Firearm Project, Brevard County, FL

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Brevard County Sheriff of Brevard County, FL.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Ben Hallman

Hi,

Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am requesting access to and copies of records from your agency as part of our continuing coverage of gun trafficking. I have broken the request into three parts, each of which details the records that we are seeking. As expressed below, the date range for each part of this request is January 1, 2010 to the present:

1) Detailed information on stolen guns

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about firearms that were reported stolen by the citizens they serve. We are therefore requesting the following for each case of reported firearm theft in your jurisdiction:

-- The police report number and/or incident number for the firearm theft
-- The serial number, make, model, caliber, type and any other descriptive information for each firearm that was reported stolen

We would appreciate if this data was provided in a spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide any record layout and/or code sheets.

The date range for this part is January 1, 2010 to the present.

2) Detailed information about crime guns

Second, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were used in crimes, recovered at crimes scenes or seized during investigations in their jurisdictions, including the make, model and serial number of each gun. We are therefore requesting the following:

-- The following records regarding firearms used in crimes in your agency’s jurisdiction, recovered at crime scenes or seized during investigations: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime; the police report number for the crime; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed.

If your agency maintains a spreadsheet or database containing these records, we ask that you please provide that database. I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one case, the same as part 1) “Detailed information about stolen guns.”

I would like to note that we are not at this time seeking copies of police reports or any other investigative records associated with these crimes; we are only seeking information about the firearms used and some general information about the crimes that is generally released to the public.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

3) Detailed information on lost, stolen or unaccounted for law enforcement guns

Finally, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that, while under the control and/or in the possession of their employees, went missing, were lost or stolen, or are otherwise accounted for. Therefore we request the following:

-- Any and all records of department-issued firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise accounted for.

-- If your department does not issue firearms, then we ask for any and all records of firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or otherwise became unaccounted for while under the control and/or in the possession of one of your employees.

The records should include but not be limited to the following:

• The make, model, serial number and caliber of each lost or stolen firearm
• The location and address where the firearm was stolen
• The date of the loss or theft.
• The date the lost or theft was reported
• Whether each lost or stolen firearm was recovered
• If the lost or stolen firearm was recovered, the date and location of the recovery
• A description of how the firearm was lost or stolen
• Whether negligence on the part of the employee is/was suspected in the loss or theft of the firearm
• Whether the employee in control of the firearm retired, was terminated or otherwise left the department, and if so, the date and circumstances of the employee’s departure and whether his or her gun was retrieved and/or recovered.
• Any other individual reports and findings on the individual lost or stolen firearms

The records should include but not be limited to databases, reports, memos, internal affairs investigations, emails or other correspondence, and/or any other records.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

Please label each record in a clear manner. As a news organization, we will be making information obtained from this request available to the general public and are not requesting it for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you informed me of the total charges before completing my request. We request that if you send an invoice, you make it out to The Trace.

I would prefer the requested information be sent via an e-mail attachment if available, or a mailed CD-ROM if not. If standard mail must be used, we ask that you send the request to the following address:

The Trace (at WeWork)
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway
New York, NY 10013

Thank you in advance for your help with this request. I look forward to receiving your response. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me on my cell phone: (919) 522-6354

Sincerely,

Brian Freskos

From: Price, Susan

Thank you for submitting your public records request to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Records Unit. This message is being provided as confirmation your request was received. If you need to contact our office as to the status of your request, please call (321) 264-5214. When contacting our office, please let the phone receptionist know that you are inquiring about a request previously sent via email.

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

In reply to your Sunshine Law Request: Firearm Project, Brevard County, FL, I have attached an estimate of the costs associated with the search and retrieval of the responsive records.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regards,
Debbie

Debbie Holt, Records Manager
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
700 S. Park Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-5214
Fax: (321) 264-5314

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you Debbie. I'm forwarding the invoice to our accounting folks. The check should be in the mail in about a week. If you do not receive it, please let me know.

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

Attached is an Excel spreadsheet that addresses Part 1 and Part 2 of your request.

As to Part 3, there are five cases involving department issued firearms that were lost, stolen, missing or unaccounted for dating back to January 1, 2010. I have attached an estimate for the costs associated with providing the “…copies of the reports, memos, internal affairs investigation, emails or other correspondence, and/or any other records” for those five cases.

