Policy: Disclosure of Records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

PURPOSE

The purpose of this order is to establish the MSU Police Department’s (Department) procedures for the release of police records, including those requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.)

POLICY

It is the policy of the Michigan State University Police Department that all disclosure of police records to meet requirements under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) shall be governed by these procedures.

PROCEDURES

Freedom Of Information Act Requests

The Michigan State University FOIA Office is responsible for coordinating all FOIA requests.

The MSU FOIA Office will handle all FOIA requests and coordinate the release of information with the Michigan State University Police Department Records Office Manager or designated FOIA Coordinator.

MSU FOIA staff may be consulted as needed to resolve issues as they pertain to the interpretation of the Act and the disclosure of police records.

The Records Office Manager shall maintain a log of all FOIA requests that involve the release of any police records.

Persons requesting documents under FOIA are to be referred to the FOIA Office in order to initiate the process.

Michigan’s Child Protection Law (MCL 722.621, et seq, known as Public Act 238 of 1975 as amended) impacts the release of information involving a juvenile. All FOIA requests for juvenile records shall be referred to the MSU FOIA Office as well.

Release Of Department Records

Criminal reports that have been adjudicated may be released to the subject of record.

Criminal reports may be provided to other criminal justice agencies with the stipulation that information in the report will be used for law enforcement purposes.

Criminal reports shall be provided to the prosecutor and defense counsel as prescribed by policy and state statute.

Background checks conducted by authorized law enforcement officials for former law enforcement employees will be processed by the Personnel Officer. Background checks conducted by authorized law enforcement officials for non-law enforcement employees will be processed by the Records Office Manager. Only arrest and charging information shall be released.

General employment or immigration background checks will be processed by the Records Office Manager. The request must be accompanied by a signed waiver from the party who is the subject of the inquiry. Only arrest and charging information shall be released.

No records will be released in violation of state statute or a court order.

University departments requiring property crime report information may receive a Confirmation of Loss Letter.

Information will be shared with other MSU departments for University investigations, to the extent possible without interfering with the criminal investigation. Such requests will be granted only by the Chief or designee.

Persons making requests for disclosure of police records are to be directed to contact the Records Office. A fee may be collected to cover the costs associated with fulfilling a disclosure request.

Procedures for Request for Disclosure of Police Records

Persons making a request for a copy of a police record shall submit the appropriate request form to the Records Office. It should be noted that since this request is not being submitted under FOIA, the department is not bound by the requirements of the Act.

The request shall be reviewed and approved by the Records Office Manager prior to the release of any record.

The Records Office Manager shall maintain a log of all documents that are released.

If the Records Office Manager deem it appropriate, other department and/or university officials may be contacted prior to the release of the documents.