At least 12 New York state police departments claim to have no records of officer misconduct from the past 50 years, according to responses to Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests filed by MuckRock.
Following the repeal of Section 50-a of New York’s Civil Rights Law on June 12, MuckRock submitted FOIL requests to each city, town, and village police department in the state. Since then, we’ve been fielding follow-ups in the form of daily calls, faxes, and emails, but more than half of these requests remain unacknowledged.
Many agencies have responded to say that they will require more than the five-day timeframe mandated by New York’s transparency law. This is often because responsive materials, particularly those from the last century, only exist as paper records, requiring time-consuming effort to locate, search, review, and reproduce these materials.
Other departments, like Middletown Police Department, have let us know that they are weighing whether they are required to apply the new disclosure allowances to materials created before the change.
Of the requests that have reached some completed status at this point, most are from village police departments claiming that they have no records, like the Village of Clifton Springs…
All of the requests were filed publicly on MuckRock and are linked from the MuckRock project page. Logged in users can click “Follow” to receive updates on a request’s progress as communications and records come in.
Image by Sailko is licensed under CC BY 3.0