Firearm Project, Newport News, VA

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Newport News Police of Newport News, VA.
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Ben Hallman

Hi,

Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am a journalist requesting access to and copies of data and others records from your agency as part of a reporting project on the use of stolen firearms in crimes in Virginia. I have broken the request into three parts, each of which details the records that we are seeking. As expressed below, the date range for each part of this request is January 1, 2010 to the present:

1) Detailed information on stolen guns

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about firearms that were reported stolen by the citizens they serve. We are therefore requesting the following for each case of reported firearm theft in your jurisdiction:

-- The police report number and/or incident number for the firearm theft
-- The serial number, make, model, caliber, type and any other descriptive information for each firearm that was reported stolen

If possible, I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one firearm. Here is an example:

If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide the record layout and/or code sheet. If such a spreadsheet is not available, please provide any other records that contain this information.

2) Detailed information about seized and/or recovered guns, any guns in evidence, and/or any gun of which the department has taken custody

Next, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were used in crimes, found at crimes scenes or other incidents, seized during investigations, placed into evidence or otherwise under the custody and control of the department, including the make, model and serial number of each gun. We are therefore requesting the following:

-- The following records regarding firearms used in crimes in your agency’s jurisdiction, found at crime scenes, seized during investigations or otherwise recovered or taken in by your agency: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime and/or incident from which it was recovered or seized; the police report number for the crime and/or incident; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed and/or the incident occurred. Please include firearms for all offense and incident types, including homicide, robbery, assault, traffic stops, etc.

If your agency maintains a spreadsheet or database containing these records, we ask that you please provide that database. I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one case, the same as part 1) “Detailed information about stolen guns.” If a spreadsheet is provided, please also provide a record layout and/or code sheet. If a spreadsheet or database is not available, please release any other records containing the information we seek.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

3) Detailed information on lost, stolen or unaccounted for law enforcement guns

Finally, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that, while owned by the department or under the control and/or in the possession of their employees, went missing, were lost or stolen, or are otherwise unaccounted for. Therefore we request the following:

-- Any and all records of department-issued firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise unaccounted for.

-- If your department does not issue firearms, then we ask for any and all records of firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or otherwise became unaccounted for while under the control and/or in the possession of one of your employees.

The records should include but not be limited to the following:

• The make, model, serial number and caliber of each firearm
• The location and address where the firearm was lost or stolen
• The date of the loss or theft.
• The date the loss or theft was reported
• Whether each lost or stolen firearm was recovered
• If the lost, stolen or missing firearm was recovered, the date and location of the recovery
• A description of how the firearm was lost, stolen or went missing
• Whether negligence on the part of the employee is/was suspected in the loss or theft of the firearm
• Whether the employee in control of the firearm retired, was terminated or otherwise left the department, and if so, the date and circumstances of the employee’s departure and whether his or her gun was retrieved and/or recovered.
• Any other individual reports and findings on the individual lost, stolen or missing firearms

The records should include but not be limited to audits, inventory reports, databases, internal reports, memos, internal affairs investigations, emails or other correspondence, and/or any other records.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

Please label each record in a clear manner. This request is being made on behalf of The Trace, a 501c3 nonprofit news organization. Information obtained from this request will be made available to the general public. We are not requesting it for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you informed me of the total charges before completing my request. We request that if you send an invoice, you make it out to The Trace, not MuckRock.

I would prefer the requested information be sent via an e-mail attachment if available, or a mailed CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your help this request. I look forward to receiving your response.

Thank you,
Brian Freskos

From: Nowak, Frank S.

Mr. Freskos,

In accordance with the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3704 (A) as the custodian of the records you are requesting I am requiring you to provide me your legal address. Your attention regarding this matter is greatly appreciated.

Frank S. Nowak
Sergeant / Records Division
Newport News Police Department
9710 Jefferson Avenue
Newport News, Va. 23605
Office) 757-928-4111
Cell) 757-570-9088
Email: nowakfs@nnva.gov<mailto:nowakfs@nnva.gov> (NEW EMAIL)

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