FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Use the links below to find answers to general information questions. If your question is not listed below, please use the contact form to ask us directly, or find the number of the department you wish to reach on the Department Phone Numbers page.
What should I do if I see a strange person or car loitering in my neighborhood?
Having residents report strange, suspicious or out of place activity their neighborhoods is essential to locating identifying and stopping criminal activity. There may be a reasonable and legal explanation for the person's presence and actions. However, if the person's actions are enough to raise your suspicion there is probably a good reason to take further action.
There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by taking action yourself. The best thing you can do is watch the person, car and activity and note a full description of all three. A handy list can be found on the back of this flyer to assist you in remembering important descriptions.
When you call the police you may use either the Emergency, 911, line or the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321 depending on the circumstances. If the person or activity appears to you to be an immediate threat to someone or something you can call 911. If the person, car or activity just appears suspicious or out of place use the non emergency, direct line, (831) 758-7321.
When you call be prepared to give the dispatcher your name, address, phone number and a description of the people and cars involved. The dispatcher may want to keep you on the telephone while an officer or officers are dispatched. This will enable the dispatcher to update the officers who are responding.
If the dispatcher does not stay on the telephone be sure to call back and update the dispatcher if the person or car leaves or something happens that indicates what exactly is occurring. If the person does leave make sure you are able to provide the dispatcher a direction of travel.
Remember, the suspicious activity that you witness may be totally innocent and explainable, however without taking the time to call and report the activity there may be no way of telling if it is, or if it is criminal activity that warrants police action.
Should I call the police to report a door to door salesperson?
Door to door solicitors fall into two categories. The first are those with nonprofit groups, such as youth groups or churches. These individuals carry identification and some documentation showing what group they are with. Door to door sales people should have a City business license and identification.The Salinas Municipal Code regulates solicitors by prohibiting them from littering, knocking on doors after 9:00 p.m. and other things.
If someone comes to your door you may want to request identification and other documents If they are unable or unwilling to provide any documents you should immediately be wary of them.
If you feel that their actions are suspicious, or disturbing your peace, you may call the police in the same manner as listed above. Make sure that you note the direction the individual is walking and provide it to the dispatcher.
Can I drink alcohol while walking down a City street in Salinas?
No, it is illegal to drink any beverage that contains alcohol while on public property. The Salinas Municipal Code Section (21-2) states that, "No person shall drink any beer, wine or other intoxicating beverage on any public street, sidewalk, alley, highway, plaza parkway, parking lot, airport terminal, or bus or train depot in the City." If you are found by an officer in violation of this ordinance you are subject to a citation and a fine.
I am planning a picnic at a City park. Is it legal to have alcoholic beverages present?
It depends on the location. The Salinas Municipal Code Section (21-2) makes it illegal to possess alcohol in any city park except the following:
• If a permit is obtained through the Recreation-Park Department alcohol may be consumed at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds, Salinas Municipal Stadium, Sherwood Hall and Park.
• Alcohol may also be consumed at other city recreational buildings or facilities if allowed by the operating permit or policies for the use of the building or facility.
• If you decide to obtain a permit from the Recreation-Park Department then you may also be required to obtain a permit from the California Alcohol and Beverage Control Department and the California State Franchise Board depending on the circumstances.
• If you are contacted by an officer in a city park and you are found to be in violation of the ordinance you are subject to a citation and fine.
I would like to have a party at my house and serve alcohol. Is this legal?
Again, the answer to this question is that it depends on the circumstances. If you are over 21 years old and have a party that does not require an admission fee and minors under the age of 21 years old are not allowed to drink alcohol than it is legal. However, if you charge a fee for the alcohol or an entrance fee you are required to obtain permits issued by the City of Salinas and the State of California. If you allow minors, under the age of 21, to consume any alcohol at a party, or other social gathering, you are subject to an arrest or citation for a variety of charges including; contributing to the delinquency of minors, furnishing alcohol to minors and hosting a social gathering where alcohol is possessed by minors.
Is it legal for a minor to drink a beer inside a friend's house?
No. The Salinas Municipal Code Section (21-1) states that, "No person under the age of 21 years shall have in his or her possession, or consume, any alcoholic beverage at an place not open to the public." Also, it is a violation the California Business and Professions Code, 25662(a) for a minor, under the age of 21, to possess any alcoholic beverage in any place open to the public. There are also specific violations of the California Vehicle Code for possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
How do I contest a parking citation?
You may request an Administrative Review.
How much time do I have to contest a citation?
Payment or an administrative review is required within 21 days or further penalties will be assessed. If you fail to request a review or pay the citation as directed, vehicle registration will be withheld.
How do I obtain a copy of a citation?
You may obtain a copy by calling (831) 758-7363. If no one is available to answer your call, please leave your name, phone number, and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
What information is needed to obtain a copy of a citation?
