Unmarked Vehicle Data, Policies, Reporting, Use (Brookline Police Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Brookline Police Department of Brookline, MA.
Multi Request Unmarked Vehicle Data, Policies, Reporting, Use


From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

Materials regarding the use and reporting of use of unmarked vehicles by representatives and employees of this agency:

All policies, statutes, and guidance used to govern the use of unmarked vehicles or any other vehicle used or in the possession of this agency that is not clearly and obviously marked as a law enforcement vehicle.

Please include all policies regarding access to such vehicles, use of the vehicles, internal reporting requirements when such vehicles are used, and external reporting requirements.

A blank version of all forms and logs used by this agency in relation unmarked vehicles, including all those used to track use, damage, and the inventory of vehicles.

All available data, reports, audits, and other aggregated information regarding this agency’s inventory and use of unmarked vehicles for the period from January 1, 2015 through July 31, 2020.

In the initial acknowledgement letter from your agency, if you could please include an indication of whether your agency does use unmarked vehicles in some form, that would be appreciated.

For reference, here are examples of the kinds of materials that would be responsive to this request:
• Pennsylvania state statute (http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol35/35-2/55.html);
• opinion of the Wisconsin Attorney General (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/oag/archival/_293/_1/_16);
• Orlando Police Department policy (https://www.orlando.gov/files/sharedassets/public/documents/opd/policies-and-procedures/police-operations/1132.3-response-to-calls-traffic-stops-by-unmarked-police-vehicles.pdf);
• Howard County, Maryland Internal Audit Report of Police Take-Home Vehicle Program Audit - May 2018 (https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xwqgv-M7q9g%3D&tabid=132&portalid=0)
• Minneapolis’s Daily Activity Report (MP-3006) and Equipment Work Order Log (MP-5400)

If any portion of materials responsive to this request should be deemed unavailable or non-disclosable, please specifically identify the portions of the records or the specific information that is unavailable and the reason for the unavailability.

If any portion of this request is unclear or if this request could be modified to reduce the burden of producing responsive documents or provide them more efficiently or expeditiously, please reply with a request for clarification or a proposed modification.

This request is being made by a reporter as part of a journalistic investigation. It is being submitted to your agency at the request of a member of your community as part of a project to better understand policing agencies nationwide.

In the event that there are fees appropriately assessed in association with this request, 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.


Beryl Lipton

From: Brookline Police Department

Pursuant to your August 17, 2020 public records request copied below, attached are copies of all responsive records that relate to the request in possession of the Brookline Police Department.

Attachment #1: An inventory of all the vehicles registered and used by the Brookline Police Department.

All Brookline Police Department policies and procedures can be found online at: https://www.brooklinepolice.com/185/Brookline-Police-Policies-and-Procedures. Any policies related to the use of unmarked vehicles can be found there.

These are the only records maintained by the Department in relation to your request. The mandatory disclosure provision of the Public Records Law only applies to information that is in the custody of the Department at the time the request is received. As a result, there is no obligation for a Department to create a record for a requester to honor a request. See G.L. c. 4, section 7(26) (defining "public records" as materials which have already been "made or received" by a public entity); see also 32 Op. Att'y Gen. IS7, 16S (May 18, 1977) (custodian is not obliged to create a record in response to a request for information); see also A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Division of Public Records, p. 7 (January 2013) (hereinafter Public Records Guide). As a result, the Department is not required to create this document to respond to your request.

There are no fees associated with this request. At this time the Department considers this request closed.

You have the right to appeal this determination to the supervisor of records pursuant to G.L. c.66, § 10A(a) and the right to seek judicial review of an unfavorable decision by commencing a civil action in superior court under G.L. c.66, §10A(c). Any and all appeals should be filed through the Sec of the Commonwealth.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Harrington

Brookline Police Department

Traffic/Records Division Supervisor