Local level SAEC policies/data (Lowell)

Vanessa Nason filed this request with the Lowell Police Department of Lowell, MA.

It is a clone of this request.

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From: Vanessa Nason

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all statistics, data, reports, audits, policies, and procedures pertaining to the following items regarding sexual assault evidence collection (SAEC) kits (also known as "rape kits") and processing:

• all standard operating procedures regarding the SAEC process

• any written policies or procedures regarding department practices on the acquisition of or handling of rape kit evidence, including protocols for its collection, testing, and delegation and transfer to all other possibly relevant locations, laboratories, or agencies

• the number of kits collected and booked into evidence from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

• the number of kits that have been processed by a public or private crime or forensic laboratory or equivalent processing location from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

• the number of unprocessed kits in any storage facilities currently under the department’s jurisdiction and control, including those held by medical personnel or at external laboratory locations

• any materials regarding the status or ultimate disposition of cases in which a kit was collected. Please include all available segregable data.

• all audits involving this agency regarding the collection or backlog of SAEC kits

• all proposed alterations or yet-to-be-implemented changes to the policies and procedures regarding the collection, testing, and use of SAEC kits

If there any questions about this request, please feel free to call us at the MuckRock office at 617-299-1832.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

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 MuckRock.com, 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 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 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Nason

From: Pappenheim, Hannah

Good Morning Ms. Nason,

I write in response to your June 9, 2017 public records requests for various records related to statistics, data, reports, policies and procedures pertaining to SAEC kits and processing. After an inquiry to police records and the City of Lowell's crime analysis bureau, it appears that the City of Lowell does not maintain the type of information or records you are looking for. The crime analysis bureau does not keep statistics on sexual assault kits.

I have attached a redacted version of the City of Lowell Police Department's policy on evidence collection and preservation. The record has been redacted pursuant to M.G.L. c. 4 Section 7(26), exemptions (b) and (f). The policy was redacted under exemption (b), which the Supervisor notes is appropriate if "proper performance of necessary functions will be inhibited by disclosure." In the case of the Lowell Police Department, as a department its necessary functions include protection of public safety, law enforcement and investigation. Therefore, relatedly, the policy was also redacted under exemption (f) as it relates to investigatory techniques. The Supervisor of Records noted that investigative techniques may be withheld indefinitely if disclosure is deemed to be prejudicial to future law enforcement activities. Bougas v. Chief of Police of Lexington, 371 Mass. 59, 62 (1976). Release of certain information related to evidence collection could have a chilling effect on police investigation overtime if it became known to the public, as well as endanger police efforts at a crime scene.

If you wish to appeal the City's response, you may petition the Supervisor of Records. The petition should be sent to the following address:

SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH
DIVISION OF PUBLIC RECORDS
1 ASHBURN PLACE, RM. 1719
BOSTON, MA 02108

In addition, please be advised that you have the right to seek judicial review of an unfavorable decision by commencing a civil action in the Superior Court under MGL c. 66 section 10A, subsection (c).

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Hannah

Hannah Pappenheim | Assistant City Solicitor
City of Lowell - Law Department
City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor | Lowell, MA 01852-5909
Tel: 978.674.4050 | Fax: 978.453.1510 | http://www.lowellma.gov<http://www.lowellma.gov/>
This message and the documents attached to it, if any, are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL and/or may contain ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete all electronic copies of this message and its attachments, if any, and destroy any hard copies that you may have created and notify the Sender via email or telephone.
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From: Vanessa Nason

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Vanessa Nason

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