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PSF-2.01 - Release of Information

RELEASE OF INFORMATION
Administrative Rules Adopted by Police Bureau Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority
ARB-PSF-2.01

 
POLICY (614.50)
It is the policy of the Bureau to provide access to written records in an open, consistent, and timely manner in conformance with the standards set forth in the Oregon Public Records Law. A public record is any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business. Writing includes handwriting, typewriting, printing, letters, sounds and symbols, or any combination of these. It also includes information stored on paper, computer tape, film, video tapes, electronically stored or machine readable data, and other methods of retaining information as well as written documents such as police reports and memoranda. E-mail is included as are deleted messages stored on back-up tapes.

PROCEDURE (614.50)
 
Release of Information to Individuals
Persons seeking copies of, or the right to inspect, Bureau records shall be referred to the Records Division (Records). It will be the responsibility of Records to review the request. If the record requested is in the possession of Records, or is readily accessible by Records, they will then process the request.
 
If the record is not available to Records, they will refer the request to the RU in possession of the record or to the appropriate City Attorney.
 
All requests for crime scene photos will be referred to the Detective Division or, in the case of accident scene photographs, to the Traffic Division.
 
RUs that receive public record requests will comply with the request unless the record is exempt. If there is a question concerning whether a particular statutory exemption applies, the RU may contact Records and/or the City Attorney for advice. If requested, Records will assist or facilitate public record requests for other Bureau divisions and units.
 
In some cases, only a portion of the record may be exempt. In that case, the exempt portion shall be redacted and the remainder of the record shall be provided.
 
Fee Schedule (614.50)
Fees for public records are determined by the City Council. Refer to City Code 3.20.360 or Records for the current fee schedule. Nothing in this order will prohibit any RU from developing and releasing any document, without cost, designed to educate or inform individuals or groups. Examples of such documents would include crime prevention brochures, regular statistical documents, annual reports and press releases.
 
If there is any question as to the appropriate release of a document, contact Records or the City Attorney for advice. However, keep in mind that not all documents exempt under Public Records law are marked Confidential. Use caution when dealing with matters involving children (either arrested or as victims), elder persons, persons with mental or physical illness, or any matter that might be considered private by a person named.
 
Confidential Records (614.50)
In the event the record requested is marked confidential, the unit processing the request will not release such material, if it is otherwise appropriate to do so, until it has obtained the consent of the originating unit.
 
Information to Governmental Agencies (614.50)
This order applies to private citizens or businesses seeking access to Bureau records. Nothing in this order will prohibit or affect the exchange of information or records between any RU and another law enforcement agency or governmental agency.
 
Release of Information to the Press (614.50)
All records requests by the media will be processed by the Records Division in the procedure outlined in the Release of Information to Individuals section of this directive. Requests for information pertaining to press releases and breaking news events will be referred to the Public Information Officer.
 

References
 
ORS 192.410 – 192.500 Public Records Law
City Code 3.20.360 Fee Schedule
City Code 3.20.360 Fee Schedule for Traffic Violations
DIR 310.70 Dissemination of Information
DIR 631.35 Press/Media Policy and Procedure
DIR 910.00 Field Reporting Handbook Instructions
DIR 1226.00 Computer Technology
Fee Schedule (Records)

 
HISTORY
Revised document effective January 20, 2006 and filed in PPD April 21, 2006.
Submitted for inclusion in PPD March 6, 2002.
Originally published as Directive 614.50 of the Portland Police Bureau Manual of Policy and Procedure, August 2001.