|Submitted||Oct. 31, 2016|
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Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am requesting access to and copies of records from your agency as part of our continuing coverage of gun trafficking. 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
We would appreciate if this data was provided in a spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide any record layout and/or code sheets.
The date range for this part is January 1, 2010 to the present.
2) Detailed information about crime guns
Second, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were used in crimes, recovered at crimes scenes or seized during investigations in their jurisdictions, 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, recovered at crime scenes or seized during investigations: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime; the police report number for the crime; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed.
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.”
I would like to note that we are not at this time seeking copies of police reports or any other investigative records associated with these crimes; we are only seeking information about the firearms used and some general information about the crimes that is generally released to the public.
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 under the control and/or in the possession of their employees, went missing, were lost or stolen, or are otherwise accounted for. Therefore we request the following:
-- Any and all records of department-issued firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise accounted 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 lost or stolen firearm
• The location and address where the firearm was stolen
• The date of the loss or theft.
• The date the lost or theft was reported
• Whether each lost or stolen firearm was recovered
• If the lost or stolen firearm was recovered, the date and location of the recovery
• A description of how the firearm was lost or stolen
• 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 or stolen firearms
The records should include but not be limited to databases, 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. As a news organization, we will be making information obtained from this request available to the general public and 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.
I would prefer the requested information be sent via an e-mail attachment if available, or a mailed CD-ROM if not. If standard mail must be used, we ask that you send the request to the following address:
The Trace (at WeWork)
Attn: Brian Freskos
New York, NY 10013
Thank you in advance for your help with this request. I look forward to receiving your response. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me on my cell phone: (919) 522-6354
Please see attached related to your open records request.
Thank you so much Aaron. We'd be happy to send a check for the amount. I'm a reporter with The Trace who made is using MuckRock to help file and track requests. Therefore, would you mind sending me an invoice made out to The Trace for the requested amount? Then I'll pass the invoice on to our accounting folks and the check should in the mail in about a week.
Nevermind on the invoice; what you sent will work fine. The check should be in the mail in about a week.
We received your payment today for the records. I have attached an email from Captain Norman Ruud, which will have responses for you for items #1 and #3. Item #2 took the most time to put together for you, triggering the 1 hour charged for the collection of the records. I have attached the spreadsheet for #2 as well. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Thank you so much! Can you send me the police report for Incident Case
Here you go sir, the report is attached
Hi Capt. Hummel,
We're at the point in our project now where we are formatting all the data we have received. In formatting the data from the North Dakota Highway Patrol, we realized that the serial numbers for the firearms may be missing leading zeros. For example, a serial number that is "012345" will appear in the data as "12345." This presents an issue when we analyze it. The leading zeros disappear when the column is formatted as "General" instead of as "Text." Would it be possible to send us the data again with the leading zeros present?
Good Afternoon Brian,
After visiting with our IT folks who maintain the evidence tracker system we use, I have learned that the numbers you received are the numbers that were actually entered into the system. If there were any zeros they should be present.
Yes it's not an issue with how the numbers were entered but how they were downloaded or opened. Pesky Microsoft Excel automatically deletes the leading zeros when it opens a file unless it's opened a particular way. Would the IT folks be able to download the raw data as a .txt or .csv file extension instead of a .xlsx?
Below are the threads from communications with our IT. The spreadsheet you have is what is entered into our evidence tracker system. I don’t know that we can help you much further.