Use and policies for controlled firearms acquired through 1033 program (Parlier Police Department)

John Lindsay-Poland filed this request with the Parlier Police Department of Parlier, CA.
Multi Request Use and policies for controlled firearms acquired through 1033 program
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: John Lindsay-Poland

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Records of your agency related to the deployment and use of controlled equipment obtained through the 1033 Program of the Department of Defense, as set forth below.

According to records posted by the Defense Logistics Agency (https://www.dla.mil/DispositionServices/Offers/Reutilization/LawEnforcement/PublicInformation/), your agency acquired controlled equipment through the 1033 program, including firearms, as reflected in the attached spreadsheet.

I. Requests for Records
Records Request No. 1: All Documents constituting, reflecting, relating to or that contain current use policies if any for each type of 1033-program controlled equipment, including situations or circumstances in which use is authorized or prohibited.

Records Request No. 2: Records that list the dates, locations, suspected offense(s) or rationale for operation, controlled equipment deployed, arrests, and uses of force for each deployment of 1033-program controlled equipment since July 1st, 2019, specifically: firearms, armored vehicles, and night vision equipment.

Records Request No. 3: All records of complaints regarding the use and impact of 1033-program controlled equipment, including correspondence, visual or audio-visual materials, and responses to complaints.

Records Request No. 4: Documents that constitute, reflect, relate to or that contain rationales or criteria for acquisition of 1033-program controlled equipment, prior to its acquisition.

II. Response Time
Please provide requested documents as they become available.

Please respond to this request in ten (10) days, either by providing the requested information or providing a written response setting forth the specific legal authority on which you rely in failing to disclose each requested record, or by specifying a date in the near future to respond to the request. See Cal. Gov’t Code § 6255. Pursuant to section 6253, please disclose all reasonably segregable non-exempt information from any portions of records you claim are exempt from disclosure.

To assist with the prompt release of responsive material, we ask that you make records available to us as you locate them, rather than waiting until all responsive records have been collected and copied.

The American Friends Service Committee seeks this information as the requestor to promote and provide public access to these documents and increase civic engagement. Because this request is made on behalf of a nonprofit public interest organization, with the intent to make this material easily accessible to the public, we request that you waive any fees. In responding to this request, please keep in mind that Article 1, § 3(b)(2) of the California Constitution expressly requires you to broadly construe all provisions that further the public’s right of access, and to apply any limitations on access as narrowly as possible.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

If you would like to discuss these requests, please feel free to reach out to me, John Lindsay-Poland, co-director of the Healing Justice Program at 510-282-8983.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, 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,

John Lindsay-Poland

From: Parlier Police Department

Dear Sir or Madam:
This is in response to your August 6, 2021, request for records concerning the referenced matter. You included with your request a spreadsheet purportedly obtained from the Department of Defense reflecting the City of Parlier Police Department’s acquisition of 14 rifles. As noted, you sent that request on August 6, 2021, but on August 9, you sent a different email (from this same email address) claiming the request had been made on July 28, 2021. However, the email you forwarded to us making that claim is an email that was not issued to anybody.
In response to your August 6, 2021, requests, the City of Parlier responds as follows:
Response to Request No. 1: There are no documents that specifically are policies that relate to the use of this equipment, assuming it was procured under the 1033 Program, concerning situations and circumstances in which the equipment, in this case rifles, are authorized or prohibited from being used. We can provide you with out Police Department policies which are more general in their application, but the request appears directed only to specific policies governing the use of this particular type of equipment. Let me know if you would like the Police Department’s use of force and other policies that would involve the use of rifles, potentially.
Response to Request No. 2: There are no records of dates, locations, suspected offenses or the rationale for operation of these rifles, or for them being deployed in arrests, use of force or other activities that would specifically the use of these rifles, as opposed to firearm use generally. Moreover, all such documents would be a non-disclosable records under Government Code §6254(f) and therefore exempt from production.
Response to Request No. 3: Records of complaints received by law enforcement, with the exception of certain matters it is required to make public are non-disclosable under subdivision (f) of Government Code §6254.
Response to Request No. 4: There are no documents that relate to any rationale or criteria for acquisition of the rifles. The authorization of the purchase was made by a City Council, without the adoption of a resolution and although comments were made by police officers, including the Chief of Police of the Parlier Police Department as to why the rifles were needed, the City Council did not disclose its rationale for authorizing the acquisition of this equipment so the records technically do not exist. If, however, you would like copies of meeting minutes which vaguely reflect the comments made to the City Council, we can provide those. The requests, however, does not seem to seek this material.
Again, let me know if you wish to have our general Police Department policies, including policies on the use of force arrests, searches and seizures and other activities by the Police Department and whether you wish to have the minutes of any meeting at which the City Council considered and/authorized a request for acquisition of new rifles for the Police Department.

