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California Senate Bill 1421 (SB-1421), which became law on January 1, 2019, amends California Penal Code sections 832.7 and 832.8 relating to peace officer records. SB-1421 requires certain peace officer personnel records and records relating to specified incidents, complaints, and investigations involving peace officers to be made available for public inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is fully committed to complying with the new law. Because the law is complex, we want you to know a few important points. If you want to read the law in its entirety, click here.
California Penal Code section 832.7(b) applies to records relating to:
"Sustained" means a final determination by the agency, following an investigation and opportunity for an administrative appeal, that the actions of the peace officer were found to violate department policy.
California Penal Code section 832.7(b) mandates the redaction of the following information:
(A) To remove personal data or information, such as a home address, telephone number, or identities of family members, other than the names and work-related information of peace and custodial officers.
(B) To preserve the anonymity of complainants and witnesses.
(C) To protect confidential medical, financial, or other information of which disclosure is specifically prohibited by federal law or would cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy that clearly outweighs the strong public interest in records about misconduct and serious use of force by peace officers and custodial officers.
(D) Where there is a specific, articulable, and particularized reason to believe that disclosure of the record would pose a significant danger to the physical safety of the peace officer, custodial officer, or another person.
Additionally, if an investigation or incident involves multiple officers, information about allegations of misconduct by, or the analysis or disposition of an investigation of, an officer must be redacted unless it relates to a sustained finding against that officer.The record(s) you receive from the Sheriff’s Office will be redacted, pursuant to the Penal Code. It is important to note that all parts of the record must be reviewed and redacted prior to disclosure including paper documents, photographs, and audio and video files. The Sheriff’s Office does not presently maintain these records with the redactions mandated by the new law.
Yes. An agency may redact a record to remove personal identifying information, where, on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by not disclosing the information clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the information.
Yes. An agency may withhold the record of an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer against a person resulted in death, or in great bodily injury that is the subject of an active criminal or administrative investigation. Cal. Pen. Code section 832.7(b)(7).
In order to calculate the total number of hours estimated to complete your request, the Sheriff’s Office must first identify all incidents responsive to your request and review the amount of material related to each incident. The Office is actively looking for additional advanced technology to expedite the redaction process and is open to suggestions from the media and the public regarding such a solution.The Sheriff’s Office receives many public records requests every day. Employees tasked with responding to these CPRA requests must do so while still completing their day to day responsibilities.
Once the redaction work is completed, the redacted record/s will be posted on-line and released to the requester via the County’s NextRequest Public Records Portal.
Senate Bill 978 requires law enforcement agencies to "conspicuously post on their Internet Web sites" all "current standards, policies, practices, operating procedures, and education and training materials" that would otherwise be available to the public if a request was made pursuant to the California Public Records Act (PRA).
California Assembly Bill 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval of the applicable governing body (Board of Supervisors), by adoption of a military equipment use policy prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment as defined by the legislature.
Responsive audio/video records are being released on a rolling basis as they are reviewed and redacted to a dedicated page on our transparency portal. You are encouraged to visit this site often as it will be updated on a rolling basis as additional information becomes available.
There are different ways to request a record held by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office depending on the type of record you are seeking. Read the categories below to find out which is right for you.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has an established process for requesting copies of cases, police reports, and other information gathered during a law enforcement investigation entitled to specific individuals as defined in California Government Code § 6254(f): the victims of an incident, or an authorized representative thereof, an insurance carrier against which a claim has been or might be made, and any person suffering bodily injury or property damage or loss as a result of the below listed crimes. Additionally, autopsy and toxicology reports may be requested by any member of the public utilizing this records request process.
If you meet the above criteria, please use our online Records Request Form or download the PDF version of this form and return to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Main Station or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following completion of this form, your request will be processed by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Records Division within 7 to 10 business days. You will be notified when records are available for pick up. All fees are due at the time of pick up.
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All requests for general records in the possession of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (ex. emails, training policies, contracts, statistics) should be directed to the Sheriff's Office by making a California Public Records Request. It is preferred but not required that such requests be submitted via the County's website, or in writing and forwarded by regular mail, email, fax, or hand-delivery and state that the request is being made pursuant to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Telephonic and in-person verbal requests will be accepted only during regular county office business hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and should be directed to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.
Requests for records should be as specific as possible so as to clearly define or identify the exact records to which access is sought. In most cases, the county will provide electronic copies or photocopies of the requested records to the requesting party. In some cases depending on the volume or nature of the records, arrangements will be made for supervised access to the requested records.
The following reports and associated fees are available to release to crime victims, a victim's authorized representative, and/or an insurance carrier:
The following reports and associated fees are available to release to all members of the public upon request:
For California Public Records Act Requests, there may be a fee associated with the production of records in accordance with law and the county's adopted fee schedule. If fees are applicable, you will be advised of those fees prior to the production of records.