School Police Officers (Milwaukee Public Schools)

Sarika Ram filed this request with the Milwaukee Public Schools of Milwaukee, WI.

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Sarika Ram


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

-Any policies related to the role of the Milwaukee Police Department (i.e. disciplinary intervention)
-Any contracts and memorandums of understanding between the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department
-Any email communications between employees of the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department
-Any logs/records of school incident referrals to the Milwaukee Police Department or other law enforcement between January 1, 2013 to the date this request is processed
-Any complaints submitted to the Milwaukee Public Schools between January 1, 2013 to the date this request is processed that include any of the following phrases:
-'police'
-'police officer'
-'police department'
-'safety coordinator'
-'resource officer'

Please provide materials on a rolling basis, as they become available. We request that the requested complaints please be made available to us as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to clarify via phone at 610-637-7745.

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 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Sarika Ram

From: Milwaukee Public Schools

Hi Ms. Ram:

Attached to this email, please find an electronic acknowledgment of your request for the above referenced records.

Brandi J. Williams
Records Management Assistant
Office of Board Governance
Milwaukee Public Schools
5225 W. Vliet Street, RM 273
Milwaukee, WI 53208
414-475-8948

From: Milwaukee Public Schools

Hi Ms. Ram:

As was mentioned in our acknowledgment, we intend to respond as soon as practicable and without delay to your request for the above referenced records; however, some clarification is needed before we can proceed.

Wis. Stat. §19.35(1)(h) requires a requestor to provide a sufficient description of the record of interest and length of time represented by the record of interest. Therefore, with respect to Item 2, you have asked for:

"Any contracts and memorandums of understanding between the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department." Do you have a specific time frame?

With respect to Item 3, you have asked for:

"Any email communications between employees of the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department." Do you have a specific time frame? Also, the email domain for the Milwaukee Police Department is the same domain for the entire City of Milwaukee government. Using the language you have provided would produce a search that would include emails to and from anyone in city government with no efficient way to segregate the records you seek. Please provide us with keywords that would help us better service your request.

With respect to Item 4, you have asked for: "Any logs/records of school incident referrals to the Milwaukee Police Department or other law enforcement between January 1, 2013 to the date this request is processed." Please clarify what you mean by "incident referrals."
In Item 5 of your request, you have asked for "complaints submitted to the Milwaukee Public Schools between January 1, 2013 to the date this request is processed that include any of the following phrases:

a. 'police'

b. 'police officer'

c. 'police department'

d. 'safety coordinator'

e. 'resource officer'
These complaints may include

· Those filed by students

· Those filed by employees

· Those filed by the public against either a student or employee

Additionally, we are interpreting the framing of your request ("complaints submitted") to mean that you are requesting to view each specific complaint. Due to the nature of the records, our office will need to review each complaint under the parameters of Wisconsin Public Records Law as well as other applicable laws and statutes in order to determine whether each complaint must be redacted or withheld for such considerations as:

· Whether the complaint reveals confidential information about minors

· Whether the complaint reveals information about employees that must be withheld pursuant to law, statute, or other applicable regulations

· Whether any witness information must be redacted

· Whether information must be redacted to ensure the safety of the complainant and/or the alleged perpetrator

· Whether any complaint is related to pending or probable litigation

· Whether any complaint resulted in employee misconduct proceedings

· Whether release of a complaint, even if redacted, could possibly re-victimize a victim.

You have asked for five-and-a-half (5-1/2) years' worth of complaints. These complaints will be coming from at least six different departments. In addition, MPS District policies allow for individuals to make a complaint to their own school's principal and/or their immediate supervisor. Therefore, it will take us a considerable amount of time just to gather all of these records. And, as I have noted, we will need time to do our due diligence under Wisconsin Public Records Law to review them in order to determine the extent to which public access can be granted. Additionally, if any complaint was used as evidence in an employee misconduct proceeding, that employee is entitled to certain rights under our state law, which will mean at least a 12-day wait per employee while the notice period is active.

While we understand that we are required to comply with public records requests as soon as practicable, we are not required to stop other critical functions in the district to comply, especially when a request is lengthy in nature. Wisconsin courts have ruled that a public records request that is excessively burdensome can appropriately be denied under the provisions of Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(h). Such a request can be denied when responding represents a burden far beyond that which may reasonably be required of a custodian of public records. Schopper v. Gehring, 210 Wis. 2d 208, 210, 565 N.W.2d 187 (Ct. App. 1997). Compliance with public records requests should not "so burden the record's custodian that the normal functioning of the office would be severely impaired." Id. at 213. While we fully agree with the policy of this state that government records are open to the public (subject to statutory, common law, and public policy exceptions), we believe your request is excessive. Our staff is unable to expend the time required to comply with your request, as worded, in a timely manner.

While we believe that Item 5 of your records request is overly burdensome and could be denied on those grounds, we will not deny your requests outright. Instead, in order to attempt in good faith to comply with your requests while at the same time meeting the other competing duties of the Department and providing uninterrupted services to other taxpayers, we are asking that you consider the above information and determine whether you would like to amend your request relative to Item 5?

On all items presented, how do you wish to proceed? Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Brandi J. Williams
Records Management Assistant
Office of Board Governance
Milwaukee Public Schools
5225 W. Vliet Street, RM 273
Milwaukee, WI 53208
414-475-8948

From: Sarika Ram

Hello,
Apologies for the vagueness of my request language.

In respect to Item 2, I would like to reword it to the following:
Any contracts and memorandums of understanding between the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department from August 2016 to the date this request is processed

In respect to Item 3, I would like to reword it to the following:
Any email communications between employees of the Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Police Department from August 2016 to the date this request is processed including/related to any of the following words/phrases:
-‘school resource officer’
-‘school police officer’
-‘police officer in school’

In respect to Item 4, I would like to clarify that the incidents I am referring to are related to any disciplinary/behavioral actions by students that led to police involvement.

In respect to Item 5, I would like to clarify that the complaints I am seeking are from students and guardians of students. If I were to limit the scope of my request of school district complaints to August 2017 to the date this request is processed, would your office be able to more reasonably process my request?

Thank you for your time and patience.

Best,
Sarika Ram

From: Milwaukee Public Schools

Hi Ms. Ram:

We are in the process of conducting our search for the records you requested in your clarified request dated July 26, 2018.

Upon completion of the search, we will have to conduct our legal review of the records to determine what, if any portion, of your request must be redacted or withheld.

Thereafter, the records will be transmitted to you as soon as practicable and without delay. I will be in touch.

Brandi J. Williams
Records Management Assistant
Office of Board Governance
Milwaukee Public Schools
5225 W. Vliet Street, RM 273
Milwaukee, WI 53208
414-475-8948

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