Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Policy Manual
Copyright Lexipol, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Published with permission by Paulding County Sheriff’s OfficeRecords Maintenance and Release Records Maintenance and Release 804.1PURPOSE AND SCOPE This policy provides guidance on the maintenance and release of office records. Protected information is separately covered in the Protected Information Policy. 804.2POLICY The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing public access to records in a manner that is consistent with the Ohio Public Records Act (ORC § 149.43). 804.3CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS The Sheriff shall designate a Custodian of Records. The responsibilities of the Custodian of Records include but are not limited to (ORC § 149.43): (a)Managing the records management system for the Office, including the retention, archiving, release and destruction of office public records. (b)Maintaining and updating the office records retention schedule, including: 1.Identifying the minimum length of time the Office must keep records. 2.Identifying the office division responsible for the original record. 3.Making a copy of the current retention schedule readily available to the public. (c)Establishing rules regarding the inspection and copying of office public records as reasonably necessary for the protection of such records. 1.The Custodian of Records may limit the number of records requested by aperson that the Office will physically deliver via mail or by another delivery service to 10 records per month unless the requester certifies in writing thathe/she does not intend to use or forward the requested records, or information contained in the records, for commercial purposes. 2.Records in digital format that are publicly available on the internet may be limited as set forth in ORC § 149.43. (d)Identifying records or portions of records that are confidential under state or federal law and not open for inspection or copying. (e)Establishing rules regarding the processing of subpoenas for the production ofrecords. (f)Ensuring the availability of a current schedule of fees for public records as allowed by law. (g)Preparing a notice that incorporates this policy and ensuring that it is displayed in conspicuous places in all locations where office records are available to the public. (h)Maintaining current information on the office website that relates to public records release. (i)Ensuring that records are organized and maintained in such a manner as to make them available for inspection or copying. (j)Selecting appropriate public records, if any, to publish on the office website. 804.4PROCESSING REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS Any office member who receives a request for any record shall route the request to the Custodian of Records or the authorized designee. 804.4.1REQUESTS FOR RECORDS The processing of requests for any record is subject to the following (ORC § 149.43): (a)The Office is not required to create records that do not exist. (b)When a record contains material with release restrictions and material that is notsubject to release restrictions, the restricted material shall be redacted and theunrestricted material released. 1.A copy of the redacted release should be maintained in the case file for proof of what was actually released and as a place to document the reasons for the redactions. If the record is audio or video, a copy of the redacted audio/video release should be maintained in the office-approved media storage system and a notation should be made in the case file to document the release and thereasons for the redacted portions. 2.The requester shall be notified of any redaction in the public record if theredaction is not plainly visible. (c)If a request is ambiguous or overly broad, or if the Custodian of Records cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the request may bedenied. 1.The requester shall be provided with an opportunity to revise the request and shall be informed by the Custodian of Records of the manner in which records are maintained by the Office and how the records are accessed in the ordinarycourse of business. (d)A person requesting records may be asked to make a request for records in writing to expedite processing of the request and may be asked for his/her identity. Prior tosuch a request, the person shall be told that: 1.There is no requirement to provide a written request. 2.There is no requirement to provide his/her identity. 3.There is no requirement to disclose the intended use of the records. 4.The purpose of the written request or disclosure of the person’s identity or intended use would benefit the person making the request by enhancing the ability of the Custodian of Records to identify, locate or deliver the recordsrequested. (e)Fees for copies or the cost of delivery of the records to the requester via mail should be paid in advance. (f)If a request is denied, either in whole or in part, the Custodian of Records shall provide the requester with an explanation setting forth the reason(s) for the denial, includingthe legal authority relied upon in making the determination. If the initial request was in writing, the explanation shall also be provided in writing. 804.5RELEASE RESTRICTIONS Examples of release restrictions include: (a)Any personal identifying information, including an individual’s photograph; SocialSecurity and driver identification numbers; name, address, and telephone number;and medical or disability information that is contained in any driver license record, motor vehicle record, or any office record, including traffic collision reports, is restrictedexcept as authorized by the Office, and only when such use or disclosure is permitted or required by law to carry out a legitimate law enforcement purpose (18 USC § 2721;18 USC § 2722; ORC § 4501.27; ORC § 149.45). (b)Victim information that may be protected by statutes, including photographs or images of victims as prohibited by ORC § 149.43 (ORC § 2907.11). (c)Juvenile-related information that may be protected by statutes (ORC § 149.435). (d)Confidential investigatory records of the Office that pertain to a law enforcement matter of criminal, quasi-criminal, civil, or administrative nature if release would create a highprobability of disclosure of any of the following (ORC § 149.43): 1.Identity of a suspect not yet charged with an offense to which the record pertains. 2.Identity of an information source or witness to whom confidentiality has beenreasonably assured. This also includes information provided by an information source or witness if the release would tend to disclose the person’s identity. 3.Confidential investigatory techniques, procedures, or specific investigatory work product. 4.Information that would endanger the life or physical safety of a member, crimevictim, witness, or confidential information source. (e)Certain types of reports involving but not limited to child abuse and molestation (ORC § 2151.421) and adult abuse (ORC § 5101.61). (f)Records pertaining to the residential or family information of peace officers andcommunications officers (ORC § 149.43). (g)Personally identifiable information of a program participant of the Ohio Secretary of State’s address confidentiality program (ORC § 149.43). (h)Restricted portions of recordings made by a dashcam or a member’s body-worncamera as provided in ORC § 149.43(A)(1). Certain recordings may be disclosed withthe consent of the subject of the recording or the subject’s representative pursuant to the requirements of ORC §149.43 (H)(1). (i)Telephone numbers for a person involved in a motor vehicle accident or a witness ofa crime as provided in ORC § 149.43. (j)Any other information that may be appropriately denied by ORC §149.43(A)(1)
804.5.1ENHANCED RECORDS ACCESS BY JOURNALISTS (a)Journalists, as defined in ORC § 149.43, are entitled to enhanced access to certainrecords not available to the general public provided: 1.The request is in writing. 2.Journalistsidentifythemselvesbyname,title,andemployer’snameandaddress. 3.Journalists establish and sign a request that the information sought is in the public interest. (b)Records available to journalists but not the general public include: 1.Personal residential addresses of a deputy or communications officers of this office (ORC § 149.43). 2.The business name and address of a spouse, former spouse, or child of a deputy of this office, only if employed by a public office (ORC § 149.43). 3.Coroner records pursuant to ORC § 313.10. 4.The name, county of residence, and date of birth of a person for whom thesheriff issued, suspended, or revoked a permit for a concealed weapon (ORC § 2923.129). 5.The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of workers’ compensation claimants subject to the requirements and restrictions in ORC § 4123.88(D). 6.Limited information about minors involved in a school vehicle accident (ORC §149.43). 804.6SUBPOENAS AND DISCOVERY REQUESTS Any member who receives a subpoena duces tecum or discovery request for records should promptly contact a supervisor and the Custodian of Records for review and processing. While asubpoena duces tecum may ultimately be subject to compliance, it is not an order from the court that will automatically require the release of the requested information.Generally, discovery requests and subpoenas from criminal defendants and their authorized representatives (including attorneys) should be referred to the County Prosecutor, CountyAttorney or the courts.All questions regarding compliance with any subpoena duces tecum or discovery request shouldbe promptly referred to legal counsel for the Office so that a timely response can be prepared. 804.7RELEASED RECORDS TO BE MARKED Each page of any written record released pursuant to this policy should be stamped in a colored ink or otherwise marked to indicate the office name and to whom the record was released.Each audio/video recording released should include the office name and to whom the record was released.