Cruiser Assignment for officers

Richard Ballard filed this request with the Massachusetts State Police of Massachusetts.


From: Richard Ballard

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

A complete cruiser assignment listing for all sworn members of the Massachusetts State Police.

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 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.


Richard Ballard

From: Massachusetts State Police

Good Afternoon,

The Department received your below request for records. Please be advised that we are still processing this request and need additional time to complete our response.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Jenniffer P. Migliaccio, Esq.
Staff Counsel
Department of State Police
State Police Headquarters
470 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 820-2348

From: Massachusetts State Police

Mr. Ballard,

Please be advised the Department of State Police responded to your request for cruiser assignment records on January 3, 2019. Below is the response that was sent to you by Attorney Jenniffer Migliaccio.

Good Afternoon,
The Department has received your request for "a complete cruiser assignment list for all sworn members of the Massachusetts State Police." The disclosure of a list containing cruiser assignments for all sworn members poses a significant risk to our uniformed members, and is exempt from disclosure pursuant to G.L. c. 4, §7, cl. 26 (n). Disclosing such information would be detrimental to the security and safety of uniformed members, and of significance to those seeking to do harm to law enforcement personnel. In short, the public's interest in knowing State Police cruiser assignments, in the Department's judgment, is significantly outweighed by the real and obvious threat that such a disclosure would be to the security and safety of law enforcement personnel and the general public. Subsection 26(n) exempts from public disclosure "records, including, but not limited to, blueprints, plans, policies, procedures, and schematic drawings, which relate to internal layout and structural elements, security measurements, 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, the disclosure of which, in the reasonable judgment of the record custodian, subject to review by the supervisor of public records under subsection (b) of section 10 of chapter 66, is likely to jeopardize public safety or cyber security." Again, the Department has, mindful of a climate that is generating increased and specific threats against law enforcement and its members, determined that release of cruiser assignments is likely to jeopardize public safety.
Releasing such information would only assist those individuals wanting to do harm to both law enforcement and the public. Law enforcement officers are increasingly becoming targets of unprovoked attacks and shootings. A simple internet news search will yield case after case involving violent attacks on both police stations and police officers. E.g., October 13, 2016, IndyStar - "Attacks on 2 Indy Police Stations are Related, Officials Say." December 12, 2016, - "Shots Fired into WA Sheriff's Office with Deputies Inside." June 14, 2015, AP - "Suspect In Brazen Attack On Dallas Police Building Killed." November 20, 2016 - Washington Post - "Officer Fatally Shot Outside San Antonio Police Station." January 23, 2011, CNN - "4 Police Officers Shot at Detroit Police Station All Expected to Live." March 13, 2016, CBS/AP "Police Officer in Maryland Fatally Shot in Unprovoked Attack." (Attack occurred outside police station). July 9, 2016, CNN - "Dallas Sniper Attack: 5 Officers Killed, Suspect Identified." November 30, 2009, Seattle Times - "4 Lakewood Officers Slain: Ex-con Sought for Questioning." Police officers have also been targeted and attacked while in their police cruiser. It is not unreasonable, given this climate, that persons, including terrorist organizations, bent on harming police officers would utilize such a list to assess vulnerabilities and whether to ambush a specific police officer.
Furthermore, G.L. c. 4, §7, cl. 26 (o) exempts from public disclosure Commonwealth employee home addresses. This exemption is applicable since our uniformed members take their assigned cruiser home with them at the end of their work shift. Disclosure of a list of cruiser assignments could pose a significant risk of identifying the home addresses of our uniformed members, and therefore is exempt from disclosure.
Exemption (b) applies to records that are related solely to internal personnel rules and practices of the government unit and whose non-disclosure is necessary for the proper performance of necessary governmental functions. As stated previously, the Department is a police agency responsible for the protection of the public, disclosure of the Department's practices concerning cruiser assignments could prove detrimental to the Department's safety and security as such knowledge could enable entities to exploit such information. Information regarding our cruiser assignments relates solely to the internal workings of the Department. Accordingly, exemption (b) authorizes the Department to withhold this information.
If you wish to challenge any aspect of this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A.

Siobhan E. Kelly
Staff Counsel
Office of Chief Legal Counsel
Massachusetts State Police
470 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702
Tel: (508) 820-2337

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