What is the Public Records Act?
The California Legislature has ensured the fundamental and necessary right of every person in the State to access information concerning the conduct of the people's business. The California Public Records Act (PRA), Government Code Sections 6250 to 6270, with specific exemptions for certain records, requires government agencies to make public records available for inspection by the public and to provide copies upon request. The Redondo Beach Police Department has established the following guidelines to ensure that all persons understand and are afforded the opportunity to use their right to access public records.
What are public records?
Public records include any writing and communications related to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by the Redondo Beach Police Department regardless of its physical forms or characteristics. Records may include documents, transmitting by electronic mail, facsimile and other means of recording including words, pictures, sounds, symbols or any combination of these. This may include police incident information such as the time and circumstances of calls to the police; the name, city of residence, charges, hearing dates and bail amounts of an arrestee (except when disclosure would endanger an investigation.)
Why should I complete a Public Records Act Request form?
While a written request is not required, the Request for Reports/Records form will help the police department to determine if the records exist in city files. It will also allow you to determine if these records are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act or for other legal reasons that would prevent the documents/materials from being disclosed to the public.
How can I be sure to receive the records that I want?
The Redondo Beach Police Department prefers that all Public Records Act (PRA) requests are in writing so that we can identify the records you seek more accurately. Please include the following information in your request, so that we may respond to your request in a timely manner:
Do I need to show identification to make a public records request from the police department?
When may I inspect public records at the police department?
Public records are open to inspection during office hours, generally between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Advanced notice is not required to inspect public records; however, due to reduced staffing in the Records Unit, a review may be delayed depending on adequate staff to assist you while maintaining other essential services to the public. It is advisable that any person who wishes to inspect records should contact the Records Manager prior to a planned request to assure that the records and staff are available to avoid delays. A requester may have to schedule an appointment if the records must be found and reviewed, or if redaction of confidential information is necessary.
The Public Records Act, Government Code 6253, requires the prompt response to requests for access to records, usually within ten days of the request.
Yes, under certain conditions. The Police Department will may provide an electronic public record in an electronic format in which it retains its information or in one that is used by the department to create copies for its own use or provision to other agencies.