Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Clyde Village Police Department of Clyde, NY.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, I hereby request the following records:

All materials and records describing and sufficient to show/disclose all allegations of misconduct made and all disciplinary proceedings taken against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency.

As described in the New York Freedom of Information Law, a record is "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes." Records kept in a digital or electronic form are also records, would be responsive to this request, and should be provided.

These records are typically required to be retained under the New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 (http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/retention_mu-1), including, but not limited to, item no. 365, which includes: "Investigative records and disciplinary proceedings, including but not limited to statement of charge, transcript of hearing, notice of decision, letter of termination or resignation, letter of reinstatement, record of appeal procedure, and correspondence." While materials under that schedule have a set retention of 3 years after the final decision rendered, this request and materials responsive to it include *all* records held in the possession of any office or individual employed or formerly employed by this policing agency, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files.

Please note that any failure to provide all potentially-responsive materials and/or the destruction of materials potentially responsive to this request would be a violation of the spirit of the New York Freedom of Information Law, as well as unlawful under the New York FOIL and the terms of the attached litigation hold notice.

Materials responsive to this request include — but are not limited to — all complaints, reports, records of discipline and penalties, aggregate collections of complaint and disciplinary materials (spreadsheets, databases), investigatory materials, relevant related correspondence, photographs, video, other related evidence, proof of discipline or fulfillment of penalties, and all personnel materials (including those used in promotion, contract, and other employment negotiations and considerations) that reference or utilize misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials of any sort.

Materials responsive to this request include all complaints— internal, external, and civilian — and include records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident/complaint: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the investigation, investigatory materials, the disposition of the case, and any subsequent materials related to the execution of any resultant discipline. Responsive materials include all complaints and allegations against any officer, employee, or representative of this policing agency, regardless of whether that complaint or allegation resulted in any investigation or disciplinary action.

Responsive materials also include all records of use of force by officers, including records disclosing the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, as well as all available details of the incident: date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the use of force, subsequent investigatory materials related to the use of force, the disposition of any investigation into the incident, and any subsequent materials related to the use of force.

Please provide materials on a rolling basis, beginning with materials created during the following timeframes:
• January 1, 2010 - June 15, 2020
• January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2010
• January 1, 1990 - January 1, 2000
• January 1, 1980 - January 1, 1990
• January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1980

Pursuant to NYCRR Section 1401.5(c)(1), should any of this request be unclear or lack sufficient description for your office, please provide direction that would enable this requester to request records reasonably described. Please also note that the New York FOIL states: "An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or that locating or reviewing the requested records or providing the requested copies is burdensome because the agency lacks sufficient staffing or on any other basis if the agency may engage an outside professional service to provide copying, programming or other services required to provide the copy...." Please also see FOIL AO 19671, an Advisory Opinion from the Committee on Open Government [https://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f19671.htm].

If your office has questions about this request or would like to discuss it for any reason, please contact this requester via the contact email address provided and feel free to follow up by phone: 617-299-1832. This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by MuckRock and involving multiple other educational and journalistic partners and participants. For this reason, over the lifetime of this request, your agency may interface with individuals not listed on this initial communication.

This request is being made in the public interest by a news organization as part of non-profit (not commercial) journalistic work and research on behalf of the public. 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 and as part of the necessary negotiations for successful processing. As far as it is possible, please fulfill elements of this request 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Clyde Village Police Department

We have received your request for records for our Police Officers files. Any documents that are not currently in electronic format will be at a cost of $.25/page. Once the information is
compiled we will contact you with a cost, if any.

We will not be able to supply the requested information in the five days due to reduced staffing at this time. We will provide the information as timely as we are able to.

Please confirm receipt of this response.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Fenton,

Thank you so much for your message. I completely understand that this won't be completed this week. Do you anticipate that the materials could be collected and provided by the end of July or August? If you have an estimate for how long it may be and the number of pages that will result, I would be very glad to hear it; it would help with planning. Also, would you be able to begin providing electronic and/or more recent materials more easily and in advance of whatever paper records might exist?

Thank you for your time and help.

All the best,
Beryl

From: Clyde Village Police Department

You will have the records requested no later than July 24th.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

From: Clyde Village Police Department

See attached. - Response to your FOIL request. The attached is based on our active officers.

I will continue to review previous files of our inactive officers but due to MU-1 Record retention guidelines:

2.[365]
Investigative records and disciplinary proceedings, including but not limited to statement of charge, transcript of hearing, notice of decision, letter of termination or resignation, letter of reinstatement, record of appeal procedure, and correspondence:
RETENTION: 3 years after final decision rendered NOTE: Records covered by this item may be destroyed before this retention period has been reached, if specified either in a union contract or settlement between the employer and employee.
NOTE: Affirmative action and related complaints may be covered by item no. 371c, below.

Please confirm receipt of the attached FOIL request response.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Fenton,

Thank you so much for these materials thus far, and I'll look for your next message and potential responsive records.

All the best,
Beryl

From: Clyde Village Police Department

At this time…I have found nothing further.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

From: Clyde Village Police Department

I have been actively reviewing additional files but there are a lot to go through. If anything is found….you should have additional information in the next two weeks.

Please understand….we are a small Village with limited office personnel.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

From: Clyde Village Police Department

Sorry for the delay.

Here are additional records back to 2010. I will need additional time to go back to 1970. We should be able to completed within 6 months.

Thank you,

Ann Fenton
Clerk-Treasurer
Village of Clyde
(315) 923-3971 Option 1
(315) 923-7805 fax

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