KSP and Open Records - Kentucky Press Association

Public Access to
Kentucky State Police Records
Emily Perkins
[email protected]
Basic Provisions of the Act
• Codified in KRS 61.870 to 61.884.
• Allows the general public access to records
of local, county, and state government
• “public records” includes written or electronic
documents, photographs, maps, audio or video
recordings or any other documentation created,
maintained, or possessed by a public agency.
Right to Inspection
• KRS 61.872 provides rights to any person or
organization to inspect or obtain a copy of a public
agency’s records.
• KRS 61.872(2) states that the public agency may
require written application, and that any written
application shall be hand delivered, mailed, or
sent via facsimile to the public agency.
• KRS 61.872(3)(b) states that the requesting party
must precisely describe the records sought
Agency Obligations
• KRS 61.872(5) provides that public agencies shall
respond to the request for public records within
three (3) days of the receipt of the application.
(Excluding weekends and holidays.)
• If agency records are in active use, in storage, or
otherwise not immediately available the Official
Custodian will notify the applicant and designate
the earliest date when the public record will be
Fees for Production of Records
• KRS 61.874 allows public agencies to prescribe
fees. Fees for non-commercial purposes are as
Paper documents are $.10 per page
Compact Discs or cassette tapes are $3.00 each
Photographs are $2.00 each
If records are requested in a non-standard format,
agencies may recover staff costs as well as actual costs
Records Requests for
Commercial Purposes
• Merely publishing or broadcasting news is not deemed
a “commercial purpose”.
• Public agencies may require a certified statement from
the requestor stating the commercial purpose for
which they shall be used, and may require the
requestor to enter into a contract with the agency.
• Fees for commercial purpose may include the costs to
the public agency of media, processing, and the staff
that is required to create or purchase the public
Damages for misuse of public records
• KRS 61.8745 provides that any person who
violates the subsections (2) to (6) of KRS
61.874 shall be liable to a public agency for
three (3) times the amount that would have
been charged for the public record if the
actual commercial purpose for which it was
used had been stated. Additionally the
agency is entitled to costs, attorneys fees, or
other penalties established by law.
Exemptions to the Act
• The following exemptions are specific to
law enforcement records:
– Open/pending criminal investigations are exempt
pursuant to KRS 17.150(2) and 61.878(1)(h).
• Cases remain exempt until prosecution is complete
(which includes time until which all possible
appeals are exhausted) or prosecution is declined.
• Cases include attachments that are exempt from
production while the case is open, such as 911
recordings, photographs, dispatch logs, witness
statements, etc.
Exemptions to the Act
– NCIC/LINK or centralized intelligence database
information/documents are exempt pursuant to KRS
– Accident reports are confidential records, but are
releasable to the media pursuant to KRS 189.635.
– Records pertaining to juvenile criminal offenders is
confidential pursuant to KRS 610.320(3).
– All Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons permits,
applications, and database are confidential pursuant to
KRS 237.110.
– There are other exemptions allowed by state and federal
statutes and regulations.
Common Misperceptions of the Act
• Public access to local, county, and state
agency records is governed by the
Kentucky Open Records Act codified
in KRS 61.870 to 61.884. The federal
Freedom of Information Act provisions
Common Misperceptions of the Act
• The agency is not required to produce the
actual records within three (3) days. Rather,
the act requires the agency to advise the
requester whether the records are
immediately available, whether the records
will be produced, and of the earliest
possible date of production.
Helpful Hints
• Many requests received from the media seem to assume
that the Official Custodian will be aware of the situation
surrounding the request and the records about which the
media is requesting documentation. When drafting a
request for records include in your request who, what,
when, and where, as well as the specific records that you
are seeking to obtain.
• Make sure your request contains your return contact
information, including mailing address, facsimile number,
and telephone number, and submit to the agency’s Official
Custodian of Records.
Helpful Hints
• Submit requests for accident reports,
information on recent incidents, arrest data,
etc., to the KSP Public Affairs Officer at the
Post in the area where the incident took
• Submit requests for full death or criminal
investigations, audio recordings, dispatch
logs, etc., to the KSP Official Custodian of
KSP’s Official Custodian of Records
• The Kentucky State Police has only one
Official Custodian of Records.
• Contact information is as follows:
Emily M. Perkins
KSP Headquarters
919 Versailles Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Fax: 502-573-1636

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