On June 3, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker signed An Act to Improve Public Records into law. Many of the new provisions in the new law will take effect on January 1, 2017. The Fall River Police Department is required by law to comply with the new revisions.
Under the new version of the law, the Fall River Police Department will provide public records to a requestor in an electronic format unless the record is not available in an electronic format or the requestor does not have the ability to receive or access the records in a useable electronic format.
Electronic Records may be requested for the following:
Field Interview Reports
Preliminary Investigative Reports
***Please be advised that all reports are still subject to public record redaction exemptions. A list of exemptions may be found at Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws
The Fall River Police Department shall charge $0.05 for black and white paper copies or computer printouts of public records for both single and double-sided sheets. The charge will be $5.00 for black and white Accident reports. If a response to a public records request requires more than 4 hours of employee time, the Fall River Police Department shall access a fee of the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee to search for, compile, segregate, redact and or reproduce the record. The fee shall not exceed $25/hr.
The Fall River Police Department shall respond to a request in writing within 10 business days from the initial request.
Keeper of the Records
Jay Huard, Staff Services Division, Commander
508-676-8511, extension 131
Record Access Officers
508-676-8511, extension 134
508-676-8511, extension 135
The Law does not require any specific format for making a request, but the sample below may be helpful. It is recommended that your request contain the following information:
Date request mailed
Fall River Police Department
C/O Records Access Officer
685 Pleasant Street
Fall River, Massachusetts 02721-4305
Re: Fall River Police Public Records RequestDear Keeper of the Records:This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10). I am requesting that I be provided a copy of the following records:
[Please include a detailed description of the information you are seeking.]
I recognize that you may charge reasonable costs for copies, as well as for personnel time needed to comply with this request. If you expect costs to exceed $10.00, please provide a detailed fee estimate.
The Public Records Law requires you to provide me with a written response within 10 business days. If you cannot comply with my request, you are statutorily required to provide an explanation in writing.
Contact Information (address, email, telephone)
If you do not receive a satisfactory response you may appeal to the Supervisor of Records (617) 727-2832.
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