Abuse of the Public Records Act

Todays’ Sacramento Bee reports a major audit by the non profit group Californians Aware confirming that police agencies around the state are violating the Public Records Act by ignoring requests for documentation.

Let me provide three brief paragraphs of this story and ask for responses based upon your own experiences.

Reporters visited 216 police, sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol offices in 34 counties on Dec. 4, 2006, with a common goal: request law enforcement information to test compliance with the California Public Records Act. The audit measured what was provided and how fast.

The auditors went into the offices as members of the public, saying they were reporters only if pressed. California Public Records Act laws do not require requesters to identify themselves.

“These results were depressing,” McKee said. “We’re not trying to punish or shame anybody. We simply want to open the eyes of law enforcement people to the importance of maintaining a relationship with a public that wants to know.”

PS: To see the entire Sac Bee report simply go to:

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