Gang database, school policing, stop and frisk

Joshua Dankoff filed this request with the Holyoke Police Department of Holyoke, MA.

It is a clone of this request.



From: Joshua Dankoff

Dear Police Department Public Records Officer,

Pursuant to Massachusetts public records law, I hereby request the following records:

1. Data sharing and cooperation agreements or memorandums of understanding between your police department and:
a. Federal immigration authorities.
b. Regional intelligence centers, including the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (“BRIC”) or the Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center.
c. School districts or individual schools in your jurisdiction, including policies that guide practice of School Resource Officers.

2. Policies concerning gathering and storing of gang information (or 'security threat group' or other related names of high risk individuals), including:
a. Policies for identifying and labeling gang members or individuals suspected of gang affiliation,
b. Policies for maintaining and verifying information contained in any “gang database.”
c. Policies for individuals to appeal listing on such a database
d. Policies related to the sharing of database information with other local or federal authorities.

3. Policies concerning stop and frisk and/or field interrogation.

4. For the time period January 1, 2016 to the date of this request, data for any person under the age of 21, all police documents sent to, transmitted to, or otherwise made available or accessible to:
a. BRIC and/or the Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center.
b. Federal immigration authorities (including ICE, USCIS and/or any of their employees or agents.)

5. Stop and frisk and/or field interrogation data for all stop and frisk / field interrogation incidents from 2016 through when the search is conducted in 2021 is requested. To the extent possible, we request raw data with personal identifying information redacted to protect privacy. However, we request that any redactions of personally identifiable information do not extend any further than necessary. In particular, we request incident-level data in CSV or excel format (or, if necessary another electronic format) that includes:

- Sex of individual(s) encountered
- Age of individual(s) encountered
- Race of individual(s) encountered
- Ethnicity of individual(s) encountered
- Location of incident
- Time and date of incident
- Source of the field incident report (ie did this report come in via a 911 call, or other means)
- Whether the field incident included a search of individuals.
- Outcome of field interrogation be included in the release, including whether it led to an arrest or not.
- Name of officer filing the field incident report (or other similarly named report)
- Badge number of officer filing the field incident report (or other similarly named report)
- Name of other officers listed in the report, if any
- Badge numbers of other officers listed in the report, if any

6. Data regarding how many people have been identified by your department as gang affiliated, gang involved, or part of a 'threat risk group'. To the extent possible, we request raw data with personal identifying information and addresses redacted to protect privacy. We request that any redactions of personally identifiable information do not extend any further than necessary.

Specifically, we request an extract of your department's gang member database (or associated list) to include the following columns:
- Sex of individual(s) on the list
- Age of individual(s) on the list
- Race of individual(s) on the list
- Ethnicity of individual(s) on the list
- Whether the individual on the list is a resident of your municipality or not
- Name of officer who entered the information determined that the individual fulfilled the gang assessment criteria
- Badge number of the officer who determined that the individual fulfilled the gang assessment criteria
- Date individual entered the gang database,
- Most recent date gang related information for the individual was reviewed or entered.

7. Under the Criminal Justice Reform Act (An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform, 2018 Mass. Acts Ch. 69.), school districts and law enforcement agencies must “specify the manner and division of responsibility for collecting and reporting the school-based arrests, citations and court referrals of students to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education” (DESE). (G.L. c. 71 § 37P(b). In turn, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “shall collect and publish disaggregated data in a like manner as school discipline data made available for public review.” Id.
Please produce copies of the following public records,
a. Data on each school-related arrest conducted during the 2018-19 school year, and the 2019-20 school year per DESE’s collection;
b. Data on each school-related arrest and referral to law enforcement conducted during the 2017-18 school year, per the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection for that year;

Definitions of the terms "school related arrest" and "referral to law enforcement" can be found from U.S. Department of Education, Master List of 2015-2016 CRDC Definitions 18 & 20, at See also Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, School Safety and Discipline Report Data Handbook v. 20.0, at

8. Where no such records in the above categories exist, please provide a written statement to that effect.

Disclosure of the requested policies and data is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute to public understanding of the intersection of school policing, immigration policy, and the juvenile justice system. To the extent there are the costs associated with the production of these documents, we request they be waived considering that we are a non-profit organization. Should you determine that some portions of the documents are exempt from disclosure, please release any reasonably segregable portions that are not exempt. In addition, please note for any such redactions the applicable statutory exemption and explain why it applies to the redacted or withheld information. 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.

Per Attorney Gen. v. Dist. Attorney for Plymouth Dist., 484 Mass. 260, 141 N.E.3d 429 (2020), compiling information from a database is not tantamount to creating a new record that would otherwise be precluded under public records law. Specifically: “Where public records are in electronic form, a public records request that requires a government entity to search its electronic database to extract requested data does not mean that the extracted data constitute the creation of a new record, which would not be required, under the public records law. " Id. at 442 to 443. Thus, we request that your department query its database and provide a response to data requests above.

We requested these records previously in June of this year, but received no substantial response. If we do not receive a response to this public records request within ten business days, we will be filing an appeal with the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Public Records Division.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.


Joshua Dankoff
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Citizens for Juvenile Justice

From: Holyoke Police Department

This is the first we have seen this request.

*____________________________________________Brenna Murphy McGee, MMC

*City Clerk/Registrar of Voters/Records Access Officer*

*Vice President of the Massachusetts City Clerk's Association*

*City of Holyoke, Massachusetts *536 Dwight Street, Room #2
Holyoke, MA 01040
(T) 413-322-5520
(F) 413-322-5521
*Please visit <> for a listing of
city departments, contact information *

From: Joshua Dankoff

Okay. I am glad you have it now. Looking forward to a reply.


To Whom it May Concern:

Please see attached response letter and attached documents.

Officer Caron L Porter
Officer Caron L Porter
Records Access Officer
Holyoke Police Department
138 Appleton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040-5706<>
Direct Line: 413-322-6970 (ext 504)
Fax #: 413-322-6979
Main #: 413-322-6900
Confidentiality Note
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