FOIA: DC Metropolitan Police Department

DCThis is our first set of requests in to the District of Columbia’s (DC) Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). These requests target big data created and maintained by the MPD through the course of their daily work.

It is beyond time that that the operations of local justice systems are opened in a manner that allows residents, stakeholders, and policymakers to understand how these agencies operate. Our transparency efforts are also aimed to prevent just agencies from weaponizing their data against under-served communities.

DC has a completely unique justice system to engage because it is bifurcated. While DC does maintain their own police department, the MPD, and their won 911 system , the Office of Unified Communications, the remaining pieces of the justice system are mostly on the federal level.

According to sources within DC government about 60% of the arrests that occur within DC are actually made by the MPD. The rest of the arrests are spread out between the US Park Police, US Capital Police, and the Metro Transit Police. The Metro Transit Police are actually funded by DC, Virginia, Maryland, and the federal government. We will be engaging each of those agencies to open their data as well in the near future.

FOIA Content

In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act, D.C. Code §2-531 et seq., I request that You provide the following public records:

FOIA A

  1. All case level crime incident data for all crime incidents within the District of Columbia (this includes Part 1 and Part II Offenses) from the earliest date records are maintained through at least November 11, 2020. This means reports migrated into the Mark43 RMS (record management system) from the legacy vendor, and all incident/offense data currently in the Mark43 RMS. This data may be de-identified to protect the identities of the victims (and, if required by local law, suspects) but should at a minimum include the following non-privileged fields and data
    1. Initial categorization of crime by the District of Columbia’s Uniform Crime Report code and/or the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report code
      1. This includes previous categorizations that are stored within the report’s history (e.g “Mark43’s report snapshot”)
    2. Any additional categorizations of incidents by the District of Columbia’s Uniform Crime Report code and/or the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report code
    3. The final or current categorization by the District of Columbia’s Uniform Crime Report code and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report code
    4. Any alleged crimes categorized as unfounded
    5. Demographic data on person filing the criminal complaint(s), including race, age and gender
    6. Demographic data on the alleged perpetrator(s), including race, age and gender
    7. Demographic data on the alleged victim(s), including race, age and gender
    8. Crime incident location data reduced to the hundred block
    9. Location of ward
    10. Longitude and latitude of incident location
    11. Zip code of incident location

FOIA B

  1. Any electronic data dictionary for the crime incident data that identifies the content of all the tables and fields related to crime incident data maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department through the Mark43 RMS.
  2. Any electronic data dictionary for or records sufficient to show the codes and definitions used by the Metropolitan Police Department to categorize all offenses according to the District of Columbia’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
  3. Any electronic data dictionary for or records sufficient to show the District of Columbia’s Uniform Crime Reporting equivalents to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting.
  • Records sufficient to show the name and producer of any software used by the Metropolitan Police Department to maintain the crime incident data, including updates and maintenance to same.

FOIA C

  1. Digital or electronic copies of public records, in their entirety, maintained by the Metropolitan Police pursuant to §113.01(a)(4) of the Code of the District of Columbia (arrest books stored in electronic format) from the earliest date records are maintained through at least September 15, 2020

FOIA D

  1. Case level arrest data in an electronic format for every arrest made by the Metropolitan Police Department from the earliest date records are maintained in electronic format through September 15, 2020. Any location data should be reduced to the hundred block. This data should include at a minimum the following:
    1. Arrest Date
    2. Central Complaint Number for incident the person is being arrested for
    3. Race
    4. Gender
    5. Age
    6. Charge(s)
    7. Charge Description(s)
    8. Statute(s)

FOIA E

  1. Any electronic data dictionary for the arrest data that identifies the content of all the tables and fields related to arrest data maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department.
  2. Records sufficient to show the name and producer of any software used the Metropolitan Police Department to maintain arrest data, including updates and maintenance.

FOIA F

  1. All electronic data related to complaints against officers received by the Internal Affairs Bureau for the years 2000-2020. Include complaints initially submitted to the MPD and complaints forwarded from the Office of Police Complaints or other departments for initial review by the MPD. This data should include at a minimum the following:
    1. the basis for the complaint
    1. the content of the complaint
    1. the identity of all officers involved
    1. the demographics of all officers involved
    1. the demographics of all complainants involved.
    1. the address of the complainants reduced to the hundred block
    1. the address of any location data included in the incident, reduced to the hundred block
  2. All electronic data related to investigations against officers performed by the Internal Affairs Bureau for the years 2000-2020.
  3. Records sufficient to show aggregate totals for the following categories related to Internal Affairs Bureau investigations for the years 2000-2020:
    • Complaints received, broken down by category
    • Closed investigations, broken down by category and outcome
    • The number of cases submitted for prosecution to the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, broken down by category
    • The number of cases accepted for prosecution by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, broken down by category
    • The number of cases accepted for prosecution by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia that resulted in a conviction, broken down by category
    • The number of cases where there was a recommendation for discipline against an officer
    • The number of cases where there was a recommendation for discipline and the officer filed a grievance seeking an arbitration hearing
    • The outcomes for all cases where the officer sought an arbitration hearing to challenge the recommended discipline, broken down by category and outcome.

FOIA G

  1. All data and documents for all complaints filed against members of the Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia from 2000-2020 received from and reviewed by the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) or another department.
  2. All data related to investigations performed by the Office of Police Complaints and submitted to the Metropolitan Police Department. This data should include at a minimum the following:
    • Results of investigations completed by the OPC broken down by category
    • OPC recommendations for discipline for each investigation and each involved officer
    • Final discipline outcome for each investigation and each involved officer

FOIA H

  1. Any data dictionary for the internal affairs data that identifies the content of all the tables and fields related to complaints filed against officers, any subsequent investigations of those complaints, outcomes of those investigations, and, if applicable, the discipline recommended and actually received by the officer(s) maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department. Include any data dictionary maintained by the Internal Affairs Bureau related to complaints, regardless of which office or department received or investigated the complaint.
  2. Records sufficient to show the name and producer of any software used by the Metropolitan Police Department to maintain data related to complaints, including updates and maintenance.

FOIA I

  1. All documents related to analyses conducted by or for the Metropolitan Police Department on staffing, resource allocation, and manpower from the earliest date records are maintained through at least September 15, 2020. The documents should at a minimum include:
    1. Analyses
    2. Studies
    3. Reports
    4. Memos
    5. Presentations (e.g. PowerPoint presentations)
    6. Spreadsheets

FOIA J

  1. Records sufficient to show aggregate totals for the following categories broken down by (i) month from 2000-2020, (ii) race and (iii) gender of the individuals:
    1. Number of officers hired by the Metropolitan Police Department
    2. Number of cadets entering the Metropolitan Police Department academy
    3. Number of cadets graduating from the Metropolitan Police Department academy
    4. Number of officers retiring from the Metropolitan Police Department
    5. Number of officers that left the employ of the Metropolitan Police Department for any reason besides retirement
  2. For every entrance exam given by the Metropolitan Police Department from 2000-2020 please detail (or provide Records sufficient to show) the following aggregate totals, including break down by race and gender of the individuals.
    1. Number of individuals that applied to take the exam
    2. Number of individuals that completed the exam
    3. Number of individuals that passed the exam
    4. Number of individuals that attempted each qualifying test, i.e. the psychological exam, POWER test, etc. and the number of individuals that both failed and passed the exam.

FOIA K

  1. Any data dictionary for the non-privileged data in records maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to D.C. Code §5-113.02.
  2. Records sufficient to show the name and producer of any software used by the Metropolitan Police Department to maintain the above records, including maintenance and updates.

FOIA L

  1. All digital data related to calls for police service and responses to calls for police services created or maintained by the Office of Unified Communications and transmitted to or maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department from the earliest date records are maintained through at least Sseptember 15, 2020. The data should at a minimum include: 
    1. Date and time of call
    2. Time call was answered
    3. Date and time event was created
    4. Date and time first unit acknowledged receipt of their dispatch/assignment.
  2. Date and time last unit cleared event
  3. Date and time event was closed
  4. Date and time of the first unit to proceed en route to their dispatch/assignment.
  5. Demographics of caller
  6. Whether the caller wishes to remain anonymous
  7. Location of call reduced to hundred block
  8. Location of ward
  9. Longitude and latitude of location of call
  10. Zip code of location of call
  11. Response times for each unit that responded to call
  12. Initial call event type(s)
  13. Every event status (or status change) for each call
  14. Final call event type(s)
  15. Final disposition assigned to the event
  16. Final response level
  17. Initial disposition
  18. Initial priority
  19. Initial response level
  20. On scene data and time of first unit to arrive
  21. Nature of call
  22. Corresponding police report number(s)
  23. Whether the call was flagged as a duplicate

FOIA M

  1. Any elecctronic data dictionary for the non-privileged data in records maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department related to calls for police services and responses.
  2. Records sufficient to define the codes and description of codes used by the Office of Unified Communications and maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department to categorize the nature and event type of calls received, frequently referred as “Call for Service (CFS) Types”.
  3. Records sufficient to reveal the name(s) and producer(s) of any software used by the Metropolitan Police Department to maintain data related to calls for police services and responses, including maintenance and updates.

FEE WAIVER

The purpose of the FOIA requests listed above is to increase the transparency of the Metropolitan Police Department’s activities for the benefit the general public by making the raw data available in addition to the reports currently made available by the department. Due to the public benefit arising from these FOIA requests, I respectfully request a fee waiver or fee reduction for the costs associated with searching, reviewing, or copying the requested documents.

DEFINITIONS

“Any,” “all,” “any/all,” “any or all,” “any and all,” “and,” “or,” and “and/or” are always to be interpreted inclusively to the greatest extent legally permitted.

“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, video recordings, sound recordings, images, databases, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

“You” or “Your” means the Metropolitan Police Department andany or all employees, officers, directors, bureaus, offices, agents, divisions or subdivisions of the Department.

INSTRUCTIONS

The requests above seek only non-privileged data. Please provide all non-privilieged tables and fields related to the above requests as the “at a minimum” lists above are intended as a starting point for specificity, but are not exhaustive.

Where available, please provide the requested data, in order of preference, in comma delimited format, comma separated format, or other format common for databases. If necessary, a portable hard drive can be provided for the data. In order to ensure compatible format and minizime exportation burden, I am willing to meet and confer before the data is transmitted.

If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

a)         The type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

b)         General subject matter of the Document;

c)         The date of the Document;

d)         Such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

e)         The nature of the privilege or protection;

f)         If applicable, the litigation or trial of which the document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

a)         Date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

b)         Manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

c)         Reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

d)         Persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

e)         Persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

f)         Persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within fifteen working days, as required by D.C. Code §2-532(c)(1).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email. I can be reached at tsiska@chicagojustice.org.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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