Special Police Oversight DCRA FOIA

This is CJP’s FOIA request to the District of Columbia Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) regarding this oversight of armed security within the District called special Police.

CJP is conducting research in to oversight of armed private security within the District of Columbia officially known as special police. These special police has an array of policing powers that allow them to arrest, search, detain, and pursue offenders off the property of the where ever they are guarding. Unfortunately for everyone involved the use of these powers by low paid and under-trained private security leads to horrific outcomes.

This request is one of three we have filed simultaneously with the District of Columbia government to pry open records and data related to their oversight of special police. For many, many years this category of private security has been able to operate without scrutiny of just how local officials charged with overseeing their actions are or are not fulfilling this role. Through our transparency efforts we will be bringing in light to how the special police are regulated for the first time in decades.

You can access our FOIA request to the DC Metropolitan Police Department here.

You can access our FOIA request to the to the DC Mayor’s office (DCMO) here.

Below is the content of our FOIA requestto the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

FOIA Content

To:     Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Re:     Special Police Certification

Pursuant DC Code Title 2, Chapter 5, Subchapter II, Freedom of Information (“FOIA”), I, Tracy Siska, along with the Chicago Justice Project (the “Project”), respectfully requests copies of the below-listed public records from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”).

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

  1. “Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, 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.

 

  1. “You” or “Your” means the {Public Body}, and all attorneys, employees, officers, directors, bureaus, offices, divisions or subdivisions of same.

 

  1. For the purposes of this letter, “Record” and/or “Records” 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

  1. For all requests submitted here please anonymize the data & records to protect the privacy of individual applicants by:

 

  1. removing names of individual applicants
  2. reducing any personal addresses to the hundred block

 

FOIA A

Please provide copies of all documents submitted by any individual or corporation seeking the commission of any individual as a special police officer under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1100.1 or D.C. Official Code §4-114 for the years 2017-2022.

 

FOIA B

Please provide copies of the all documents, including but not limited commissions for each special police officer, created or maintained by the DCRA related to the applications submitted under FOIA A of this request.

 

FOIA C

Please provide a copy of any database in delimited format the DCRA maintains to track special police officers working in District of Columbia.

FOIA D

Please provide copies of all complaints the DCRA has received regarding special police officer conduct and any records created in response, including but not limited to investigative records, to those complaints for the years 2017-2022.

FOIA E

Please provide all records related to the DCRA revoking the commission of any special police officer appointed under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1100.1 or D.C. Official Code §4-114 during the years 2017-2022.

 

FOIA F

Please provide records sufficient to show the number of individuals commissioned as special police officers under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1100.1 or D.C. Official Code §4-114 within the District of Columbia for the years 2017-2022.

 

FOIA G

Please provide records sufficient to show the number of individuals who had their commissions as special police officers renewed or revoked under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1100.1 or D.C. Official Code §4-114 within the District of Columbia suspended for the years 2017-2022.

 

FOIA H

Please provide all records submitted to the DCRA related to training special police officers under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1100.1 or D.C. Official Code §4-114 are required to undergo.

 

FOIA I

Please provide copies of the all documents, including but not limited commissions for each special police officer, created or maintained by the DCRA related to the applications submitted under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1103.3 by any individual or corporations seeking authorization to carry a firearm as a special police officer for the years 2017-2022.

 

FOIA J

Please provide all records submitted to the DCRA related the training special police officers under D.C. Municipal Regulations 6A 1103.3 are required to undergo to gain or maintain their firearm certification.

 

FOIA K

Records sufficient to show Your efforts to locate and produce the records requested in FOIA A-J above. This should include:

  1. Where you searched for responsive Records and Documents.
  2. Who searched for responsive Records and Documents.
  3. Who was requested to produce responsive Records and Documents.
  4. The identify of any Records and Documents that were located but not produced for any reason.

 

Pursuant to 1 DCMR § 408.9 of FOIA, I request that the searching and copying fees associated with these requests be waived because it would be in the public interest. The Chicago Justice Project is a non-profit organization with a focus on providing the public with transparency around justice system policies and police conduct

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  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

Sincerely,

Tracy Siska

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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