Search Warrant Data (Burlington Police Department)

Lucy Parsons Labs filed this request with the Burlington Police Department of Burlington, VT.
Multi Request Search Warrant Data
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Lucy Parsons Labs


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Vermont Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

For all search warrants, applications for search warrants, cancellations, and authorization for search warrants between 2012 to the date of processing this request, please provide the following points of record for each:

Full Name of requester
If arrest, arrest ID (eg some cities/states use, "Incident Report")
Reason(s) for search warrant (typically either hand-written, or checkboxes)
Badge ID (or similar) of requester
District/Unit
Name of Judge
Name of approving officer
Whether an Arrest happened
Requested location of search warrant
Location of search warrant execution
Type of search warrant
Statements used to justify search warrant
Time and date when search warrant was submitted for approval
Time and date when search warrant was executed
Whether anything was seized
Whether anything was found
License plate of vehicle (if relevant)
Race of person for search warrant
Age of person for search warrant
State of person for search warrant
Whether an informant was involved
Method of contact with informant leading to search warrant (eg, phone call, mail, fax, email, etc)
Description of person search warrant executed on
Legal code of violation
Description of violation
Date of violation
If search warrant related to debt: name of company debt is owed to, amount owed
Whether FBI involved
ID associated with FBI document (eg, IR #)
Whether search warrant was cancelled
Whether contraband found
Whether narcotics found

The records responsive to this request are likely available in a database, or in some query-able format. If your department or agency does not have direct access to the records, please raise to the respective department that can run queries directly (eg, through SQL).

Should your agency not have all of the requested records within a single record or document, please provide me the relevant documents that do, even if that requires more than one class of document. Should some of the records be unavailable, please let me know ahead of time so that we can narrow the request accordingly.

As the records responsive to this request are imperative for understanding how search warrants are executed, I ask that the public interest of these records be evaluated to the extent that the public's interest outweighs this request's burden. To add, this request is being sent to the largest city of every state and will be collated together to create a comprehensive map of search warrants throughout the US. As such, the records are not only important for understanding search warrants at a local level, but also at a national and state-wide level.

Please ensure that provided documents comply with Section 508, as these records will be shared with members of the public who are covered under the ADA. This guide should be helpful: https://www.hhs.gov/web/section-508/making-files-accessible/checklist/pdf/index.html

If this request was sent to the wrong department or agency, please let me know so that I can send to the correct place.

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 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Lucy Parsons Labs

From: Burlington Police Department

Lucy,

This is a very large and almost impossible request. All search warrants over a 7 year period will take an extraordinary and unreasonable amount of time. This will require us to look into every investigation that “could have had” a search warrant request. Is there any way you can clarify this request?

Jan Wright
Deputy Chief of Police

From: Lucy Parsons Labs

I'm not sure to what extent this request could be clarified or narrowed, as I don't have the same insight (that you do) into how Vermont stores the records that would be responsive to this request. My understanding is that Vermont stores its police records in a system called Valcour CMS, which has the ability to export information in reports. By the way that Valcour's online information describes itself, it should have the ability to create arbitrary reports similar to what I'm requesting:

"The Valcour SaaS CAD/RMS™ tracks all incidents from the initial call to the final resolution of the case, including accidents, arrests, bookings, citations, warrants, protection orders and other key data. Reports, interviews, briefing summaries, etc. are integrated into the product. All information in Valcour™ (depending on the role of the user) is available to officers in the field. Valcour™’s data-centric design focuses on two main goals: to reduce the time spent on paperwork and to improve data integrity. This data-centric design, backed up with our real-time data sharing, eliminates the need to enter the same information several times. It makes the data that is entered immediately available to the appropriate personnel within an Agency or group of Agencies (in the case of a multi-jurisdictional deployment). Data entered from the office, the field or a vehicle is uploaded in real-time and is available to all."
Source: https://www.crosswind.com/public-safety/

Many cities' systems are very explicit in their storage - and searching - of information related to search warrants, so I would imagine that Valcour would as well. While it might not have the explicit capabilities through an interface, it still might be possible to complete this request using a backend methodology, by Crosswinds themselves (possibly SQL, or an API, or similar), or through Burlington's IT department. If necessary, could you please raise this matter to Crosswinds directly, to the extent that your contract with them allows?

Let's assume, for now, that this isn't almost impossible.

From: Burlington Police Department

To whom it may concern at MuckRock:

Your request of February 4, 2020, is unreasonably broad. We have no single record that contains this. We furthermore have no database nor queryable system that contains the voluminous records you request. We encourage you to inquire with the Chittenden County Clerk of Court, as search warrants and inventory lists are returned to that office as the repository of record. Should you narrow your request, we will reconsider.

Deputy Chief Jon Murad

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