Lincoln Nebraska, PD Citizen Complaints

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer filed this request with the Lincoln Police Department of Lincoln, NE.
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712), I hereby request the following records:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are Economics Professors in the College of Business at Ferris State University, and are engaged in an empirical research project on police behavior and citizen complaints. This project requires us to request data from your department. If you have questions about this request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

We have located online versions of your annual reports since 1985, and we have located the citizen complaint data within those reports. However, we hope that you have some information on the following:

1. What is the total number of complaints police officers made against their peer officers in department annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).

2. How many officer-involved-shootings were there per year for the last 10 years in your department? Any documentation or reports that detail the annual number of officer-involved shootings in your department for the past 10 years would be sufficient.

Please include documentation regarding how many of these officer-involved shootings involved disciplinary action. (Please list officer firearm discharge directed at a person separately from a shooting involving an animal and separately from accidental firearm discharges).

Please include the number of officer-involved shootings resulting in discipline.

3. Which of the above data are published publicly? Please provide a link to any and all publicly available reports containing the data above.

Collecting this information is very important to our research, so we would like to emphasize, if you have questions about my request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and 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 4 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

From: Abigail F. Littrell

Prof.'s Cartwright and Dirmeyer,

I have received your public records request seeking certain data from the Lincoln Police Department and will be your point of contact for that request. I am coordinating with the individuals responsible for the records you've requested and will make every effort to fulfill your request by August 15, 2017. If I am unable to fulfill your request by that date, I will contact you with a date for production.

In the meanwhile, please feel free to contact me by the means below with any questions or to discuss further.

Best,

Abigail F. Littrell
Assistant City Attorney
555 S. 10th Street Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 441-7263
alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov<mailto:alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov>

________________________________

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Ms. Littrell,

Thank you for your prompt and professional response. I'll look forward to hearing from you on or before 8/15.

Respectfully,
Alex Cartwright

From: Abigail F. Littrell

Mr. Cartwright and Ms. Dirmeyer,

Please find attached response to your public records request below. If you have questions, or wish to discuss further, you may contact me directly by the means below.

Abigail F. Littrell
Assistant City Attorney
555 S. 10th Street Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 441-7263
alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov<mailto:alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov>

---

On Aug. 9, 2017:
To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712), I hereby request the following records:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are Economics Professors in the College of Business at Ferris State University, and are engaged in an empirical research project on police behavior and citizen complaints. This project requires us to request data from your department. If you have questions about this request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

We have located online versions of your annual reports since 1985, and we have located the citizen complaint data within those reports. However, we hope that you have some information on the following:

1. What is the total number of complaints police officers made against their peer officers in department annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).

2. How many officer-involved-shootings were there per year for the last 10 years in your department? Any documentation or reports that detail the annual number of officer-involved shootings in your department for the past 10 years would be sufficient.

Please include documentation regarding how many of these officer-involved shootings involved disciplinary action. (Please list officer firearm discharge directed at a person separately from a shooting involving an animal and separately from accidental firearm discharges).

Please include the number of officer-involved shootings resulting in discipline.

3. Which of the above data are published publicly? Please provide a link to any and all publicly available reports containing the data above.

Collecting this information is very important to our research, so we would like to emphasize, if you have questions about my request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and 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 4 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

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________________________________

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Thank you very much for this information.

I would like to make one additional request:

What is the total number of internal complaints against officers in department annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.

Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).

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From: Abigail F. Littrell

Mr. Cartwright,

Please phone me at your convenience to discuss the request below and deposit for fees. I am usually in the office 8:00am to 4:30pm central time. I would phone you directly, but you have not provided a phone number.

Thank you,

Abigail F. Littrell
Assistant City Attorney
555 S. 10th Street Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 441-7263
alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov<mailto:alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov>

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Hello,

I just left you a VM. You may call me anytime at 914-400-5352, but email is easier.

Best, -Alex Cartwright

From: Abigail F. Littrell

Mr. Cartwright,

Per our phone call moments ago, please see the following explanation of LPD’s complaint record keeping system from the LPD’s Affairs Division:

If the peer complaint was minor in nature it would go to the investigated officers personnel file IF it was sustained. If it wasn’t sustained it goes to a different file that is only kept for a year. If it did go to the personnel file different factors dictate how long it stays there until it could be removed.

If it were serious and the investigation was done by my Office the file stays here. Up until last year those files were purged after 5 years. They are now kept longer. There is a log that goes back numerous years but it doesn’t designate a peer complaint. Those files that IA is not personally familiar with would need to be hand searched, and to do that IA would need to comply with the labor agreement to unseal the files that are older than 18 months.

The problem is how IA tracks the information. For either investigation it is entered as either a citizen or supervisor initiated investigation so there is no way for me to know if it was initially based off of a peer complaint. To figure that out I would need to go through the records by hand. I’d be lucky if I could do each file at 15 minute intervals. I think we have around 400+ current employees, plus the files of anyone who has left in the past 10 years would fall under this request. It would be a very large task.

Based on my conversations with Internal Affairs, I estimate that it will take at least 75 hours, at $40.08 per hour. Total cost for the first review is estimated to be $3006.00. This would just account for the preliminary search, more time will be required to review the relevant records retrieved. Due to the significant time LPD’s will be required to devote to fulfilling your request, the City is requesting a deposit of $1500.00 before the retrieval work begins.

Please submit a check in the amount of $1,500.00 to me and I will instruct LPD to begin the retrieval. Please also let me know if you’d like to amend or withdraw your request. If I have no response from you, I will plan to close this matter on August 28, 2017.
Regards,

Abigail F. Littrell
Assistant City Attorney
555 S. 10th Street Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 441-7263
alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov<mailto:alittrell@lincoln.ne.gov>

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