Firearm Project, Hayward, CA

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Hayward Police Department of Hayward, CA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: MuckRock

Hayward Police Department
300 W. Winton Ave.
Hayward, CA 94544

February 7, 2017

Hi,

Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am requesting access to and copies of records from your agency. I have broken the request into three parts, each of which details the records that 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 on stolen guns

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about firearms that were reported stolen by the citizens they serve. We are therefore requesting the following for each case of reported firearm theft in your jurisdiction:

-- The police report number and/or incident number for the firearm theft
-- The serial number, make, model, caliber, type and any other descriptive information for each firearm that was reported stolen

If possible, I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one firearm. If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide the record layout and/or code sheet. If such a spreadsheet is not available, please provide any other records that contain this information.

2) Detailed information about crime guns

Second, 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, or otherwise recovered or taken in by officers, including the make, model and serial number of each gun. We are therefore requesting the following:

-- The following records regarding firearms used in crimes in your agency’s jurisdiction, found at crime scenes, seized during investigations or otherwise recovered or taken in by your agency: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime and/or incident from which it was recovered or seized; the police report number for the crime and/or incident; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed and/or the incident occurred. 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 where each row represents one case, the same as part 1) “Detailed information about stolen guns.” 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.

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

Finally, 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. Therefore we request the following:

-- Any and all records of department-issued 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.

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

• The make, model, serial number 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. As a 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 request to the following address:

The Trace (at WeWork)
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway
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

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Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 32817
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
------

From: Ben Hallman

Hi,

Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am requesting access to and copies of records from your agency. I have broken the request into three parts, each of which details the records that 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 on stolen guns

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about firearms that were reported stolen by the citizens they serve. We are therefore requesting the following for each case of reported firearm theft in your jurisdiction:

-- The police report number and/or incident number for the firearm theft
-- The serial number, make, model, caliber, type and any other descriptive information for each firearm that was reported stolen

If possible, I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one firearm. If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide the record layout and/or code sheet. If such a spreadsheet is not available, please provide any other records that contain this information.

2) Detailed information about crime guns

Second, 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, or otherwise recovered or taken in by officers, including the make, model and serial number of each gun. We are therefore requesting the following:

-- The following records regarding firearms used in crimes in your agency’s jurisdiction, found at crime scenes, seized during investigations or otherwise recovered or taken in by your agency: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime and/or incident from which it was recovered or seized; the police report number for the crime and/or incident; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed and/or the incident occurred. 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 where each row represents one case, the same as part 1) “Detailed information about stolen guns.” 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.

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

Finally, 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. Therefore we request the following:

-- Any and all records of department-issued 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.

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

• The make, model, serial number 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. As a 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 request to the following address:

The Trace (at WeWork)
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway
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

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,
The attached is in response to your Public Records Act request received on February 7, 2017. Please see the attached document.
Regards,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
Hayward Police Department
300 West Winton Ave
Hayward, CA 94544
510-293-7014
monique.cosgriff@hayward-ca.gov<mailto:monique.cosgriff@hayward-ca.gov>

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

Thank you for the follow-up on your second PRA request. We are in the process of searching, collecting, and appropriately examining the voluminous data. On 2/17/17 the attached response was emailed. An extension is required in order for us to accurately fill the voluminous request.

I apologize for any inconveniences. We will update you on our process no later than March 3, 2017.

Thank you,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

The attached is in response to your Public Records Act request received on February 7, 2017. Please see the attached document.
Regards,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you Monique

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

Today we received your follow-up fax requesting status on your PRA. I am in the process of redacting the voluminous request and I’m working expeditiously to produce the requested records. I apologize for any inconveniences and I anticipate the final records to be released soon.

Thank you,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,
The attached is in response to your Public Records Act request received on February 7, 2017. Please see the attached documents.
Regards,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
Hayward Police Department
300 West Winton Ave
Hayward, CA 94544
510-293-7014
monique.cosgriff@hayward-ca.gov<mailto:monique.cosgriff@hayward-ca.gov>

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you so much Monique. And please pass along my thanks if anyone else also assisted. Can your department release the serial numbers for these weapons? These are crucial as we try to match the stolen and recovered guns, and have been released by dozens of police departments around the country, including more about a dozen in California.

