Tampa, FL PD Citizen Complaints

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer filed this request with the Tampa Police Department of Tampa, FL.
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Completed

Communications

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Florida's Sunshine Law (Fla. Stat. secs. 119.01 to 119.15 (1995)), 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. How many officer-involved-shootings were there per year for the last 10 years in your department? 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 would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

From: Joanne Burgess

Mr. Cartwright and Ms. Dirmeyer,

I am in receipt of your request for documents on citizen (and employee) complaints.

Ch. 119, F.S. requires us to provide documents, not answer questions about those documents. Although the documents can be provided to you electronically, at no charge, there may be extensive time involved to research and compile the miscellaneous data that you require. Therefore, I’m requesting an estimated prepayment in the amount of $25 for statutory costs related to this request. Any overpayment will be refunded, any amount due will be billed appropriately. Please make your check payable to City of Tampa and mail to my attention in the Legal Unit.

Once your prepayment has been received, your request will be processed in a timely manner and documents will be supplied to you in electronic format.

Please keep in mind that our data is compiled in a specific format and we are not required to create a new document to fulfill your request for specific information so our report(s) may or may not include all the specifics you’re requesting.
Joanne M. Burgess
Police Public Records Technician
Tampa Police Department
TPD Headquarters
411 N. Franklin Street Legal Unit – 10th floor
Tampa, FL 33602

From: MuckRock.com


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $25.00 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Joanne Burgess

Attached are the reports that we were able to coordinate in reference to your request. Regarding the amount of data, the complaints only go back in our database to 2010 for reporting purposes. Any older data has been archived.

Also, we do not categorize our complaints based on type of complaint. However, complaints where a policy violation exists, resulting in a more formal investigation, the policy violation will be noted.

A complaint is a complaint regardless of how it initiated. We do not track ‘employee’ complaints against another employee specifically.

Reports will show if sustained. All sustained violations will result in discipline.
This request took longer than estimated to complete. If additional data is needed, the remaining balance of $20 will carry over….otherwise this has been supplied, with no additional due, as a courtesy.

Joanne M. Burgess
Police Public Records Technician
Tampa Police Department

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
[http://email.requests.muckrock.com/o/eJwNzEsOwiAQANDTyJLADDDTBRvRc5gK2DYN_VBq4u3t_uUlb60TkwelSTGAsqgtSQ2dQZT34ILjZ9dZx_AI4WZUzfuZj3bIcsa5rnGWcS1i9BYBmNCgRcMxUYopwsc4prfBBCQuVl5T8gY0kxLVHy1vY17kmIe-tt91t75s_bB-5ZLbH1ynLO8]

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Hello,

Thank you very much for the information - it is extremely helpful. I just want to clarify one thing. Regarding number 2 of my request where I asked for peer complaints, some offices call that "internal complaints". Do you have additional data on the number of internal complaints per year for the previous 10 years?

Thank you.
-Alex Cartwright

From: Joanne Burgess

A complaint is a complaint regardless of how it initiated. We do not track ‘employee’ complaints against another employee specifically.

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Hi,

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

Sincerely,
Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

I am writing to follow up on my original request made on 8/22/17.

Thank you very much for providing the information we requested. I am writing to ask for some clarification regarding the data on officer-involved shootings you provided us with. What constitutes an officer-involved shooting in your department? For example, some departments do not count misses while others count all discharges; some include shots at animals. Other departments include intentional and accidental shootings; others do not. Some include all discharges and some exclude missed shots. Please explain to us how your department classifies the OIS included in the numbers you sent to us.

Very Respectfully, Alex Cartwright

From: Tampa Police Department

Hi Alex,
Our OIS incidents of officer’s firing their weapon ‘intentionally’; which may also include firing at an animal and does not include accidental discharges.

From: Alexander Cartwright and Jennifer Dirmeyer

Thank you.

From: Tampa Police Department

Alex,
Regarding this follow-up request. On 9/18/17 I supplied your organization with multiple reports from Internal Affairs regarding citizen complaints and police shootings. This data was provided electronically and at no charge. Keep in mind that we cannot create a document to fulfill your request, but rather we supply documents that we have available.

While we are not required to answer questions about our documents, I provided further explanation on citizen complaints on 9/19/17. More recently, I provided additional clarification on police shootings/firing of weapons on 6/5/18.

Please identify what you still feel to be missing or needs further follow-up.

Thank you,

Joanne

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