Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Online Trespass Arrest Authorization


When a resident or business owner requests the Police Department to arrest a trespasser, it is necessary for the requesting party to perform a private-person arrest. A private-person’s arrest, in part, involves telling a Police Officer that they have authorization to place the trespasser under arrest, and then make that same request in writing, typically by signing a document.

Police officers cannot arrest a trespasser without the written approval of the property owner or agent. This can sometimes be problematic for abandoned buildings, or businesses that are closed in the evening for which the owner or agent is not on site. In the past, the Santa Monica Police Department has required property owners or their agents to send a letter to the Police Department authorizing trespass arrests on their property. The Santa Monica Police Department now accepts this authorization online via our website.

By completing a simple form at, the property owner or agent may grant the Police Department authorization to make a trespass arrest. Following submission of a request, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the requestor within 24 hours. A reminder e-mail will be sent five days prior to the authorization expiration date and again when the authorization expires. Upon expiration, a new authorization form may be completed.


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