Citizen’s Arrest


The Chico Police Department would like to address what is involved in making a citizen’s arrests.  Peace Officer’s in the State of California are charged with upholding Municipal, State and Federal laws.  If a citizen sees a crime that has occurred, is occurring, or about to occur, law enforcement should be contacted immediately, and the citizen should avoid taking matters into their own hands.  A citizen’s arrest in the State of California requires a Peace Officer to first investigate potential violations of the law to determine if the citizen has provided the proper evidence prior to accepting an arrest.  If a Peace Officer determines the citizen has not provided the proper evidence to support an arrest, the Peace Officer will decline the arrest.  The citizen making the arrest takes on the civil liability of making potential false arrests and could be held criminally responsible for rights violations, such as the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Due to the potentially high level of danger to the public, we encourage citizens to contact the Chico Police Department and allow our staff to investigate crimes in progress.  The men and women of the Chico Police Department are highly trained and available to respond to crimes occurring in the City of Chico.


For more information on laws of arrest, please see sections 833-851.93 of the California Penal Code.


Chico, CA – 


Chief Matt Madden

Chico Police Department

Log in