States Reexamine the Public’s Ability to Access Police Records

Following the widespread civil unrest in 2020, states make policy changes with regard to the public’s ability to access police personnel and misconduct records.

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City of Niagara Falls no longer releasing police reports without FOIA Request

For years, the Niagara Falls Police Department has sent out police reports on a daily basis to news organizations. These reports were then redacted by each news outlet and published as individual articles or as part of a crime blotter.

“Based on a review of NFPD’s process for sending daily reports, it was determined that this information should have been supplied via FOIL requests only,” said City of Niagara Falls Public Information Officer Kristen Cavalleri.

The City of Niagara Falls says that such reports may be available to those who submit a FOIA request only.

Read More | The Niagara Reporter 

Join GovQA’s PiPRIndx Webinar on February 16 to learn about the 7 figures that compose the PiPRIndex, and how to Quantify Complexity in Public Records.


Maryland lawmakers prepare to take on police reform

Lawmakers took early steps in that direction Thursday [Jan. 22] as the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard hours of testimony on a slate of bills.

Among the bills considered was “Anton’s Law,” a statute that would allow police agencies to release misconduct records and investigations to the public under the state’s Public Information Act. These records are currently protected as “personnel records” that cannot be released to the public.

Sen. Jill Carter, said Anton’s Law still allows for police misconduct records to remain private in some circumstances, such as if the records would cause an invasion of privacy or interfere with a law enforcement proceeding.

Read More | Delmarva Now News

Police transparency in the spotlight during [New Hampshire] Senate hearing

Three months after the New Hampshire Supreme Court delivered a transformative ruling over government personnel practices, including police disciplinary records, state lawmakers are considering creating new laws around them.

Senate Bill 39 would directly exempt any information in an officer’s personnel file from becoming public under the state’s right-to-know law, which allows citizens to request and receive government documents. Currently, police personnel files can only be disclosed if there is a compelling public interest, a determination that can only be made by a judge.

Read More | Concord Monitor


Top Michigan State Police officials using encryption messaging apps that can evade FOIA

Top officials at the Michigan State Police have been using text messaging encryption devices that can put their internal communications out of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act and legal discovery, according to admissions made by the MSP made in a civil lawsuit.

The use by top MSP officials of the encryption devices — under which text messages, once deleted, can leave no record on either the phone or the state of Michigan server — was disclosed recently in a federal lawsuit brought against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Col. Joseph Gasper, who is the director of the department, and the MSP.

Read More | Detroit Free Press

Peer Resources

A Conversational Webinar: Quantifying Complexity In Public Records

Introducing the ONLY Index that tracks the growing complexity trend in public records for state and local governments; the Peers in Public Records Index (PiPRIndex).

Join Jen Snyder on Feb. 16 at 1PM Central as she moderates a discussion around the first-of-its-kind Peers in Public Records Index (PiPRIndex): a historical marker that quantifies predictable growth (or retraction) in complexity for public sector organizations managing Public Records Requests.

Our panel will discuss each of the 7 figures that compose the PiPRIndex, and how these figures represent a broader trend felt by most SLGs.

Read More | GovQA

The Peers in Public Records Newsletter (formerly FOIA News) is a bi-monthly e-newsletter brought to you by GovQA. It is a collection of the latest trends in public record requests and government transparency initiatives, shared stories, informative case studies, and actionable knowledge that will help you calm the chaos and keep your organization compliant. Send your comments to

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