Polk County Warrants and Arrest Records Search

Iowa Arrest Records and Warrant Search

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Embarking on an arrest warrant search in Polk County, Iowa, may seem daunting, but many search tools exist to simplify the task and produce usable results. When the area now known as Iowa became a part of the United States by way of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, American courts already were developing the law regarding warrants and arrests through the U.S. Constitution’s interpretation.


Iowa became a state in 1846. That same year, Polk County came into existence, named for President James K. Polk. With statehood came the creation of the sheriff’s office. Des Moines, located in Polk County, became the state capital 11 years later. That same year, Iowa’s constitution was adopted. Development of the city and state continued, including completing the state’s Supreme Court building in 1886.


Polk County is the most populous county in the state. There are typically about 17,000 crimes per year in the county. Each year sees close to 100 homicides, more than 1300 sexual assaults, and almost 11,000 car thefts. Not all perpetrators of such crimes are immediately apprehended. Thus, there are always outstanding warrants in Polk County.


There are many ways to locate outstanding warrant data for Polk County. However, two notable sources for arrest records are the law enforcement agency that made the arrest or Iowa Courts Online. That site, https://www.iowacourts.state.ia.us/ESAWebApp/DefaultFrame, enables people to perform a basic search for Iowa cases by name attorney’s name, court docket number. It also provides the option to do an advanced search using additional information such as an individual’s role in a case, the issue at hand, and the case type. However, do not discount the Polk County sheriff as a valuable arrest warrant information source. The Polk County Sheriff has an office at 1985 NE 51st Place in Des Moines.


Polk County maintains a Current Inmate Listing online at https://apps.polkcountyiowa.gov/PolkCountyInmates/CurrentInmates.The list provides names, birth dates, and booking dates. However, users must understand that the sheriff does not provide any case disposition information and that an arrest does not indicate guilt. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office gives no guarantee of the timeliness and accuracy of arrest information. It denies any liability for any damages sustained because of reliance upon the data posted in the inmate listing. Notwithstanding that, users also have access to lists of inmates released from Polk County Jail within the past year.


Numerous individuals end up in the county jail, according to an arrest warrant issued in Polk County. Chapter 804 of the Iowa Statutes covers arrests and warrants. For others, an outstanding warrant (sometimes called an active warrant in Polk County) was issued, directing law enforcement officers to arrest them. Some of the numerous unexecuted warrants in Polk County are for people who have fled the jurisdiction to avoid arrest. Others are for individuals who have managed to avoid arrest. There are even some people who do not realize there is an arrest warrant for them.


There are many departments within the legal system in Polk County, IA. There are, of course, the courts and the presiding judges. The Polk County Courthouse is located at 500 Mulberry Street in Des Moines. However, other supporting offices may help search for outstanding arrest warrants, such as the Polk County Clerk of Courts. Their office may direct those searching for arrest warrants to any court dockets or pleadings that apply to their search.

Is it possible to obtain information about Polk County arrest warrants and recent arrests by phone? (2021-Update)  

  • Contact the Polk County Jail at 515-422-4371 in order to know about recent arrests.
  • Reach out to the Sheriff’s Office at 515-323-5446 for arrest records, incident reports, and information on outstanding warrants.
  • Connect with the law enforcement office through their dispatch phone number- 515- 286-3333 for general inquiries.
  • Reach out to the Polk County Attorney’s Office at 515-286-3737 for victim’s assistance
  • Contact the Clerk of Court at 515-286-3772 for information on how to begin a criminal case search.

Crime statistics of Polk County

In 2019, the Polk Sheriff’s Office received 934 criminal complaints, compared to 790 in 2018. There were 822 property offenses and 112 violent crimes among them.

Property offenses included 486 larceny thefts, 211 burglaries, and 125 motor vehicle thefts. In the category of violent crimes, there were 89 aggravated assaults, 14 rapes, and 9 robberies.


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