MOU, contracts, etc with NVLS (Lawrence Police Department)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Lawrence Police Department of Lawrence, MA.


From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, ยง10, I hereby request the following records:

Any contract, memorandum of understanding (MOU), user agreement, membership agreement or other document outlining the rights, responsibilities, privileges and terms of service concluded with the following companies/services since 2000:

Vigilant Solutions
Vigilant Video
National Vehicle Location Service (NVLS)

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Shawn Musgrave

From: Lawrence Police Department

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

I hereby appeal the rejection of this records request (copied below) by the Lawrence Police Department for contracts and agreements concluded between the department and Vigilant Solutions, Vigilant Video and the National Vehicle Location Service. These entities and services provide intelligence support for law enforcement, including data hosting and analysis, in particular for data gathered by automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems.

In his letter dated 28 May 2013, Mr. Boddy invokes exemption (n) of the Massachusetts Public Records Law. The requested records are contracts and agreements, the most basic documents fit for disclosure under public records laws in Massachusetts. They do not fit the definition outlined in exemption (n): they are neither "blueprints, plans, policies, procedures and schematic drawings," nor do they relate in any way to "internal layout and structural elements, security measures, emergency preparedness, threat or vulnerability assessments, or any other records relating to the security or safety of persons or buildings, structures, facilities, utilities, transportation or other infrastructure located within the commonwealth." Finally, the disclosure of these records are not in any way "likely to jeopardize public safety."

The requested records are contracts and agreements for services, not even protocols for using these respective services. Under the Massachusetts Public Records law, acquisition and contract documents are fundamentally fit for public disclosure. The Lawrence Police Department's uncritical invocation of a public safety exemption violates both the letter and the spirit of the Massachusetts Public Records Law and the fundamental right of access the citizens of the commonwealth enjoy.

Best regards,

Shawn Musgrave