Very truly yours,

Neal E. Costanzo
ncostanzo@costanzolaw.com<mailto:ncostanzo@costanzolaw.com>

Sent by: Julia Sellers
Costanzo & Associates PC
575 E. Locust Ave., Suite 115
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 261-0163

From: Parlier Police Department

Dear Sir or Madam:
This is in response to your August 6, 2021, request for records concerning the referenced matter. You included with your request a spreadsheet purportedly obtained from the Department of Defense reflecting the City of Parlier Police Department's acquisition of 14 rifles. As noted, you sent that request on August 6, 2021, but on August 9, you sent a different email (from this same email address) claiming the request had been made on July 28, 2021. However, the email you forwarded to us making that claim is an email that was not issued to anybody.
In response to your August 6, 2021, requests, the City of Parlier responds as follows:
Response to Request No. 1: There are no documents that specifically are policies that relate to the use of this equipment, assuming it was procured under the 1033 Program, concerning situations and circumstances in which the equipment, in this case rifles, are authorized or prohibited from being used. We can provide you with out Police Department policies which are more general in their application, but the request appears directed only to specific policies governing the use of this particular type of equipment. Let me know if you would like the Police Department's use of force and other policies that would involve the use of rifles, potentially.
Response to Request No. 2: There are no records of dates, locations, suspected offenses or the rationale for operation of these rifles, or for them being deployed in arrests, use of force or other activities that would specifically the use of these rifles, as opposed to firearm use generally. Moreover, all such documents would be a non-disclosable records under Government Code §6254(f) and therefore exempt from production.
Response to Request No. 3: Records of complaints received by law enforcement, with the exception of certain matters it is required to make public are non-disclosable under subdivision (f) of Government Code §6254.
Response to Request No. 4: There are no documents that relate to any rationale or criteria for acquisition of the rifles. The authorization of the purchase was made by a City Council, without the adoption of a resolution and although comments were made by police officers, including the Chief of Police of the Parlier Police Department as to why the rifles were needed, the City Council did not disclose its rationale for authorizing the acquisition of this equipment so the records technically do not exist. If, however, you would like copies of meeting minutes which vaguely reflect the comments made to the City Council, we can provide those. The requests, however, does not seem to seek this material.
Again, let me know if you wish to have our general Police Department policies, including policies on the use of force arrests, searches and seizures and other activities by the Police Department and whether you wish to have the minutes of any meeting at which the City Council considered and/authorized a request for acquisition of new rifles for the Police Department.

Very truly yours,

Neal E. Costanzo
ncostanzo@costanzolaw.com<mailto:ncostanzo@costanzolaw.com>

Sent by: Julia Sellers
Costanzo & Associates PC
575 E. Locust Ave., Suite 115
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 261-0163

From: John Lindsay-Poland

Dear Mr. Constanzo:

Thank you for your response to my Public Records Act request. I understand that it did not reach you before August 6, though I sent it the week before.

Regarding Request #1 for policies for use of equipment acquired through the 1033 program, please release documents that contain policies for any category of equipment that includes the rifles acquired through the 1033 program.

Regarding Requests #2 and #3: Please note that Section 6254(f) of California's Government Code clearly states that some information regarding law enforcement operations, and complaints about such operations, are releasable under the CPRA, stating that "local law enforcement agencies shall disclose the names and addresses of persons involved in, or witnesses other than confidential informants to, the incident, the description of any property involved, the date, time, and location of the incident, all diagrams, statements of the parties involved in the incident" as well as "The full name and occupation of every individual arrested by the agency, the individual’s physical description including date of birth, color of eyes and hair, sex, height and weight, the time and date of arrest, the time and date of booking, the location of the arrest, the factual circumstances surrounding the arrest, the amount of bail set, the time and manner of release or the location where the individual is currently being held, and all charges the individual is being held upon, including any outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions and parole or probation holds." Please inform me whether a search for such records has been conducted and the results of such search.