In accordance with F.S. 119.07(4)(d) and agency policy, due to the nature or volume of public records to be inspected and/or copied, an extensive use of information technology resources and/or extensive clerical and supervisory assistance by personnel of this agency will require a payment of an advance deposit. Please remit $42.60 as calculated on the attached invoice. Should the use of personnel or copies exceed the estimate, we will require the additional payment, for which notification will be made at that time.

Respectfully submitted,
Debbie Holt

Debbie Holt, Records Manager
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
700 S. Park Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-5214
Fax: (321) 264-5314

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you so much Debbie! And please pass along my thanks to anyone who also assisted. I'm forwarding the invoice for the reports to our accounting folks and they will put a check in the mail. It may take a couple of weeks because of the holidays, but if you don't receive something by early January please let me know. Thanks again! Brian

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

I will let you know if we don’t hear anything from you by early January.
Regards,
Debbie

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

Attached are the documents responsive to your public records request. The cases are still open/pending and the following redactions have been applied:

· F.S. 119.071(2)(c)1 - Active criminal investigative information

· F.S. 119.071(4)(d)2a – Law enforcement personal identifiers (including spouse and children)

Additionally, I have attached the final invoice; you are due a refund of $7.20. I will submit a check request to our Accounting Department on Monday, I just need to know who the check should be made out to and the mailing address, please.
Regards,
Debbie

Debbie Holt, Records Manager
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
700 S. Park Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-5214
Fax: (321) 264-5314

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you so much! And please pass along my thanks to anyone who also assisted.

You can make the refund out to Trace Media and send to:

909 Third Avenue –15th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Attn: Fanny Dublin and Rob Chowdhury

From: Holt, Debra

Thank you, I’ll submit the check request today.

Debbie

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Debbie,

We are in the formatting phase of this project and I had a question about the meaning of the Property Codes in Column H:

Recovered -- Are these firearms that were previously reported stolen? If so, does the Recovered record pertain to the recovery, or the theft? For example, say the Property Code says Recovered and the Date Reported was Jan. 1, 2017, is that the date the gun was recovered, or the date the gun was stolen?

Stolen -- Are these firearms reported stolen to the sheriff's office?

Stolen & Recovered -- What is the difference between Stolen & Recovered and simply Recovered? When the code is Stolen & Recovered, does the record pertain to the theft, the recovery, or both?

Lost -- Are these firearms that were reported lost to the sheriff's office?

From: Brian Freskos

Also, what is the meaning of Confiscated?

From: Holt, Debra

Thank you for submitting your public records request to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Records Unit. This message is being provided as confirmation your request was received.

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

The statutory obligation of the custodian of public records is to provide access to, or copies of, public records; a custodian is not required to give out information from the records [F.S. 119.07(1)(a) and (4)]. If you would like to obtain copies of any particular case reports that would pertain to your questions, please provide the case number(s) and we’ll be glad to prepare an estimate for any associated costs with your request.

Regards,
Debbie

Debbie Holt, Records Manager
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
700 S. Park Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-5214

This email, including any attached file(s) is intended only for the addressee and may contain confidential information. If you are not the addressee, you are notified that any transmission, distribution, printing or photocopying of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify the sender.

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for replying. However, I would like to avoid giving both of us more work when all I'm trying to do is obtain the meaning of the codes. Can you supply contact information for the person who pulled this data so I may call them?

From: Holt, Debra

Thank you for submitting your public records request to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Records Unit. This message is being provided as confirmation your request was received. If you need to contact our office as to the status of your request, please call (321) 264-5214. When contacting our office, please let the phone receptionist know that you are inquiring about a request previously sent via email.

From: Holt, Debra

Mr. Freskos,

BCSO adheres to FS Section 119 regarding public records. As the custodian of public records, the Sheriff has designated and charged the Records Unit with the responsibility of processing all requests to inspect and copy agency records. As I responded previously, the statutory obligation of the custodian of public records is to provide access to, or copies of, public records; a custodian is not required to give out information from the records [F.S. 119.07(1)(a) and (4)].

If you would like to obtain copies of any particular case reports that would pertain to your questions, please provide the case number(s) and we’ll be glad to prepare an estimate for any associated costs with your request.
Regards,
Debbie

Debbie Holt, Records Manager
Brevard County Sheriff's Office
700 S. Park Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: (321) 264-5214

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