|Submitted||July 12, 2012|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
1. any requests for proposals, proposals submitted by vendors, contracts, budgets or cost allocations for the purchase and/or use of aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs (hereinafter “drones”);
2. any policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on department use of drones, including on the legal process required (such as a warrant or court order), if any, before operating a drone;
3. any departmental records concerning this department’s use of drones now or plans to use drones in the future including:
a. the types of investigations or instances in which this department is using or plans to use drones, or how it plans to support, manage or oversee the usage of drones by another department or office;
b. policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on storage requirements or procedures for video or static images obtained through use of drones, including retention times;
c. the altitude at which drones can or do fly;
d. drones’ ability to carry weapons.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. 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.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.
Please consider this correspondence the Virginia Department of State Police (the Department) response to your email seeking documents regarding “aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs [or] ‘drones’”. As you may be aware, requests for records of the Commonwealth, its agencies and political subdivisions are governed by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), §§ 2.2-3700 et. seq.
Please be advised that pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3704 (A), records are available only to “citizens of the Commonwealth, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation in the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.” As you are a resident of the state of Massachusetts, you are not entitled to these records (if in existence) under FOIA.
I regret that the Department could not be of more assistance to you.
Daniel B. Wilson
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