Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S09-03-05
Freedom of Information
Issue Date:30 December 2009Effective Date:01 January 2010
Rescinds:S09-15
Index Category:Information Management
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.defines certain terms which pertain to Freedom of Information.
  • B.continues responsibilities and procedures for processing requests for public records.
  • C.continues the use of the Freedom of Information Request (CPD-31.509).
II.General Information
  • A.Citizens seeking access to examine or obtain copies of public records maintained by the Department may submit their written request either:
    • 1.via the US Postal Service addressed to the Chicago Police Department, Freedom of Information Officer, Records Inquiry Section, Unit 163;
    • 2.in person, Monday through Friday, 0830 to 1530 hours, except holidays; or
    • 3.via facsimile.
  • B.Freedom of Information Request forms may be obtained from the Freedom of Information Officer, Records Inquiry Section.
  • C.Upon submission of a completed Freedom of Information Request, a person has the right to inspect or receive copies of a record in a timely manner, except as exempted by law.
  • D.The Department is not obligated to create, maintain, or prepare any public record which was not maintained or prepared prior to the effective date of the Freedom of Information Act, except as required by law.
  • E.In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and other applicable Illinois statutes, certain information must be redacted from copies of case or supplementary reports prior to release to non-law-enforcement agencies.
III.Records Services Division
  • A.Records Services Division personnel will instruct persons seeking access to a public record maintained by the Department to complete the top portion of a Freedom of Information Request for each record requested.
  • B.Written Freedom of Information requests which contain sufficient information relative to the record requested will be accepted in lieu of the Freedom of Information Request form.
  • C.When Freedom of Information Request services are received, a member designated by the Director, Records Services Division, will process the requests in accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, including delays, appeals, and denials.
  • D.The Director, Records Services Division, is the Department’s Public Records Officer and is responsible for:
    • 1.processing requests for public records.
    • 2.retaining for public inspection and/or copying a current Department Record Index and a chart depicting the Department organizational structure.
    • 3.keeping a record of all requests received.
    • 4.keeping a record, available for public inspection, of all Notices of Denial of Public Records in a single central office file, indexed according to the type of exemption asserted and, to the extent feasible, according to the types of records requested.
    • 5.maintaining a system to number requests received.
    • 6.maintaining an account of fees collected.
    • 7.designating an “Alternate Public Records Officer” who, in the absence of the Director, Records Services Division, will function as the Department’s Public Records Officer.
    • 8.ensuring supervisory review prior to releasing copies of case and supplementary reports to non-law-enforcement agencies and private members of the community, and the redaction of information as specified by applicable Illinois statutes.
IV.Responsibilities of Other Units
  • A.Whenever a Department member receives a written request relative to Freedom of Information, they will promptly bring it to the attention of their unit commanding officer who will ensure that the request is immediately forwarded to the Director, Records Services Division.
  • B.Unit commanding officers receiving a request for a public record which has been forwarded for action by the Director, Records Services Division, or their designee, will:
    • 1.locate the requested record.
    • 2.review the requested record to determine if the record should be denied or redacted (e.g., Internal Affairs investigations, open criminal investigations, juvenile investigations), under applicable Illinois statutes prior to routing to the Director, Records Services Division, or their designee and:
      • a.prepare a To-From-Subject report stating the reason(s) the requested record, or portion thereof, cannot be released and, if possible, citing the particular exemption(s) invoked.
      • b.submit the To-From-Subject report, the record, and the routing copy of the Freedom of Information request to the Director, Records Services Division, or their designee.
    • 3.attach the routing copy of the Freedom of Information request to the record and forward it to the Director, Records Services Division, or their designee, within three (3) business days. Department members will contact the Freedom of Information Officer if more time is needed.
    • 4.in the event a requested record cannot be located, promptly forward a To-From-Subject report to the Director, Records Services Division, or their designee indicating the requested record cannot be located and referencing the Freedom of Information request number.
V.Fees
  • A.No fees shall be charged for the first 50 pages of copies in accordance with Illinois Compiled Statues 5 ILCS 140/6 (b).
  • B.Fees charged for copying public records shall be limited to the actual cost of duplication or publication. The cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt information will not be charged.
  • C.Fees may be waived by the Director, Records Services Division, if it is determined that the issuance of the record is in the public interest.
Jody P. Weis
Superintendent of Police
09-224 RDR[LBM]