Sexual Harassment Complaints/Lawsuits (Baltimore Police Department)

JPat Brown filed this request with the Baltimore Police Department of Baltimore, MD.
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: JPat Brown

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Maryland's Public Information Act ("PIA"), I hereby request the following records:

Copies of all reports, lists, or databases detailing the number and/or status of sexual harassment complaints and/or lawsuits brought against the Department over the last 5 years. This should include requests for, or documentation of, funds used to cover settlement agreements, court costs, or other expenses related to lawsuits.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

JPat Brown

From: Baltimore Police Department

Dear JPat Brown,
This is an acknowledgement of your request below, for public information, submitted to the Document Compliance Unit ("DCU") of the Baltimore Police Department ("BPD"). Your request is governed by the Maryland Public Information Act ("PIA"), Maryland Code, General Provisions Article ("GP"), Sections 4-101 et seq. DCU will process your request promptly. However, our response may take longer than ten (10) working days, the reasons for which may include the scope of your request, the type and volume of potentially responsive records, and the nature of the search, review, and preparation that is required. In any event, DCU will respond to your request within thirty (30) days. GP § 4-203.
DCU will contact you with the availability of records and the possible costs associated with this request, as soon as the information is made available by the Custodian of Records. Likewise, if DCU and/or the Custodian of Records need you to clarify your request, DCU will contact you promptly.
Please refer to tracking # MPIA 17-884 in any subsequent correspondence pertaining to this matter. All follow up correspondence should be made in writing and submitted to the DCU's e-mail: DCU@baltimorepolice.org<mailto:DCU@baltimorepolice.org>.

Respectfully,

P/O Shawn Baker I259
Baltimore Police Department
Document Compliance Unit
Legal Affairs Division
100 N Holiday St., Room 100,
Baltimore, MD 21202
DCU@baltimorepolice.org<mailto:DCU@baltimorepolice.org>
MPIA request forms
http://law.baltimorecity.gov/office-legal-affairs-baltimore-police-department

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From: Baltimore Police Department

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for following up with the DCU on this matter. We apologize for the delay, in getting back to you. The DCU is working to address your request. Please note that the DCU Staff member assigned to this request is out of the office sick. The DCU will contact you with an update as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

DCU Staff
Document Compliance Unit
Baltimore Police Department

From: Baltimore Police Department

Good afternoon,

I apologize for the delay. I will follow up with the custodian about your request and advise you ASAP.

P/O Shawn Baker I259
DCU
Legal Affairs Division
Baltimore Police Dept.

From: Baltimore Police Department

Dear JPat Brown:

We sincerely apologize for the delay in processing your request. Thank you for your consideration and continued patience.

On October 31, 2017, you submitted a request for public records to the Document Compliance Unit (“DCU”) of the Baltimore Police Department (“BPD”), for, “copies of all reports, lists, or databases detailing the number and/or status of sexual harassment complaints and/or lawsuits brought against the Department over the last 5 years. This should include requests for, or documentation of, funds used to cover settlement agreements, court costs, or other expenses related to lawsuits.” The Maryland Public Information Act (“PIA”), Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, § 4-101, et seq. governs your request.

Please note that portions of your request are considerably broad, which makes it difficult for BPD to conduct a diligent search to identify responsive records. Please be advised that typically, a narrower request makes it easier for the custodian to conduct a more focused search and increases the likelihood the search will yield records truly sought by the requester.

The above notwithstanding, based on the information provided in your request, DCU forwarded your request to its internal custodian and tried its best to identify and provide as much information as possible.

Based on the request you submitted, the responsive record(s) are maintained by the Office of Professional Responsibility, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Section (“EOD”) of BPD.

Accordingly, the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Section’s Lieutenant advised that there are difficulties with locating the information as requested. In order to produce the data as requested, as well as ensure its accuracy, a hand search of individual cases would need to be conducted in order to log the nature of each individual case. However, EOD does not have the workforce available to conduct such a task. EOD is staffed by only three members and is responsible for handling investigations involving allegations of discrimination and harassment; sensitive police misconduct investigations; responding to external charges; and providing continuing training to the department.

In addition, the Lieutenant further advised that for cases from 2012-2016, the items were logged into the IA Pro System, and that System is not equipped to produce a list of only sexual harassment complaints. It could produce a list of all investigations conducted by the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Section, but would not differentiate between harassment, discrimination, retaliation or any other matter investigated by EODS. Also, for matters from 2016-2017, the cases are maintained by an excel spreadsheet, but again are not differentiated by type of case handled. These numbers also reflect a large number of accommodation requests, which were handled by the section at the time. Beginning in 2018, all EODS cases are maintained in a spreadsheet and are logged by case type, with matters involving misconduct allegations being logged into the IA Pro System.

Please note that the Lieutenant has indicated that if EOD were to provide staffing for the completion of this request, the estimated time of completion would require two staff members for a total of 80 hours each. In addition, §10-621 of the MPIA permits agencies to charge a reasonable fee for the search for, preparation of and reproduction of a public record.

As stated above, your request is considerably broad and thus, in its present state does not reasonably describe or otherwise identify the record(s) sought; therefore, BPD needs additional information from you, regarding what it is exactly that you are seeking.. Please note that this response does not limit your ability to submit subsequent request(s), similar in nature, that request more specific information/data.

Nothing in this response is intended to indicate that any records sought from the BPD exist or to waive any privileges held by the BPD. You have the right under PIA § 4-1B-04 to contact the Public Access Ombudsman to mediate any dispute(s) you may have with this response. You may also, contest this response by filing a complaint in the Circuit Court pursuant to PIA § 4-362. Please refer to MPIA tracking # 17-884 in any subsequent correspondence for this matter.

Sincerely,

Margaret Boyd-Anderson
DCU Paralegal
Baltimore Police Department
Document Compliance Unit
Legal Affairs Division
100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
DCU@baltimorepolice.org
(410) 637-8684 - Office
(410) 396-2126 - FAX

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