The Rights of Requesters and the Responsibilities of the Waynesboro Police Department under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act
Virginia Freedom of Information Act
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located at § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and representatives of the media that broadcast or have circulation in the Commonwealth access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.
A public record is any writing or recording -- regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format -- that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.
Virginia Code § 2.2-3700 states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.
Making a Request for Records from the Waynesboro Police Department
The Waynesboro Police Department’s Responsibilities in Responding to a Request
Types of Records
The Department is generally required to release the following information relating to criminal records.
A. Criminal incident information relating to felony offenses, which shall include:
(1) A general description of the criminal activity reported;
(2) The date the alleged crime was committed;
(3) The general location where the alleged crime was committed;
(4) The identity of the investigating officer or other point of contact; and
(5) A general description of any injuries suffered or property damaged or stolen.
* This information may only be withheld when the release of the information in the judgement of the department is likely jeopardize an ongoing investigation or prosecution or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence, such information may be withheld until the above-referenced damage is no longer likely to occur from release of the information.
B. Adult arrestee photographs(Mugshots) taken during the initial intake following the arrest and as part of the routine booking procedure, except when necessary to avoid jeopardizing an investigation in felony cases until such time as the release of the photograph will no longer jeopardize the investigation.
C. Information relative to the identity of any individual, other than a juvenile, who is arrested and charged, and the status of the charge or arrest;
The following is a general description of common records held by Waynesboro Police Department:
If citizens are unsure whether the Department has the record(s) they want they may contact Captain Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-942-6675.
Commonly Used Exclusions
The Code of Virginia allows the department to withhold certain records from public disclosure. The following are common exemptions cited by the Waynesboro Police Department when it withholds records from public disclosure: