Evidence Audits (Massachusetts State Police)

Andrew Quemere filed this request with the Massachusetts State Police of Massachusetts .
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Andrew Quemere

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 policies and procedures for storing, handling, and maintaining evidence

* Any policies and procedures for conducting audits of evidence

* All audits of evidence that have been conducted between January 1, 2012 and the present; if no audits occurred during this period, then please provide the most recent audit that was conducted prior to 2012

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 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Andrew Quemere

From: MSP Legal Section (POL)

Mr. Quemere,

Attached you will find the Department’s response to your recent records request. You will only be receiving the attached via email. Your attention to this matter is appreciated. Thank you.

Massachusetts State Police Legal Section
General Headquarters
470 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702

From: Andrew Quemere

Supervisor of Records,

In response to a public records request for audits of evidence, the Massachusetts State Police Department has asserted that it must charge both search and segregation time, with the total fee estimated at $615.

There are several problems with the way to Department has calculated this fee. First, it is not clear how much of the time the Department says it will need to fulfill this request will be dedicated to searching and how much will be dedicated to segregation. I believe that the segregation time likely represents the majority of time because the Department has based its time estimate on the number of pages, not the number of documents it must search for.

Second, it is not clear the Department needs to perform any segregation. The Department asserts that information in the records "will be" be subject to exemptions a through q. It is preposterous that all 17 of these exemptions apply, and furthermore the Department not explained with specificity how any of these exemptions apply. The closest the Department has come to doing so is to claim that "evidence ... may, for example, relate to an ongoing investigation and/or prosecution." However, the Department has not asserted that any evidence described in these records actually is the subject of an ongoing investigation or prosecution. Furthermore, this would not be enough to withhold information under the investigatory exemption; the Department must also show that the release of this information "would probably so prejudice the possibility of effective law enforcement that such disclosure would not be in the public interest."

In addition to the problems with the fee, I am also concerned about how the Department has interpreted my request. I asked for "all audits" within a certain time frame, but the Department asserts that it "is interpreting your request to mean inspections conducted by the Department’s Staff Inspections Section." I would like the Department to provide all audits during this time frame, regardless of who conducted them. If other members of the Department, or outside individuals and organizations, have conducted audits, I would like these audits too.

All communications related to this request can be found here: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/massachusetts-1/evidence-audits-massachusetts-state-police-28566/

Please order the Department to provide a new fee estimate. If the Department asserts that it must perform segregation, it must cite specific exemptions and explain with specificity how the exemptions apply. Furthermore, the Department must only charge segregation time based on the number of pages that contain exempt information, not the total number of pages.

Yours truly,
Andrew Quemere

From: Rooney, Glenn M (POL)

Mr. Quemere,

Attached you will find the Department’s response to your recent records request. You will only be receiving the attached via email. Your attention to this matter is appreciated. Thank you.

Massachusetts State Police Legal Section
General Headquarters
470 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702

From: Andrew Quemere

Mr. Rooney,

There appears to be a misunderstanding on your part. My request was indeed intended to be limited to audits for evidence. However, it was not intended to be limited to audits conducted by the department. If any audits by outside individuals or agencies have been conducted, I would like those too. However, I do not need copies of audits that are not related to evidence at this time.

Best regards,
Andrew Quemere

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