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Sunshine Week:  Police Records

MDDC members collaborated on a project for Sunshine Week (March 10 - 16, 2019) which focused on the costs of police records around the region.  Members interviewed their local police agencies to ascertain what their policy is for obtaining police records such as accident reports or police reports and how it meshes with the PIA (or FOIA in DE and DC).

There are also Sunshine Week resources available for  member use at the ASNE Sunshine Week website. Please use the hashtag #SunshineWeek in your social media posts for your coverage.

Additionally, please email Rebecca your Sunshine Week coverage and she will compile it in our special Sunshine Week Friday Planner, March 15th.  We'll also be tweeting about our members' investigative work from the past year under the hashtag #MDDCNewsSunshine.

The package includes the following elements.  The appropriate file for each segment is available for download and free unlimited use by members of MDDC. 

1 • Main story: Police agencies across Maryland charges several dollars apiece for reports. Does do they meet the “reasonable” fee standard reequired by law? – about 1,650 words (Updated as of 1:30 pm Thursday File: 1 - Main Story)

2 • A bar chart (.eps) with 20 departments: How much a two-page accident report would cost at 20 different police departments across the state (File: Dropbox folder)

3 • A spreadsheet of the raw data listing all 39 departments we surveyed. It will show fees for documents, plus other fees (audio, video) and waivers some departments mentioned. (Updated as of 1:30 pm Thursday File: 3 - Fee Chart)

4 • Quotes from police agencies: What they said – about 1,150 words. Very adaptable — use as much or as little as you'd like (File: Quotes)

5 • Sidebar on Maryland's law and how it has changed:  Maryland's law – sidebar – about 250 words  (File:  5, 6, 7 - Sidebar)

6 • Sidebar on Delaware and D.C.:  Getting records in Delaware and D.C. - sidebar – about 250 words (File:  5, 6, 7 - Sidebar)

7 • Sidebar on audio/video:  Audio and visual fees (photos, body camera video) – sidebar – about 350 words (File:  5, 6, 7 - Sidebar)

8 • MDDC Op/Ed to go with the package.  This can be edited to be a standalone, or work within the context of the package. (File: 8 - Op-Ed)

9 • Contributors to the project (Updated as of 1:30 pm Thursday File: Contributors)

10 • Graphics to accompany the project (File: Dropbox folder)

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