Unmarked Vehicle Data, Policies, Reporting, Use (Napa Police Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Napa Police Department of Napa, CA.
Tracking #

20-126

Multi Request Unmarked Vehicle Data, Policies, Reporting, Use
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records regarding the use and reporting of use of unmarked vehicles by representatives and employees of this agency:

POLICY
All policies, statutes, and guidance used to govern the use of unmarked vehicles or any other vehicle used or in the possession of this agency that is not clearly and obviously marked as a law enforcement vehicle.

Please include all policies regarding access to such vehicles, use of the vehicles, internal reporting requirements when such vehicles are used, and external reporting requirements.

FORMS and GUIDANCE
A blank version of all forms and logs used by this agency in relation unmarked vehicles, including all those used to track use, damage, and the inventory of vehicles.

DATA
All available data, reports, audits, and other aggregated information regarding this agency’s inventory and use of unmarked vehicles for the period from January 1, 2015 through July 31, 2020.

OTHER
In the initial acknowledgement letter from your agency, if you could please include an indication of whether your agency does use unmarked vehicles in some form, that would be appreciated.

For reference, here are examples of the kinds of materials that would be responsive to this request:
• Pennsylvania state statute (http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol35/35-2/55.html);
• opinion of the Wisconsin Attorney General (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/oag/archival/_293/_1/_16);
• Orlando Police Department policy (https://www.orlando.gov/files/sharedassets/public/documents/opd/policies-and-procedures/police-operations/1132.3-response-to-calls-traffic-stops-by-unmarked-police-vehicles.pdf);
• Howard County, Maryland Internal Audit Report of Police Take-Home Vehicle Program Audit - May 2018 (https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xwqgv-M7q9g%3D&tabid=132&portalid=0)
• Minneapolis’s Daily Activity Report (MP-3006) and Equipment Work Order Log (MP-5400)

If any portion of materials responsive to this request should be deemed unavailable or non-disclosable, please specifically identify the portions of the records or the specific information that is unavailable and the reason for the unavailability.

If any portion of this request is unclear or if this request could be modified to reduce the burden of producing responsive documents or provide them more efficiently or expeditiously, please reply with a request for clarification or a proposed modification.

This request is being made by a reporter as part of a journalistic investigation. It is being submitted as part of a project to better understand uses of police force nationwide, which has been of public interest for many years and which is of particular interest to large new swaths of the public following the widely-seen death of George Floyd and the First Amendment-protected demonstrations and public discussion that have followed.

In the event that there are fees appropriately assessed in association with this request, 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,

Beryl Lipton

From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

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Hi there

Your first City of Napa record request (request number #20-126) has been submitted.
It is currently unpublished and is not available for the general public to view.

As the requester, you can always see the status of your
request by signing into the City of Napa Public Records
portal here.

If you haven't already activated your account,
click here to get started.
Once your account is activated, your request will be visible at the following link:
Request #20-126.

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<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

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Hi there

A document has been released to you for record request #20-126:

* California Public Records Act Request_ Unmarked Vehicle Data, Policies, Reporting, Use (Napa Police Department).pdf

Document links are valid for one month.
After August 30, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

  • California20Public20Records20Act20Request_20Unmarked20Vehicle20Data2C20Policies2C20Re.pdf

From: Napa Police Department

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City of Napa

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Hello Beryl Lipton!
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From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

************************************************************************

Hi there

Documents have been released for record request #20-126 along with the following message:

Greetings Beryl,

The City of Napa is in receipt of your July 30, 2020 request for records. City staff responds to your request as follows.

“POLICY

All policies, statutes, and guidance used to govern the use of unmarked vehicles or any other vehicle used or in the possession of this agency that is not clearly and obviously marked as a law enforcement vehicle. 

Please include all policies regarding access to such vehicles, use of the vehicles, internal reporting requirements when such vehicles are used, and external reporting requirements.”

All policies, statutes and guidance related to the use of unmarked police vehicles can be found in our Napa Police Department (NPD) policy manual. Policy § 704 addresses vehicle use.  § 704.5 specifically addresses unmarked vehicles.  You may view the Napa Police Department (NPD) policy manual by clicking on the link below.

https://www.cityofnapa.org/889/Napa-Police-Department-Policies-and-Trai

“FORMS and GUIDANCE

A blank version of all forms and logs used by this agency in relation unmarked vehicles, including all those used to track use, damage, and the inventory of vehicles.” 

A copy of the “Vehicle Damage Log” has been provided. You may view the responsive records by clicking on the link below.

“DATA

All available data, reports, audits, and other aggregated information regarding this agency’s inventory and use of unmarked vehicles for the period from January 1, 2015 through July 31, 2020.”

This request is vague and ambiguous, and it is difficult to fully discern your intent. A redacted copy of our fleet inventory sheet for unmarked vehicles has been provided. All identifying data has been redacted because NPD’s unmarked vehicles are commonly used for under cover law enforcement work, for discreet surveillance, transporting confidential informants, transporting crime victims including victims of sexual assault (protected under PC 293), and the like.  Disclosure of the make, model, year and/or color would unduly jeopardize and impede officer safety, victim safety and confidentiality, and would impede law enforcement mission by exposing vehicles as police vehicles when it is critical that such unmarked vehicles not be identifiable as law enforcement vehicles.

For these reasons, identifying information regarding NPD’s unmarked vehicles is protected under Government Code Section 6255, because the public interest served by not disclosing the such identifying information clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record. Therefore, the following information regarding the unmarked vehicle’s description, model year, manufacturer ID, model ID, and Vin # has been redacted pursuant to Government Code Section 6255. For these reasons, the redacted information has been withheld.

