Firearm Project, Charlotte County, FL

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office of Charlotte County, FL.
Tracking # REQ-17-1670
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Brian Freskos

Hi,

Pursuant to the Florida Sunshine Law, I am requesting data and other records from your agency as part of a national reporting project on the use of stolen firearms in crimes.

From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement we obtained serial number, make, model and other information on firearms reported stolen by members of the public to your agency. We are requesting that your agency provide similar information for firearms that your agency has confiscated, seized, found, booked into evidence, or otherwise taken custody of so that we may explore the relationship between stolen guns and crime. We are also requesting that your agency provide records related to firearms that were reported lost or stolen from law enforcement officers in your jurisdiction.

I have broken the request into parts, each of which details the records 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 about seized and/or recovered guns, any guns in evidence, and/or any gun of which the department has taken custody

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were used in crimes, found at crimes scenes or other incidents, seized during investigations, booked property or evidence, or otherwise under the custody and control of the department, including the make, model and serial number of each gun.

We are therefore requesting the following records regarding firearms used in crimes, found at crime scenes or other incidents, booked into property or evidence, seized or confiscated during investigations or otherwise recovered or taken in by your agency:

-- The serial number, make and model of each gun
-- The date on which the department recovered, seized or took custody of each gun
-- The police report number for the crime and/or incident involving each gun
-- The type of crime or incident in which each gun was involved (e.g., homicide, robbery, assault, etc.)

Please include firearms for all offense and incident types, including homicide, robbery, assault, traffic stops, etc.

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. If a spreadsheet is provided, please also provide a record layout and/or code sheet. If a spreadsheet or database is not available, please release any other records containing the information we seek.

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

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

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that, while owned by the department or under the control and/or in the possession of their employees, went missing, were lost or stolen, or are otherwise unaccounted for.

We therefore requesting any and all records of department firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise unaccounted 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 or another law enforcement officer. For example, if a thief broke into an officer’s car or house and stole his or her firearm, we would like the report for that theft and any accompanying information. If an audit concluded that firearms were missing from inventory, we could like a copy of that audit. If an officer left a firearm somewhere or lost one somehow, we would like the report for that loss.

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

-- The serial number, make, model and caliber of each firearm

-- The location and address where the firearm was lost or stolen

-- The date of the loss or theft.

-- The date the loss or theft was reported

-- Whether each lost or stolen firearm was recovered

-- If the lost, stolen or missing firearm was recovered, the date and location of the recovery

-- A description of how the firearm was lost, stolen or went missing

-- 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, stolen or missing firearms

The records should include but not be limited to audits, inventory reports, databases, internal 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. I am a reporter with The Trace, a 501c3 nonprofit 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 records to the following address:

The Trace
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway, 4th Floor
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
Investigations, The Trace

From: Records

Your request has been received and has been placed in queue for processing. If there is any monetary payment requirements regarding your request, you will be notified prior to the request being processed.

Have a great day!

Records Division
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
7474 Utilities Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Ph: 941-575-5251

From: Brian Freskos

Thanks!

From: Records

Good morning, your Public Records Request has been issued case number REQ-17-1670. We are still in the process of gathering information and preparing an estimate of charges for this request. Once the estimate is completed, we will forward you a copy of the invoice for estimated charges.

Have a great day,

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Records Department
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-575-5251

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you

From: Records

Good afternoon, reference to your request, REQ-17-1670, we are still awaiting to hear back from another department in our agency. Once we receive information from that department, we will forward you a copy of the estimated invoice with charges associated with this request.

Thank you,

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Records Department
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-575-5251

From: Records

Good afternoon, reference to your request REQ-17-1670, please see attached invoice regarding estimated charges. We will require a 50% deposit prior to proceeding with this request. Additional costs may be incurred. If the paid
deposit is more than the actual costs due, a refund will be supplied. Please advise how you wish to proceed.

Thank you,

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Records Department
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-575-5251

From: Brian Freskos

Hi,

The estimated charges a little higher than we can budget. Therefore, I would like to revise my request. Instead of requesting all information from Jan. 1, 2010 to the present, I would like to request all information from Jan. 1, 2013 to the present. Would you mind sending me a revised invoice and I'll have the accounting folks put a check in the mail?

Thanks!
Brian

From: Records

Good morning, reference to your updated request for REQ-17-1670, please see attached updated invoice regarding estimated charges. Additional costs may be incurred. A 50% deposit is required prior to proceeding with this request. If the paid deposit is more than the actual costs due, a refund will be supplied. Please advise how you wish to proceed.

Thank you,

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Records Department
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-575-5251

From: Brian Freskos

Yes we would like to proceed. To avoid confusion with our accounting folks, is it OK if we just go ahead and ask them to send you a check for the full cost of the records and then if the actual cost ends up being less you reimburse us?

From: Records

You can send the check for the estimated cost and if a reimbursement is due we will provide it to you. We would need a W9 filled out in order to process the refund.

Have a great day!

Records Division
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
7474 Utilities Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Ph: 941-575-5251

From: Brian Freskos

Check will be on its way soon. Thanks!

From: Records

Attached are the records you had requested.

Have a great day!

Records Division
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Ph: 941-575-5251
Fax: 941-505-4631

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you so much! And please pass along my thanks to anyone who also assisted! One question: The serial number column appears to be missing leading zeros. For example, in row 163, the serial number in the serial number column is "80643," but the serial number in the property description field is "080643." This happens when the serial number column is formatted as "General" instead of as "Text," and it will have effects in our analysis across departments. To make sure we don't miss any leading zeros, would it be possible to provide a sheet with the leading zeros present in the serial number column?

From: Records

That was the form it was sent to us and we cannot change it.

Have a great day!

Records Division
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office
7474 Utilities Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Ph: 941-575-5251
Fax: 941-505-4631

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