Firearm Project, Wichita Falls, TX

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Wichita Falls Police Department of Wichita Falls, TX.
Tracking # 587
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Ben Hallman

Hi,

Pursuant to the state’s public records law, I am a journalist requesting access to and copies of data and others records from your agency as part of a national reporting project on the use of stolen firearms in crimes. I have broken the request into three parts, each of which details the records that we are seeking. As expressed below, the date range for each part of this request is January 1, 2010 to the present:

1) Detailed information on stolen guns

It is our understanding that law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about firearms that were reported stolen by the citizens they serve. We are therefore requesting the following for each case of reported firearm theft in your jurisdiction:

-- The police report number and/or incident number for the firearm theft
-- The serial number, make, model, caliber, type and any other descriptive information for each firearm that was reported stolen

If possible, I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one firearm. Here is an example:

If a spreadsheet is provided, please provide the record layout and/or code sheet. If such a spreadsheet is not available, please provide any other records that contain this information.

2) Detailed information about seized and/or recovered guns, any guns in evidence, and/or any gun of which the department has taken custody

Third, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that were used in crimes, found at crimes scenes or other incidents, seized during investigations, placed into evidence or otherwise under the custody and control of the department, including the make, model and serial number of each gun. We are therefore requesting the following:

-- The following records regarding firearms used in crimes in your agency’s jurisdiction, found at crime scenes, seized during investigations or otherwise recovered or taken in by your agency: the make, model, and serial number of each gun; the date of the crime and/or incident from which it was recovered or seized; the police report number for the crime and/or incident; the type of crime the firearm was used in; and the address where the crime was committed and/or the incident occurred. Please include firearms for all offense and incident types, including homicide, robbery, assault, traffic stops, etc.

If your agency maintains a spreadsheet or database containing these records, we ask that you please provide that database. I would be grateful if this data was collated into a spreadsheet where each row represents one case, the same as part 1) “Detailed information about stolen guns.” If a spreadsheet is provided, please also provide a record layout and/or code sheet. If a spreadsheet or database is not available, please release any other records containing the information we seek.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

3) Detailed information on lost, stolen or unaccounted for law enforcement guns

Finally, it is our understanding that law enforcement agencies maintain detailed records about firearms that, while owned by the department or under the control and/or in the possession of their employees, went missing, were lost or stolen, or are otherwise unaccounted for. Therefore we request the following:

-- Any and all records of department-issued firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or are otherwise unaccounted for.

-- If your department does not issue firearms, then we ask for any and all records of firearms that were lost, stolen, went missing or otherwise became unaccounted for while under the control and/or in the possession of one of your employees.

The records should include but not be limited to the following:

• The make, model, serial number and caliber of each firearm
• The location and address where the firearm was lost or stolen
• The date of the loss or theft.
• The date the loss or theft was reported
• Whether each lost or stolen firearm was recovered
• If the lost, stolen or missing firearm was recovered, the date and location of the recovery
• A description of how the firearm was lost, stolen or went missing
• Whether negligence on the part of the employee is/was suspected in the loss or theft of the firearm
• Whether the employee in control of the firearm retired, was terminated or otherwise left the department, and if so, the date and circumstances of the employee’s departure and whether his or her gun was retrieved and/or recovered.
• Any other individual reports and findings on the individual lost, stolen or missing firearms

The records should include but not be limited to audits, inventory reports, databases, internal reports, memos, internal affairs investigations, emails or other correspondence, and/or any other records.

The date range for this part is also January 1, 2010 to the present.

Please label each record in a clear manner. As a 501c3 nonprofit news organization, we will be making information obtained from this request available to the general public and are not requesting it for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you informed me of the total charges before completing my request. We request that if you send an invoice, you make it out to The Trace.

I would prefer the requested information be sent via an e-mail attachment if available, or a mailed CD-ROM if not. If standard mail must be used, we ask that you send the request to the following address:

The Trace (at WeWork)
Attn: Brian Freskos
428 Broadway
New York, NY 10013

Thank you in advance for your help with this request. I look forward to receiving your response. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me on my cell phone: (919) 522-6354

Sincerely,

Brian Freskos

From: Tracy Norr

Mr. Freskos,

I have received your open records request dated Februrary 28, 2017
regarding information on stolen guns. I have attached a spreadsheet and a
list of the codes information for that spreadsheet.

If you need additional information, you will need to ask specifically for
that information. It would take extensive time to research through these
3364 entries and would involve a cost estimate and payment.

Thank you.

Tracy B. Norr, TRMC/MMC
City Clerk
City of Wichita Falls, TX

From: Ben Hallman

This is great! Thank you! And please pass along my thanks to anyone else if they also assisted.

From: Brian Freskos

Hi Tracy,

Thank you all so much again for sending the gun on stolen and recovered firearms. I just had some quick questions about the Status Codes?

Does Recovered mean the firearm was previously reported stolen?

What does Not Reportable mean?

What is the difference between Seized and Evidence?

From: Kia Boone

Mr. Freskos,

We have received your open records request regarding firearm status code
meanings.

They are as follows:

Recovered - the item had been reported stolen or lost previously

Not Reportable - item taken into custody for safe keeping, or involved some
how not being lost/found stolen/recovered or seized/evidence

Seized - normally not released to individual, the judicial system has
control of item

Evidence - item used for prosecution purposes (can be released if not
needed for prosecution)

Note - seized & evidence items are interchangeable depending on the
circumstances and outcome of investigation

With the receipt of this email, we consider your request filled and closed.
Thank you.
--
Kia Boone
Deputy City Clerk
City of Wichita Falls, TX

From: Brian Freskos

Thank you so much!

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