In regard to the remaining portions of your request related to records regarding use, reports, and audits, please note that these parts of your request will require the City to search for records from multiple departments and from locations separate from the City Clerk’s Office. For these reasons, the City is invoking the extension of time provided by California Government Code Section 6253(c).  Accordingly, I anticipate that we will be able to formally respond to your request no later than August 24, 2020, if not sooner.

 “OTHER

In the initial acknowledgement letter from your agency, if you could please include an indication of whether your agency does use unmarked vehicles in some form, that would be appreciated.”

The Napa Police Department (NPD) does utilize unmarked vehicles.

The decisions expressed in this letter have been made by me in consultation with Police Lt. Gary Pitkin and Assistant City Attorney David Jones. If you believe you are legally entitled to records which have been withheld, please provide your reasons and any authority which supports your claim, and the City will consider your assertions, and respond further.  As stated above, the City will provide you with an update on the remaining portions of your request no later than August 24, 2020, if not sooner. If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Thank you,

Caitlin Saldanha

Deputy City Clerk

* Vehicle Damage Log.pdf

* https://www.cityofnapa.org/889/Napa-Police-Department-Policies-and-Trai

* Copy of FA-Equipment - PD Leased_Redacted.pdf

Document links are valid for one month.
After September 11, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

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Hi there

A document has been released for record request #20-126 along with the following message:

Greetings Beryl,

The City of Napa is in receipt of your July 30, 2020 request for records. As stated in the City’s response dated August 10, 2020, we are providing you with an update on the remaining portions of your request.

“POLICY

All policies, statutes, and guidance used to govern the use of unmarked vehicles or any other vehicle used or in the possession of this agency that is not clearly and obviously marked as a law enforcement vehicle.

Please include all policies regarding access to such vehicles, use of the vehicles, internal reporting requirements when such vehicles are used, and external reporting requirements.”

The City responded to this portion of your request and provided responsive records on August 10, 2020.

“FORMS and GUIDANCE

A blank version of all forms and logs used by this agency in relation unmarked vehicles, including all those used to track use, damage, and the inventory of vehicles.”

A copy of the “Vehicle Damage Log” has been provided. You may view the responsive records by clicking on the link below.

The City responded to this portion of your request and provided responsive records on August 10, 2020.

“DATA

All available data, reports, audits, and other aggregated information regarding this agency’s inventory and use of unmarked vehicles for the period from January 1, 2015 through July 31, 2020.”

The City partially responded to this portion of your request and provided responsive records, including a redacted copy of our fleet inventory sheet for unmarked vehicles, on August 10, 2020.

Our Fleet Division has provided an additional report showing the equipment utilization for our nine unmarked vehicles used by Napa Police Department.

All identifying data has been redacted because NPD’s unmarked vehicles are commonly used for under cover law enforcement work, for discreet surveillance in criminal investigations, transporting confidential informants, transporting crime victims including victims of sexual assault (protected under PC 293), and the like.  Disclosure of the make, model, year, assigned license plate #,  and/or color would unduly jeopardize and impede officer safety, victim safety and confidentiality, and would impede law enforcement mission by exposing vehicles as police vehicles when it is critical that such unmarked vehicles not be identifiable as law enforcement vehicles.

For these reasons, identifying information regarding NPD’s unmarked vehicles is protected under Government Code Section 6255, because the public interest served by not disclosing the such identifying information clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record. Therefore, the following information regarding the unmarked vehicle’s description, model year, manufacturer ID, model ID, assigned license plate #, and Vin # has been redacted pursuant to Government Code Section 6255. For these reasons, the redacted information has been withheld.

As mentioned in the City’s initial response, this portion of your request is vague and ambiguous, and it is difficult to fully discern your intent. If your request seeks something differently than the inventory sheets and equipment utilization reports already provided, then please give us clarification on the records you are requesting. If additional clarification is provided, then we will work promptly with staff to review your updated request and identify potentially responsive records.

 “OTHER

In the initial acknowledgement letter from your agency, if you could please include an indication of whether your agency does use unmarked vehicles in some form, that would be appreciated.”

The City responded to this portion of your request on August 10, 2020.

The decisions expressed in this letter have been made by me in consultation with Police Lt. Gary Pitkin. We trust this satisfies your request, and we will consider the request closed pending any further clarification.

Thank you,

Caitlin Saldanha

Deputy City Clerk

* PD INV and NSIB Vehicle Equipment Utilization - Redacted.pdf

Document links are valid for one month.
After September 24, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

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Hi there

A document has been released to you for record request #20-126:

* PD INV and NSIB Vehicle Equipment Utilization - Redacted.pdf

Document links are valid for one month.
After September 24, you will need to sign in to view the document(s).

************************************************************************
<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

  • PD20INV20and20NSIB20Vehicle20Equipment20Utilization20-20Redacted.pdf

From: Napa Police Department

City of Napa

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Hi there

Record request #20-126 has been closed. The closure reason supplied was:

Clerk's Office responded on 8/10/2020 and 8/24/2020 and provided responsive records. 

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<em>Questions about your request?</em> Reply to this email or sign in to contact staff at City of Napa.<br></br><em>Technical support:</em> See our <a href='https://www.nextrequest.com/support'>help page</a>

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  • California20Public20Records20Act20Request_20Unmarked20Vehicle20Data2C20Policies2C20Re.pdf

  • PD20INV20and20NSIB20Vehicle20Equipment20Utilization20-20Redacted.pdf