The Oakland Police Department will revise its policies to respond to people who request information on crimes and arrests after a statewide audit found the department was not obeying state public records law, reports the Contra Costa (CA) Times. The department began to make changes after a Jan. 12 story in the Times revealed the department’s failure to provide requested crime and arrest reports.
Oakland’s police department was one of more than 200 California law enforcement agencies audited on Dec. 4 by journalists making requests as ordinary members of the public. The journalists asked to see crime and arrest data and other records that the law makes available upon request. Oakland and other agencies receiving failing grades. In Oakland, the requester waited in line at the records department for 45 minutes and was never able to make his request to view the records. All Oakland patrol desk officers will be trained in the California Public Records Act, and a binder with the instructions will be stored at the patrol desk.