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Thread: July 18, 2011: FOIA Council will discuss FOIA of criminal records

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    July 18, 2011: FOIA Council will discuss FOIA of criminal records

    The Freedom of Information Advisory Council - Criminal Investigative Records Subcommittee, will hold a meeting on July 18th at 11AM House Room C, General Assembly Building to discuss Senator Edwards bill SB 1467.

    The police lobby remains strongly opposed to transparency because of "privacy" concerns. As noted at an earlier FOIA Council meeting:
    Essentially, SB 1467 exempts criminal investigative files as long as they are "active or ongoing." Based on the Council's 2010 study of SB 711, it is difficult to determine when an investigation becomes inactive or closed. Staff also noted that the SB 711 subcommittee recommended a rewrite of 2.2-3706 to make it more easily read and understood, but that recommendation did not go forward because of the concern of unnecessary tinkering in an election year. Staff advised that the issue has remained the same over the years--reporters and others want greater access to criminal investigative files and law-enforcement agencies routinely fail to exercise any discretion because of concern for the myriad of personal and other information contained in a criminal investigative file, coupled with the time it takes to review the file. Council member Craig Fifer, who also chaired last year's subcommittee, told the Council that the issue was not going to go away because of significant interest by many parties. He suggested that a subcommittee be appointed, at a minimum, to facilitate further discussion in the hopes of an acceptable resolution. Chairman Houck continued the subcommittee from 2010, which consists of Council members Fifer, Treadway, Selph, and Schliessmann.
    The reality is, many agencies and departments have a policy of refusing to honor FOIA requests for incident reports or criminal reports simply because they can under the law. Last year, the police lobby turned out in force. Many, including several Police chiefs, appears in full uniform, fully armed. Were they on-duty, appearing at taxpayer expense? On the other hand, only a handful of supporters appeared, all of them apparently were reporters. Perhaps this time, grassroots Virginians, including gun owners, could appear for support.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    The Freedom of Information Advisory Council - Criminal Investigative Records Subcommittee, will hold a meeting on July 18th at 11AM House Room C, General Assembly Building to discuss Senator Edwards bill SB 1467.

    The police lobby remains strongly opposed to transparency because of "privacy" concerns. As noted at an earlier FOIA Council meeting:


    The reality is, many agencies and departments have a policy of refusing to honor FOIA requests for incident reports or criminal reports simply because they can under the law. Last year, the police lobby turned out in force. Many, including several Police chiefs, appears in full uniform, fully armed. Were they on-duty, appearing at taxpayer expense? On the other hand, only a handful of supporters appeared, all of them apparently were reporters. Perhaps this time, grassroots Virginians, including gun owners, could appear for support.
    From what I've heard, it's going to be a must see meeting. Hopefully lots of us will show.
    Thanks for posting this.

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    From what I've heard, it's going to be a must see meeting. Hopefully lots of us will show.
    Thanks for posting this.
    It is likely that many, many LEOs will show. In uniform. Fully outfitted.

    So it would be educational for the Committee to see many Virginians in support of police transparency.

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