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Thread: LEO training bulletins

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    Does anyone know if normal LEO training bulletins are public domain under a FOIA request OR the Tennessee Open Records Act? I'm not talking about investigative reports--merely the training bulletins issued to officers?

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    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    I can assure you that the fact Tennessee allows open carry is taught to new law enforcement recruits. The people who came in to teach about Driver's Licenses even listed it as a test question. If you want confirmation think about contacting the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy for details.

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    fullauto223cal wrote:
    I can assure you that the fact Tennessee allows open carry is taught to new law enforcement recruits. The people who came in to teach about Driver's Licenses even listed it as a test question. If you want confirmation think about contacting the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy for details.
    Yes, but what I want to see is the training bulletins, or the departmental memos that go out to the officers instructing them on how to approach individuals who are carrying guns...are these documents covered under a FOIA request, or under the Tn. Open Records Act?

    Are individual city, and county LE agencies required to present use of force policies upon request?

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    suntzu wrote:
    Yes, but what I want to see is the training bulletins, or the departmental memos that go out to the officers instructing them on how to approach individuals who are carrying guns...are these documents covered under a FOIA request, or under the Tn. Open Records Act?

    Are individual city, and county LE agencies required to present use of force policies upon request?
    I suspect this is more a question for the courts. By this I mean, I doubt there is anexplicitclause inany FOIA law that says expressly one way or the other whether this type of record is exempt or not. And I sorta doubt its been the subject of a court opinionone way or the other; and if it has, I'm betting the court ruled in favor of withholding the record.

    You may very well receive a "records withheld" letter, citing a tactics security exemption. And as long as they insist on withholding the records, it'll take a court order to pry it out of them.

    That's not to say it wouldn't be useful toget a refusal.Check and see ifTN FOIA law includes a clause that, if itwitholds a record, the agencymust tell you the record exists.If so, you can then word a FOIA request very, very carefully.

    For example,"Any single training memo that discusses how to investigatively approach a citizen carrying a handgun in a holster where there is no other circumstance prompting the investigation or fact of being approached by an LEO."

    Be careful about askingfor plural records andmultiple types of records in one FOIA if you are using this approach. At least one state FOIA law allows a blanket refusal that would then fog up whether such a record exists.

    This approach is designed to find out whether such a record exists at all. Now watch this: If the record existsAND it is withheld for security purposes, it automatically tells you the officer is approaching with suspicion on his mind, is being cautious, using tactical methods of some sort,AND he is doing it only because the citizen is carrying a holstered gun. Whamo. You got 'em.

    Or, maybe even better, you could request the example record but slightly modified to include, "...discusses or directs the officer toengage the citizen in a non-consensual/involuntaryencounter."A refusal would tell yousomething very interesting indeed.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    Yes, but what I want to see is the training bulletins, or the departmental memos that go out to the officers instructing them on how to approach individuals who are carrying guns...are these documents covered under a FOIA request, or under the Tn. Open Records Act?
    I would think the department would have had to have had a problem with it before it would go to that level. All I know is what I've learned at my Department. Tennessee has had it's Shall Issue law since '96. The way I was instructed, don't do anything until your sure a crime is being committed. You can only be charged with a crime if it statute law, there is no "common law" in Tennessee.

    The few stories I read about before becoming an Officer sounded as if the Officer acted before thinking, and that's always a big risk. We were taught that we better have probable cause or at lease reasonable suspicions for a Terry stop.

    I don't know what to tell you about any training bulletin, but it is part of the curriculum for new recruits that open carry is NOT against the law.

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