North Dakota Police Reciprocal Certifications 2023-5-9

Sam Stecklow filed this request with the North Dakota Peace Officer Standards And Training of North Dakota.


From: Sam Stecklow

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a public records request made via MuckRock under the North Dakota Open Records Law, seeking records related to law enforcement officer certification in this state.

This request is brought by Big Local News along with a collaboration of news organizations, including ABC News, KQED, MuckRock, the Invisible Institute and other news organizations. Big Local News is a program of Stanford University’s Journalism and Democracy Initiative and helps journalists collect, process and analyze public data.

We request any spreadsheets, logs, data, or other similar documents maintained by ND POST sufficient to show the following information regarding law enforcement officers who receive reciprocal certifications in ND due to their previous certification in other states. Specifically, please provide as many of the following data points as are maintained:

- Unique ID
- Name
- Previous state that the officer was previously certified by
- Date of ND certification

If your certification system contains data elements not listed above, please include them in the response, provided they are releasable under the law. On the other hand, we recognize some of the information we are asking for may not be tracked by your system. If that is the case, we are willing to accept as many of the data elements as your agency maintains. If some records are more readily available, we are happy to receive partial information as soon as possible while the remaining request is processed.

In addition to the data elements listed, we request documentation necessary to understand and interpret the data, including but not limited to record layouts, data dictionaries, code sheets, lookup tables, etc.

Our preference is to receive structured data provided in a machine-readable text file, such as delimited or fixed-width formats. We can also handle a variety of other data formats including SQL databases, Excel workbooks and MS Access. If there are additional formats your agency would prefer to provide, please let us know.

We are seeking this information as a news media organization on a matter of public interest concerning the conduct of government. As such, we ask for a waiver of all fees, if allowed under state law. If fees are necessary to reimburse the agency for actual costs, we agree to pay up to $100. If costs exceed that amount, please let us know before fulfilling the request.

Please send clarifications and questions via electronic communication at any time. Thank you very much for your time and attention to this request.

Sam Stecklow
Invisible Institute

From: North Dakota Peace Officer Standards And Training

Good afternoon Sam,

Unfortunately, the system we utilize does not track the information you are requesting.
I have attached a spreadsheet that we have created internally and utilize to track new recruits for the current academy class which separates out the full basic and the two week "reciprocity " course.
I don't know if this will be of any use to you. It does contains their name and unique ID. The date of ND certification would not be included as they haven't been certified yet.
The fact one is enrolled in the reciprocity course does not necessarily mean that they are all from out of state. Some have just been out of law enforcement for less than three years and required by administrative rule to attend the two-week course. We do not differentiate who is "out of state" or from North Dakota.

This will fulfill your open records request that was received at our office through email on May 9th, 2023 at 1:03PM.


S/A Duane Stanley
North Dakota Bureau Of Criminal Investigation
North Dakota POST Board
24/7 Sobriety Program
1720 Burlington Drive Suite B
Bismarck, North Dakota 58504
Office: (701) 328-5516
Cell (701) 202-3340
Fax: (701) 328-5510

From: Sam Stecklow

Hi Duane

Thanks for this quick response. Just to clarify, there is no list or database that exists of officers who have received partial training waivers in the past? Would documentation of those waivers just exist in each officer's individual file?



From: North Dakota Peace Officer Standards And Training

Good afternoon Sam,

Thank you for the reminder as I had been out of state last week and dealing with a hospice issue in the family so I totally forgot your follow up.

Regarding your follow up request. Documentation would exist of the training waiver request using your term, in each officers' "individual file". With that being said, it's not as simple as going to a file and retrieving the document. It is in a system that is not maintained by our POST Board Office. An officer will upload their license application and supporting documentation (waiver request) into this system. We do not track that information other than at the beginning of the process. This is the spread sheet our office created internally to track a full academy student and one who received a waiver. Once that basic academy session is done, that info is deleted so we have no way of going back to retrieve the information.

Hopefully that makes sense.


From: Sam Stecklow

Yes, thanks for this response Duane.