Vehicle owners may also request a court appearance for a local magistrate to decide whether or not the parking ticket should be upheld.
Q. What is the seatbelt law for children?
* A child one year of age and weighing less than twenty pounds who is being transported in a motor vehicle subject to registration, except a school bus or motorcycle, shall be secured during transit in a rear-facing child restraint system that is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
* A child under six years of age who does not meet the description in paragraph "a" and who is being transported in a motor vehicle subject to registration, except a school bus or motorcycle, shall be secured during transit by a child restraint system that is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
* A child at least six years of age but under eleven years of age who is being transported in a motor vehicle subject to registration, except a school bus or motorcycle, shall be secured during transit by a child restraint system that is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or by a safety belt or safety harness of a type approved under section 321.445 .
* Children ages 12-18 must be secured by safety belts anywhere in the vehicle (except school bus or motorcycle). New law change July 1, 2010.
For unrestrained passengers ages 0-13, the driver receives the citation. If unrestrained passengers are 14-17 years old, these passengers will receive the citations.
Q. Does the Police Department allow ride-alongs?
Yes, people wanting to ride-along with an officer on duty need to complete a ride-along application. A background check will be conducted. If the person passes the background check, a supervisor will contact the applicant to schedule the ride-along. Generally, one ride-along is allowed every 6 months.
Q. How does Alternate Side Parking work?
Title 9, Chapter 10A of the City Code outlines the provisions of the snow parking ordinance. Alternate Side Parking is in effect from November 15th through March 31st of the following year unless suspended by the City Administrator. When Alternate Side Parking is enforced, the following provisions shall apply:
Parking shall be permitted on the odd numbered side of the street on odd numbered days of the month up to 7:00 pm on the odd numbered day. After 7 pm, the car has to be moved to the even side of the street if the next day is an even-numbered day. Parking shall be permitted on the even numbered side of the street on even numbered days of the month up to 7:00 pm on the even numbered day. After 7 pm, the car has to be moved to the odd side of the street if the next day is an odd-numbered day.
Sunday through Friday, the changeover period shall be between the hours of four o'clock (4:00) p.m. and seven o'clock (7:00) p.m. of each day.
Weekends, parking shall be allowed on both sides of the streets on each Saturday from four o'clock (4:00) p.m. to ten o'clock (10:00) p.m. and also on each Sunday from six o'clock (6:00) a.m. to one o'clock (1:00) p.m.
Exception: Parking shall be allowed on both sides of the street from four o'clock (4:00) p.m. to one o'clock (1:00) a.m. on Christmas Eve. Streets declared as Emergency Snow Routes are also exempt to Alternate Side Parking. Currently 1st Street NW from Monroe to Pierce Avenue is the only designated Emergency Snow Route.
Alternate Side Parking is not enforced for Highway 122 and U.S. Highway 65 south of Eighth Street South and north of Fifth Street North, nor to the business district. The "business district" is defined as that area bounded by and including all streets which lie between Connecticut Avenue on the east, Jefferson Avenue on the west, Fourth Street on the south and Fifth Street North on the north.
For more information on alternate side parking, see Title 9 Chapter 10A of the city code.
Q. I locked my keys in my vehicle. Will you unlock it for me?
A locksmith or wrecker service should be contacted to unlock the vehicle. The police department will respond in emergency cases, such as a child locked in a vehicle or a traffic hazard, but otherwise does not unlock vehicles.
Q. Where do I go to enforce a child custody or visitation order that has been violated?
If you believe such an order has been violated, you should contact your attorney as soon as possible for legal advice. If the violation of such an order may cause concern for the safety of the child involved, you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately to discuss the matter with an officer.
Q. How does the outdoor warning system work?
The outdoor sirens are sounded during severe weather if there is a tornado warning issued for any part of Mason City by the National Weather Service; or they are sounded if a tornado is spotted by a public safety employee or by a trained spotter and the tornado is a threat to Mason City. There is no such thing as an "all clear" signal. The sirens are tested on the first Monday of each month in the morning.
Please do not call the police department during severe weather unless you need to report an emergency. Severe weather events are often very busy times in our dispatch center. If you hear a outdoor warning siren, please take shelter immediately.