• Vehicle Plate
• Vehicle Identification Number
• Ticket number, located on the top right corner
• Name and date of birth
• Date of Violation or Citation Number, located on the top right or bottom right corner
Where do I pay for my parking citation?
City of Salinas Finance Department, located in City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave.
What type of payment is accepted?
Cash, check, money orders are accepted, NO credit/debit cards
Is there anything I can do if there is a barking dog disturbing my neighborhood?
The Salinas Municipal Code Section 21A-2 SCC states that it is illegal to allow an animal to create a noise which is so annoying, or which is so harsh or prolonged, as to be injurious to the health, peace or comfort of any reasonable person residing in the area. If you are unable to resolve the issue between yourself and your neighbor, depending on the circumstances, you may call Salinas Animal Services or the Salinas Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call for assistance you must also decide whether the barking or howling is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop. Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed.
Under normal circumstances you should call Animal Services for assistance in barking dogs that are disturbing you peace. Members of Animal Services are available to contact offending neighbors during the daytime and take action, if necessary, to quell the noise disturbance. You may call their office at (831) 758-7285, anytime to report a barking dog. If they are not available at the time of your call, you can leave a message stating your name, address, phone number, the location of the dog, along with a brief description of what is occurring. An animal control officer will then attempt to contact the owner of the animal to warn them of the violation.
In situations that cannot wait for the next day and you are willing to press charges you may call the police department for assistance. If you decide to call the police, use the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321, and not 911. When you call the police you will be asked several things. In addition to getting your name, address and telephone number the person you talk to will also ask you if you are willing to press charges or if you are willing to speak with an officer directly. We recommend that you provide the dispatcher with your name, address and telephone number even if you do not want to press charges or be contacted. This will help us if other calls are received about the same barking dog.
What if I do not want to give my name and address?
If you do not want to give your name and address you can still call Animal Services and report the barking dog to them. They will still attempt to contact the owner and warn them. If the owner refuses to quiet the dog and the noise continues there is very little else the Animal Control Officers can do without having a person willing to press formal charges.
As a last resort, you can also call the police to report the barking dog. The officer who is assigned to the nearby area will be told that a person has called about the noise. Depending on other calls for service, the officer may make an attempt to drive by the area and, if necessary, warn the owner that a complaint was received. If the barking continues, or you decide that you are willing to press charges in order to quiet the dog, you may call back and tell the dispatcher that you are willing to do so.
What can I do to keep my dog from barking and disturbing my neighbors?
Barking is your dog’s way of sending you a distress signal. Somewhere his needs as an animal are not being met. Most times, excessive barking is caused by the dog being lonely, bored, frustrated or frightened. Are you walking with him every day, which exercises his body and his mind? Is he living a balanced life? If nuisance barking is a problem, consider these issues to find a solution. It’s the best way to show real love for your dog. A well-exercised, happy dog is more likely to sleep all day while you are not home.
What can I do if there is a loud party in my neighborhood?
If someone is having a loud party in your neighborhood you may call the Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop or be turned down to a tolerable level.
Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed. If you decide to call the police, use the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321, and not 911. When you call the police you will be asked several things. In addition to getting your name, address and telephone number the person you talk to will also ask you if you are willing to press charges or if you are willing to speak with an officer directly.
We recommend that you provide the dispatcher with your name, address and telephone number even if you do not want to press charges or be contacted. This will help us if other calls are received about the same party.
What if I do not want to give my name and address?
If you do not want to give your name and address you may still call the police and report the noise. The officer who is assigned to the nearby area will be told that a person has called about the noise. Depending on other calls for service, the officer may make an attempt to drive by the party and, if necessary, warn the party giver that a complaint was received. It may be difficult for the officers to quiet the party since the officer has no way of ordering the party giver to turn down the music or face arrest or a citation. The officer may try to quiet the party by enforcing other lawsat or near the party such as, drinking in public, curfew, etc. If the party continues, or you decide that you are willing to press charges in order to quiet the party, you may call back and tell the dispatcher that you are willing to do so.
What laws are being broken if I give a loud party and refuse to lower or stop the noise?
There are several laws that may be broken if you are responsible for giving a party that is too loud. The California Penal Code (415.2) states that it is illegal to maliciously and willfully disturb another person by loud and unreasonable noise.
The Salinas Municipal Code states that it is illegal to use any sound equipment between the hours of 10:00 p.m.. and 8:00 a.m., or at any time when it is unreasonably loud (21A-16). It is also a violation of the Salinas City Code to willfully make any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise which disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood. (21A-22) You could be issued a citation or be subject to arrest for a violation of either of these codes.
My neighbors keep a rooster in their backyard. Is this legal?
No. The Salinas Municipal Code prohibits any fowl or livestock to be kept as pets. This includes pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, etc. Roosters are especially bothersome because of the noise they create and the fact they are sometimes used for cockfights and gambling.
How many pets am I allowed to have at my house?
Salinas City residents are allowed to have four pets per household. This includes any combination, such as two dogs and two cats or one dog and three cats.
