Firearm Project, Panama City Beach, FL

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Panama City Beach Police Department of Panama City Beach, FL.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Brian Freskos

Hi,

Pursuant to the Florida Sunshine Law, I am requesting data and other records from your agency as part of a national reporting project on the use of stolen firearms in crimes.

From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement we obtained serial number, make, model and other information on firearms reported stolen by members of the public to your agency. We are now requesting that your agency provide the make, model, serial number and other information on firearms that your agency confiscated, seized, found, booked into evidence, or otherwise took custody of so that we may explore the relationship between stolen guns and crime.

We are also requesting that your agency provide records related to firearms that were reported lost or stolen from law enforcement officers in your jurisdiction.

I have broken the request into parts, each of which details the records 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 about seized and/or recovered guns, any guns in evidence, and/or any gun of which the department has taken custody

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were seized, confiscated, recovered, found, turned in, booked into property and evidence, or otherwise came under the custody and control of the department. We are therefore requesting the following information about every such firearm taken in from Jan. 1, 2010 to the present:

-- The serial number, make and model of each firearm
-- The date on which the firearm was seized, confiscated, recovered, found, turned in, booked into property and evidence, or otherwise came under the custody and control of the department.
-- The police report number and/or incident number associated with each firearm
-- If readily available, the type of crime or incident involving each gun (e.g., homicide, robbery, assault, etc.)

If your agency maintains a spreadsheet or database containing these records, we ask that you please provide that spreadsheet. The Property and Evidence Section of the department may be able to provide such a record. It is fine if the spreadsheet contains more information than we are seeking, such as information about firearms accessories or other property that is not firearms; we will format the data and delete entries that we don’t need.

If a spreadsheet is available, we respectfully ask the department to provide the record layout and/or code sheet so that we can ascertain the meaning of column labels, acronyms and abbreviations. If a spreadsheet or database is not available, please release any other records containing the information we seek.

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

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.

We therefore requesting any and all records of department firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise unaccounted for from Jan. 1, 2010 to the present.

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 or another law enforcement officer. For example, if a thief broke into an officer’s car or house and stole his or her firearm, we would like the report for that theft and any accompanying information. If an audit concluded that firearms were missing from inventory, we could like a copy of that audit.

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

-- The serial number, make, model 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.

I am a reporter with The Trace, a 501c3 nonprofit 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 records to the following address:

The Trace
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway, 4th Floor
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

Sincerely,

Brian Freskos
Investigations, The Trace

From: Linda Humphreys

Attached is the information you've requested.

If you need further assistance please let us know.

Sincerely,

Linda Humphreys

Administrative Assistant

Panama City Beach Police Department

17115 Panama City Beach Parkway

Panama City Beach, Fl 32413

Ofc. – 850-249-8106

Fax. – 850-233-5013

Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not
want your e-mail address released to a public records request, do not
send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by
phone or in writing .

NOTICE: This message is intended only for the use of the individual or
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you have received this transmission in error, please immediately reply
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From: Brian Freskos

Thank you so much Linda! And please pass along my thanks to anyone who also assisted. One question: The guns marked "Stolen/Recovered," I assume those are guns that were stolen and later recovered? Is the Report Date the date they were recovered or the date they were stolen?

From: Linda Humphreys

"Stolen/Recovered" code is used when the stolen item has been recovered
essentially at the same time (ex: shoplifting) Date reported is the
date the original report was submitted.

Sincerely,

Linda Humphreys

Administrative Assistant

Panama City Beach Police Department

17115 Panama City Beach Parkway

Panama City Beach, Fl 32413

Ofc. – 850-249-8106

Fax. – 850-233-5013

Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not
want your e-mail address released to a public records request, do not
send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by
phone or in writing .

NOTICE: This message is intended only for the use of the individual or
entity to which it is addressed. If the reader of this message is not
the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination,
distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this transmission in error, please immediately reply
to the sender that you have received this communication in error.

From: Brian Freskos

Thanks! Hmmm I need to figure out how best to format this for our project. It would help if I could see an example. Would you mind sending me the police report for case No. 15-42809? I can submit a new request if needed.

From: Linda Humphreys

Good morning,
Attached is the entire case file for this incident. However, we've
noticed that the officer did not put the proper code once the items were
located. His entry code should have been "2" which is for recovered.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Linda Humphreys

Administrative Assistant

Panama City Beach Police Department

17115 Panama City Beach Parkway

Panama City Beach, Fl 32413

Ofc. – 850-249-8106

Fax. – 850-233-5013

Under Florida Law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not
want your e-mail address released to a public records request, do not
send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by
phone or in writing .

NOTICE: This message is intended only for the use of the individual or
entity to which it is addressed. If the reader of this message is not
the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination,
distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this transmission in error, please immediately reply
to the sender that you have received this communication in error.

From: Brian Freskos

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Brian

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Linda,

I noticed one more thing about this pdf: The items on page 1 to 12 are listed as stolen guns. But then at the bottom of the section it says Total Recovered: 223. So my question is: Were all the guns under the "Stolen" section recovered?

From: Lt. Danny McDonald

I apologize, I didn't realize the column summary labels were incorrect.  I took off the descriptions, so each group is labeled in bold (at the beginning), and the count for that group is at the end in bold (showing as a number by itself).  I re-ran the report reflecting to date, so the totals my differ from the first one sent, fyi.   

Lt. Danny McDonald
Panama City Beach Police Department
Special Operations
17115 Panama City Beach PKWY
Panama City Beach, FL  32413
(850)233-5000

Please Note: "Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Most written communications to or from State and Local Officials regarding State or Local business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

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