Mark Cottell


I asked my local police department for information I’ve seen supplied to other requesters in other states. Specifically, I asked for:

  1. All information regarding non-lethal weapons they have had in their possession for the past 3 years.

  2. All information pertaining to the possession and use of Stingray tracking devices for the past 3 years.

  3. All information regarding the use of contractors including those hired by DHS in conjunction with East Brandywine Police Department for the past 3 years.

For these requests I received the response “Exempt under section 708.” There are many sub-exemptions under 708. Don’t they have to tell me exactly which sub-exemption they are using? There are a lot, however, knowing which one they are claiming tells me whether I need to push harder to get it.

I realize they don’t want to give me the information, but that isn’t how this is supposed to work. They should give it to me regardless.

Thanks for your time.

Jack R-W

You should ask them for the info first, they’ll probably tell you. My best guess is that your 3rd bullet point would be exempt under (b)(2).

Jack R-W

Your second one could be under (b)(2) as well, and the first one just seems far too broad to be processed, so I’m surprised they gave you this exemption.

Mark Cottell

Jack R-W,

The PD I’m dealing with really doesn’t seem to want to answer these requests to begin with. They took a 30 extension, then added another 30 days on without really explaining why. after 65 days, their response returned no information. When I asked for clarification, no response.

The Right to Know Law was binding I thought. If I ask for a list of non-lethal weapons they have, they are supposed to respond with a list. The fact is I’ve seen similar requests fulfilled in other states. I’m very disappointed. Since they are so uncooperative, I imagine appeals and other avenues of redress are likewise going to be blocked.

In other words, no cooperation. But, nothing to hide?

Jack R-W

Public records laws are never binding, they are frequently ignored and broken. An appeal isn’t a bad idea, and the only option after that is a lawsuit