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Open Records

by Jan Christensen

Suppose you need a copy of a police report–perhaps about a car accident or break in. How would you go about getting it? It’s a fairly simple and painless procedure. The Open Records division is housed on the second floor of the new 3rd District Station at 2333 N. 49th St. If you enter the front door, signs direct you to the elevator, which takes you directly to the Open Records office. There are two service desks, one for accident reports, the other for all other records. If you have the number assigned to the report by the police, that makes the search easier, but records can be traced using date, address, and individuals involved. The people in the office are friendly and helpful, but it’s important to remember that they can only search for records, and can’t give you what’s not there. There is a fee for copies–25 cents per page. If there is no record of the incident on file, you may have to go back to the officers who were initially involved with the incident. They gave you a card with their names and phone numbers when the incident was first investigated. It is within your rights to inquire as to the status of your incident. Often the officers you need to talk to are out in the community, doing their jobs, so you may need to talk to their supervisor. Be sure to give the information clearly and completely. If no report has been issued, find out when you can expect it to be issued. Tell them you will call back within a certain time frame–three days, a week–to check on the status of the report. We live in a big city, and our police have a big job to do. However, a wise man once said, “I must know your needs before I can serve you.” We can help the police serve us better by letting them know our needs. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 11 – December 2002
by Jan Christensen