Police Weapons (Somerville Police Department)

Alisha Parikh filed this request with the Somerville Police Department of Somerville, MA.
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Alisha Parikh


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

• Any lists, databases, and inventory rosters containing types of weapons used by officers (i.e., firearms, tasers, batons, etc.).

If no such records exist than I request the alternative records:
• All records pertaining to the weapons that may be carried by officers as determined by the chief of police, or the board, or officer having control of the police under the authority granted in M.G.L. ch.41, §98
• All records pertaining to the most recent audit of firearms owned by the department

There is an active public debate on the utility of firearms to provide safety and protection. This debate involves elected officials such as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh who is on record stating there is no need for Boston police officers to have long guns. A list of weapons that are currently owned, duly authorized, and safely stored by the state police is of great interest to the public in providing greater context for this public discourse.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

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,

Alisha Parikh

From: Somerville Police Department

Dear Alisha Parikh:

This e-mail is in response to your public records request below. After review of your request, on behalf of the record custodian, I am writing to respond as follows:

The Somerville Police Department (“SPD”), to the extent you are seeking weapon inventories, is denying your request since the information is exempt from public disclosure pursuant to G. L. c. 4, §7, cl. 26 (n). Exemption (n) exempts records including, but not limited to, blue prints, plans, policies, procedures and schematic drawings, which relate to internal layout and structural elements, security measures, emergency preparedness, threat or vulnerability assessments, or any other records relating to the security or safety of persons, buildings, structures, facilities, utilities, transportation or other infrastructure located within the commonwealth, the disclosure of which, in the reasonable judgment of the custodian, subject to review by the supervisor of public records under subsection (b) of section 10 of chapter 66, is likely to jeopardize public safety.

The SPD, in its reasonable judgment, believes that providing you with the requested information would undermine public safety as it relates to the SPD’s security measures and emergency preparedness. As such, the disclosure of information responsive to this request may prove detrimental to the SPD’s law enforcement and public safety efforts. See Supervisor of Public Record Opinion SPR15/544 (affirming denials of requests seeking weapons inventory).

The Department’s policies concerning Use of Force and Patrol Rifles are online at this site:

http://somervillepd.com/index.php/en-us/policiesprocedures

Contact information for the Records Access Officer is: Francis X. Wright, Jr., City Solicitor City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02143, Phone: (617) 625-6600 x4400. Email: publicrecords@somervillema.gov. You have the right to seek an administrative appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records under 950 CMR 32.08(1) and the right to seek judicial review by commencing a civil action in the superior cour

Shannon T. Phillips, Esq.

Assistant City Solicitor

City of Somerville

93 Highland Avenue

Somerville, MA 02143

617-625-6600, ext.4403<tel:(617)%20625-6600>

This message and any attached documents contain information which may be confidential, subject to privilege or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. These materials are intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, you are hereby notified that any distribution, disclosure, printing, copying, storage, modification or the taking of any action in reliance upon this transmission is strictly prohibited. Delivery of this message to any person other than the intended recipient shall not compromise or waive such confidentiality, privilege or exemption from disclosure as to this communication. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete the message from your system. Thank you.

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