Sioux Falls, SD PD Citizen Complaints

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer filed this request with the Sioux Falls Police Department of Sioux Falls, SD.
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Completed

Communications

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the South Dakota Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following records:

We are Economics Professors in the College of Business at Ferris State University, and are engaged in an empirical research project on police behavior and citizen complaints. This project requires us to request data from your department. If you have questions about this request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.
1. What is the total number of citizen complaints (allegations of misconduct) made against your department’s officers annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.
Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).
2. What is the total number of complaints police officers made against their peer officers in department annually for the last 10 years? If your department logs complaints in a database, spreadsheet, or other log, a copy of those logs is fine instead.
Please include the type of complaint (i.e., use of force, abuse language, unwarranted search) and the result of complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated).
3. What is the annual number of officers involved in shootings in your department for the past 10 years? Any documentation or reports that detail the annual number of officer-involved shootings in your department for the past 10 years would be sufficient.
Please include documentation regarding how many of these officer-involved shootings involved disciplinary action. (Please list officer firearm discharge directed at a person separately from a shooting involving an animal and separately from accidental firearm discharges).
Please include the number of officer-involved shootings resulting in discipline.
4. Which of the above data are published publicly? Please provide a link to any and all publicly available reports containing the data above.
Collecting this information is very important to our research, so we would like to emphasize, if you have questions about my request or suggestions, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

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 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

From: Allenstein, Keith

Mr. Cartwright and Ms. Dirmeyer:

I recently received your fax from September 11. I am not aware of any prior request but that may not have made it to my desk. We have available, online, some of what you are asking for but not for the time period you are requesting. That link is http://www.siouxfalls.org/police/complaints-commendations/complaints. Captain McManus may have access to the older material but is out of the office (and has been all week). Once I have a chance to visit with him, he or I will be in touch.

Thank you.

Keith E. Allenstein, Jr.
Assistant City Attorney-Police and Fire Legal Advisor
320 W. Fourth Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
605-367-8880

From: Allenstein, Keith

Mr. Cartwirght and Ms. Dirmeyer:

I've had the opportunity to speak with Captain McManus. He is able to pull much of what you request; however there are two things of which I would like you to be aware.

First, one portion of your request includes a request for any disciplinary action associated with officer-involved shootings. While I am not certain that we even have anything that would be responsive to that question, we would not release such information as "personnel information other than salary information" is specifically exempted from public record requests. See SDCL 1-27-1.5(7).

Second, to the extent you are requesting the "result of any complaint (i.e., sustained, exonerated), we are not able to generate a report that "mines" that information out of our records. Thus, Captain McManus would have to manually go back and enter that information. He has estimated that looking at ten (10) years worth of material would require roughly sixteen (16) hours of his time. There would be a cost associated with that to include an hourly rate at his rate of pay. I can get that figure for you if you would like.

Based upon the two issues above, please let me know where you stand on your request. Specifically, do you wish to maintain your request as is or do you wish to modify it in any way based upon the above representations?

We will await your response.

Thank you.

Keith E. Allenstein, Jr.
Assistant City Attorney-Police and Fire Legal Advisor
320 W. Fourth Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
605-367-8880

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Mr. Allenstein,

Thank you for following up with me. We are only looking for the total number of officer involved shootings on an annual basis (preferably for the past 10 years). We do not seek names or personal information about the officer.

For number 2, the total number of complaints will be fine.

Please let this email serve as written communication of my attempt to modify the original request of 8/17/17.

Very Respectfully, Alex Cartwright

From: Sioux Falls Police Department

Mr. Cartwright:

In response to your clarification below, please see the attached from Captain McManus. If you believe this is not responsive to your request, please let me know.

Keith E. Allenstein, Jr.
Assistant City Attorney-Police and Fire Legal Advisor
320 West Fourth Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
605-367-8880

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