Do you own a business or a vacant property (whether a building, home, or lot)? A Letter of Agency allows you, as the owner or agent for the owner of such a property, to give permission to the Sheriff's Department to check your business or property for trespassers and other individuals who don't belong, and arrest them as necessary.
The Letter of Agency form can be downloaded using the link above, or you may pick one up from the Lancaster Sheriff's Station lobby. Fill out the form completely, including your home address and 24-hour contact phone number as well as the type and address of the property. Instructions are provided with the form.
Remember, the Letter of Agency gives authority to the Sheriff's Department to detain anyone found on your property when you're not there to determine if they are allowed to be there. However, under California law an arrest of such a person can ONLY be made if "NO TRESPASSING" or "NO LOITERING" signs are clearly posted, along with the applicable penal code section. You may make these signs yourself, or you may purchase them from any of a number of commercial purveyors. Business Watch members may obtain these signs from the Public Safety Office.
The downloadable form above may be filled out on your computer, then printed and signed. Older versions of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader may need to be updated to use this feature (use the link below to update your software). Alternatively, you may print it out and fill in the entire form by hand. Once you have completed your Letter of Agency form, take it into the Lancaster Sheriff's Station lobby to turn it in.
Under California law the Letter of Agency is only valid for six months from the date on the form, so make sure to mark your calendars to renew it before that date (simply fill out a new form and turn it in to renew).
If you have any questions, or if you need assistance filling out the form, contact the Lancaster Sheriff's Station either in-person or by calling (661) 948-8466, or contact the Public Safety Office.