Can I let my dog run loose in my neighborhood?
No. All dogs must be secured on private property or restrained by a leash if outside of your yard or in any public place. The Salinas Municipal Code prohibits dogs running loose. You, or whoever is in control of the dog, could be issued a citation for letting your dog run loose.
My neighbors dog bit a child and they still let it run around the neighborhood. What can we do?
Any dog that has bitten a person is considered vicious and is thereafter required to be kept in a secure area. If the dog goes out, it must have a leash, be muzzled, and someone over 18 years old must be in charge of it. If talking to the dogs owner does not work, you can report the animal to Animal Control Officers by calling (831) 758-7285. If they are unavailable you may report it to the police department by calling the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321.
I am considering bringing a puppy home. What does the city require from dog owners?
Any dog over four months old must have a city dog license. The dog must also be vaccinated against rabies. The City also highly recommends all animals be spayed or neutered. You could be issued a citations if your dog is not licensed, even if it is not doing anything wrong. For license information call (831) 758-7285 or ( 831) 758-7211. If you have questions regarding other animal regulations, or you have an animal problem, please call (831) 758-7285. The Animal Control Officer may be in the field, but you may leave a message and they will call you back.
Does the law say what kind of noise can be made at different times and in different places?
The Salinas Municipal Code contains noise ordinances that regulate certain kinds of noise.
Generally, noise is divided into four "classes".
• Class A Noise is defined as noise created by equipment operated in the public interest or for emergency or safety purposes. Such equipment includes sirens, street sweepers, garbage trucks, chipper machines, etc. Class A noise is allowed at anytime.
• Class B Noise is defined as noise created or generated within or adjacent to residential property which is normally associated with residential living. Class B noise includes lawn mowers, trimmers, home appliances, vehicle repairs, home construction projects, etc.
Class B noise is not allowed between 9:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m.
• Class C Noise is defined as noise made by motorized or mechanical equipment or devices used in sporting, recreational and hobby activities. Class C noise includes go-carts, mini-bikes, model planes and cars, etc. Class C noise is not allowed between 9:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. Class C noise must be made at such a distance away from a residential area so that residents will not be unreasonably disturbed by the noise of the equipment or devices.
• Class D Noise is defined as noise that is unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises created by a human voice or animal outcry, or by any other means which is so annoying, or which is so harsh or prolonged, as to be injurious to the health, peace or comfort of any reasonable person residing in the area. Class D noise is not permitted at any time.
What can I do if someone is making a noise in my neighborhood that is disturbing my peace?
If you are unable to resolve the noise disturbance yourself, the Salinas Police Department can help in certain situations. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press criminal charges in order to get the noise to stop. Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem, without issuing a citation or making an arrest.
If you decide to call the police, use the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321, and not 911. When you call the police you will be asked several things. In addition to getting your name, address and telephone number the person you talk to will also ask you if you are willing to press charges or if you are willing to speak with an officer directly. We recommend that you provide the dispatcher with your name, address and telephone number even if you do not want to press charges or be contacted. This will help us if other calls are received about the same noise disturbance.
What can I do if I see a car parked in my neighborhood which I think may be abandoned?
The City of Salinas has people specifically designated to handle abandoned vehicles and long-term parking problems. These problems are generally handled on a complaint basis. The abandoned vehicle office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The phone number, day or night, is (831) 758-7316.
The following information will help you determine whether or not a vehicle has been abandoned or is a long-term parking problem:
• Salinas Municipal Code - Section 20-49(a) and (b) prohibits any vehicle from being parked upon any street or alley for more than 72 hours (3 days). In the event a vehicle is parked in excess of this time period, the police department is authorized to issue a citation and/or remove such vehicle from the street.
• When you report an abandoned vehicle to the Salinas Police Department, our personnel will respond and mark the vehicle as soon as possible. After 72 consecutive hours, the vehicle will be checked again. If the vehicle has not been moved, it will be removed as soon as possible.
• Any vehicle parked on a City street or on public property must be currently registered and in working condition.
• California Vehicle Code section 22669(d) prohibits an vehicle from being parked on the street or other public property with a major component missing. Major components include the engine, radiator, wheel(s), tire(s), window(s), door(s), etc. These vehicles will be towed as soon as possible.
We suggest residents park their personal vehicles in their garage or driveway if possible. If not, we encourage people to park in front of their own residence in an effort to be good neighbors.
My car is broken down. Can I park it on my property for a few weeks until I get it fixed?
Salinas Municipal Code - Section 37-50.190(b)(2)(c) prohibits inoperable vehicles from being parked or stored on private property. A vehicle is considered inoperable if it is missing any major component, partially dismantled, or not registered through DMV for running conditions on public street. Inoperable vehicles may be stored inside a garage on a temporary basis. The City of Salinas Code Enforcement Section, (831) 758-7157, regulates these types of vehicles on private property.