ProPublica: Hate crimes data

Ken Schwencke filed this request with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office of Forsyth County, GA.

It is a clone of this request.

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From: Ken Schwencke

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any database or other records of hate crimes or crimes evidencing bias of race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability reported to or investigated by your agency since Jan. 1, 2010, including where available, but not limited to:

the incident number
date of the incident
whether the crime was against individuals or a business / property
number of victims
race or ethnicity of the victims
gender of the victims
the offense classification
the location of the incident
the bias motivation (anti-black, anti-muslim, etc)

I would like the records in a machine-readable, electronic format if possible. If the records are kept in another format, or kept individually, I would still like copies.

This request is made as part of the Documenting Hate Project, a collaboration involving dozens of news organizations, led by ProPublica. Coverage from the project is compiled at https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/hatecrimes#hatecrime-coverage. 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,

Ken Schwencke

From: Hoffman, Kathryn M.

Good Evening
Your request was received in our office Monday 8/14/17 as forwarded by the agency PIO. An initial search of our records has been conducted and we will need to review approximately at least 8 records to determine if they are in fact responsive to your request. We estimate it will take approximately three business days to produce the response. There will be a fee of $2 per incident report produced as well as a fee for the time involved to research, retrieve, review and redact the records in order to determine whether or not they meet the specifications of your request. I estimate the total cost of the final response to be approximately $50 but perhaps less. Please advise if you are willing to pay to receive the response.
Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ken Schwencke

Hi Kate,

Thanks so much! As long as the costs don't exceed $50 -- or close to it -- I am willing to pay to receive those records.

Thanks again,
Ken Schwencke
ProPublica
w: 917-512-0253
c: 561-756-6135

From: Hoffman, Kathryn M.

Good Morning

Attached is an initial attempt at a report from our archived records which covers the timeframe from 1/1/2010 through 10/24/16. This preliminary report includes 55 incidents that may potentially be responsive to your request. We would need to read the narratives of each of the 55 incident reports to determine if they are actually responsive to your request. I estimate that it would take approximately at least 3 hours but perhaps longer to complete this task. I estimate it would approximately at least $50 to produce this response.

As we discussed when we spoke on 8/25/17 we cannot create spreadsheets or reports to satisfy open records requests, rather we can only use the means available given the software. You will see that we are able to provide you with:

Incident number
Date of the incident
The offense committed
The location of the offense

Again, let me be clear, that the incidents listed on this initial attempt at a report from the agency's archived records may not necessarily be responsive to your request.

Since 10/25/16 when the agency completed a software conversion there look to be approximately 3 records that may be responsive to your request. Again we will need to read the narratives to be certain that the reports were properly coded.

I apologize for the delay. When we spoke last Friday I anticipated being able to provide a response earlier this week. The office has been short staffed intermittently over the past two weeks and the workload of our office is delaying response times. I appreciate your patience.

Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

From: Ken Schwencke

Thanks, Kate! I really appreciate it. I forget if I asked -- if I did, I apologize for repeating myself -- but if you're planning to read the reports anyway, would it be possible to redact any information and release the incident reports?

Thanks,
Ken Schwencke
ProPublica
w: 917-512-0253
c: 561-756-6135

From: Hoffman, Kathryn M.

My plan was to review the narratives quickly to remove the incidents on the preliminary list that are not actually hate crimes. It will take longer and be more costly to print, redact and produce the reports. There is a $2 fee to produce each incident report that is responsive to the request. Do you want us to proceed with producing the actual records?

Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

From: Ken Schwencke

Ah, I see. In that case, no, please just read them as you were planning.

Thanks,
Ken Schwencke
ProPublica
w: 917-512-0253
c: 561-756-6135

From: Hoffman, Kathryn M.

Good Morning

I apologize profusely that I did not see your last response. I have had the spreadsheet on my desk all this time waiting to hear back. I will go back and regroup.

Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

From: Ken Schwencke

No worries, Kathryn! Please feel free to email the new spreadsheet when you get a chance. Is there any way you could email it in a native digital format, like an excel file?

Thanks,
Ken Schwencke
ProPublica
w: 917-512-0253
c: 561-756-6135

From: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Good Afternoon

Attached is a listing of incident reports from our agency archive that are responsive to your request. I have included as many of the requested fields as can be captured using our software. This list contains reports filed between 1/1/2010 and 10/24/2016 when we completed an agency wide software conversion.

An initial search of the archive identified 55 reports that were possibly responsive to your request which necessitated that I review each report to determine whether or not it actually met your search criteria. The end result being the attached list of 28 reports.

An initial search of our live data base, which contains reports dating back to 10/25/2016, has identified 82 reports that are possibly responsive to your request. I am in the process of reviewing those records this week.

Please call or email me directly should you have any questions.

Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

From: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Good Afternoon

Attached is a listing of incident reports from our agency's current data base that are responsive to your request. I have included as many of the requested fields as can be captured using our software. This list contains reports filed between 10/25/16 and 09/01/17 following an agency wide software conversion.

An initial search of the current data base identified 82 reports with the word "hate" in the narrative that were possibly responsive to your request. The initial return was further narrowed to 62 reports that had to be reviewed to determine whether or not they actually met your search criteria. The new software enables searching by the following categories: Disability; Ethnicity/National Origin; Racial; Religious; Sexual Orientation. There are additional definitions within each category. The end result of all methods of searching being the attached list of 2 reports.

Please call or email me directly should you have any questions.

Thank You
Kate Hoffman
Open Records Custodian
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
202 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-2239 phone
770-889-4581 fax

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