Regarding Request #4: Equipment acquired through the 1033 program is not "purchased," so that a City Council discussion of "purchase" is unlikely to have occurred. (Some jurisdictions nevertheless do submit a question regarding acquisition of armored vehicles or other equipment that might be perceived as controversial to elected bodies.) The 1033 program, however, requires that departments requesting equipment submit a document outlining the rationale for such acquisition. I attach to this email a sample of such documentation submitted by another department for 1033 controlled equipment. Please respond to my request for documentation of this nature.

If you have any clarification questions, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at jlindsay-poland@afsc.org or by phone at 510-282-8983. Thank you.

Sincerely,
John Lindsay-Poland

From: Parlier Police Department

Mr. Poland:

I looked into your claim that the city of Parlier PD received the 14 rifles from the department of defense under the program you mention. Turns out, your relying on information from 2014. As indicated in our first response to your August 6 request, Parlier did purchase new rifles in 2021. They were purchased from a private vendor. The 14 rifles from the department of defense received in 2014 were returned to that department (albeit through state cannels). As a result it is now clear that there are no documents responsive to your request, since the city is not in possession of any equipment at all obtained through the federal program that is the subject of your request. Any records of use of the 14 rifles obtained in 2014, would necessarily be not disclosable under Section 6254 (f) and do not fall within the information a PD must “make public” under subparagraphs (1) and (2) of that subdivision. There are no polices relating to equipment obtained through the subject program, and any records relating to acquisition of the 14 rifles have presumably long ago been destroyed (the city retains documents of that nature for the standard 7 years). Any public benefit that could conceivably be advanced by searching for any surviving documents of this vintage is clearly outweighed by the public interest to be advanced in avoiding the taxpayer expense that would be incurred in searching for such antiquated material. I assume your request was issued on the mistaken assumption that the city had much more recently obtained equipment under the subject program. You can let me know if you think I am mistaken about that. Thank you.

From: John Lindsay-Poland

Dear Mr. Constanzo:

Thank you for your response, and for investigating the history of the rifle acquisitions. I had not assumed that the rifle acquisitions were more recent than 2014. The request was for use, policies and complaints regarding such rifles in the last two years, as well as for records regarding their acquisition in 2014. (I would note that we submitted a nearly identical requests to 150 police and sheriff departments in California, and several have produced records of use, acquisition and policies, including for periods before 2014.)

If Parlier PD disposed of the rifles it acquired in 2014 before July 1, 2019, and if acquisition records are not kept for more than 7 years, then it would make sense that the city has no responsive records. However, if any records exist of uses since July 1, 2019 of the rifles that were acquired in 2014, or if there were policies in existence for those rifles since July 1, 2019, then these would be responsive to my request. It is not clear from your email exactly when Parlier PD disposed of the rifles that were acquired in 2014.

Thanks for your efforts on this request.

best,
John Lindsay-Poland

From: Parlier Police Department

Dear Mr. Polland,
Your latest email is addressed to the Parlier Police Department, but it appears to have been emailed to me and me alone. I have pointed out to you in prior correspondence, that the only equipment our Police Department has received through the 1033 Program, from the Department of Defense, were rifles it acquired in 2014, the acquisition records as to which have long been since destroyed, assuming we adhered to our normal policy. Further, we are not going to search for the records because there is simply no public interest in obtaining such antiquated documents while there is a strong public interest that overrides the non-existent public interest in disclosure in allowing the Police Department to go on about its business of law enforcement without having to devote officers to a more than likely fruitless search for records that have likely been destroyed. We have responded to your request twice now, and we receive a "follow-up" every time we do. On this follow-up, I cannot tell what it is you are looking for. We previously advised you we are not going to provide records concerning the use of those rifles which, for your information, were disposed of in June 2020, because those records are necessarily records of arrest or complaints or calls for services and information concerning the use of specific items of equipment that might be contained in those records is not part of the information a Police Department makes public under subdivision (f)(1) and (2) of Government Code §6254. I explained previously we do not have policies at the Parlier Police Department that are specific to a specific item of equipment. The August 23, 2021, email appears to be a request for a date on which Parlier disposed of these 14 rifles it acquired through that program. Disposal is a process, not a date and it occurred during June 2020. I hope that clarifies matters for you.

Very truly yours,

Neal E. Costanzo

Sent by: Julia Sellers
Costanzo & Associates PC
575 E. Locust Ave., Suite 115
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 261-0163

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