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Freskos,

The California Public Records Act under Government Code 6254(f) states that the agency shall disclose a description of property involved in an incident. There is no provision that states the serial number of stolen property must be disclosed. If you feel our interpretation of the law is incorrect please provide a response with the section of the government code or statute that you feel is applicable and we will have our City Attorney review your response.
Regards,

Adam D Perez
Records Administrator

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Adam,

Thank you for your response. The California Attorney General's Office has pointed out that the Public Records Act -- like public records acts in most, if not all, other states -- leans in the interest of disclosure. The Attorney General's Office specifically wrote that the "fundamental precept of the CPRA is that government records shall be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there is a specific reason not to do so." While lawmakers who wrote the PRA chose to cite several specific pieces of information that must be disclosed, they could not possibly be expected to have the foresight to predict and enumerate everything that members of the public may choose to request. Therefore, unless there is a specific exemption or reason to withhold the information, it must be disclosed.

I would also like to point out that when it comes to the description of property, particularly firearms, the serial number, make and model are the most important pieces of descriptive information. That is why firearm manufacturers have for decades been required to stamp unique serial numbers on their products.

There is a also an enormous public interest and benefit in the disclosure of this information. Stolen guns are an enormous driver of crime. In the last few months alone, we have collected data on stolen and recovered guns from dozens of police departments (We might have exceeded 100 police departments by now) and discovered more than 3,000 matches. That is 3,000 guns that were stolen and later used in crimes. In a separate but related project, I am working on an article about a group of burglars who stole nearly 200 guns in North Carolina and trafficked them to Camden, New Jersey. Of those 200, 59 have been recovered in connection to other crimes, including two murders and several robberies and drug investigations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, even Nevada. No one has ever undertaken such a gargantuan mission to fully understand the nexus between stolen guns and crime. But the results of this work could have enormously positive public safety implications.

Several California law enforcement agencies have released serial numbers to us, including the Kern County Sheriff's Office, the Long Beach Police Department, the San Bernardino Police Department, the San Diego Police Department, the San Jose Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Chula Vista Police Department, the Fontana Police Department, the Modesto Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Richmond Police Department, and the Sacramento Police Department.

Thank you for reviewing this request.

Brian

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

Your response has been received and is being reviewed by our City Attorney.

Thank you,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

Our City Attorney has advised us to produce the records including the serial numbers. However, the serial numbers for Hayward Police Department owned guns will be redacted. The revisions will be made as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Brian Freskos

Thanks!

From: Monique Cosgriff

Mr. Brian Freskos,

Please see the attached documents including all available serial numbers, excluding department issued firearms, which are exempt under 6254(f) of the California Public Records Act.

Thank you,

Monique Cosgriff
Public Records Act Clerk/Police Records Clerk
510-293-7014

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you!

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Monique,

I was going in to format the data you sent and realized the spreadsheet for stolen guns and the spreadsheet for seized guns are the same spreadsheet? Looks like all the guns are marked as evidence/seized. Is there another spreadsheet just for stolen guns?

From: Adam Perez

Mr. Freskos,

Apologies for the mix up. I have attached the correct spreadsheet to this email. Please note that the spreadsheet only goes back to 2012. This is due to HPD’s inability to extract data prior to 2012 from our “legacy” Records Management System.
Regards,

Adam D Perez
Records Administrator/
Agency CLETS Coordinator
Hayward Police Department
(510)293-7267

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you so much!

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Adam,

I'm in the formatting phase of this project and have a question about the data.

In the Seized Guns spreadsheet, there are several guns whose Property Code is "Recovered." Are these guns were previously stolen that were recovered? If so, I presume the record in the spreadsheet (date, case number, etc.) pertains to the recovery, not the theft?

In the Stolen Guns spreadsheet, there are several guns whose Property Code is "Stolen and Recovered." Are these stolen guns that were later recovered? If so, I presume that the record in the spreadsheet (date, case number, location, etc.) pertains to the theft, not the recovery?

From: Adam Perez

Mr. Freskos,

A property code of “Recovered” is used when an item was previously stolen but then recovered by our agency. Typically, this would mean there was a lapse of time between when the item was stolen and then later recovered or the item was reported stolen by another agency then recovered by HPD. These entries pertain to the recovery not the theft of the item.

A property code of “Stolen and Recovered” is used when an item is reported stolen and then recovered during the initial investigation. (Example: Neighbor witnesses a burglary in progress. Items are stolen and suspects flee in vehicle before police arrival. The witness provides a detailed description of the suspect vehicle and the vehicle is pulled over several blocks away. All items are recovered and listed as “Stolen and Recovered” in the investigating officers report). These entries pertain to both the theft and the recovery of the item.

Hopefully this information proves useful. If you need anything further please don’t hesitate.
Regards,

Adam D Perez
Records Administrator/
Agency CLETS Coordinator
Hayward Police Department
(510)293-7267

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you!

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