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Citation:
1996 OK AG 9
Date Decided:
June 27, 1996
Attorney General:
W. A. DREW EDMONDSON
Opinion By:
JAMES ROBERT JOHNSON
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1996 OK AG 9

FOIBible Summary:

  • Records of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad, as they are a law enforcement agency, are subject to release under the ORA, except those that are to remain confidential under 51 O.S. § 24A.8.

Question Submitted by: The Honorable Charles Key, Oklahoma House of Representatives, District 90
1996 OK AG 9

Decided: 06/27/1996
Oklahoma Attorney General


Cite as: 1996 OK AG 9, __ __


¶0 This office has received you request for an Attorney General opinion in which you asked, in effect:
What records maintained by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad are subject to release pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act?

¶1 The Oklahoma Open Records Act, 51 O.S. 24A.1 to 51 O.S. 24A.22 (1991-1995), provides a specific provision for the release of law enforcement agency records, to-wit:

 

A. Law enforcement agencies shall make available for public inspection, if kept, the following records:

 

1. An arrestee description, including the name, date of birth, address, race, sex, physical description, and occupation of the arrestee;

2. Facts concerning the arrest, including the cause of arrest and the name of the arresting officer;

3. Conviction information, including the name of any person convicted of a criminal offense;

4. Disposition of all warrants, including orders signed by a judge of any court commanding a law enforcement officer to arrest a particular person;

5. A chronological list of incidents, including initial offense report information showing the offense, date, time, general location, officer and a brief summary of what occurred;

6. A crime summary, including a departmental summary of crimes reported and public calls for service by classification or nature and number;

7. Radio logs, including a chronological listing of the calls dispatched; and

8. Jail registers, including jail blotter data or jail booking information recorded on persons at the time of incar ceration showing the name of each prisoner with the date and cause of his commitment, the authority com mitting him, whether committed for a criminal offense, a description of the person, and the date or manner of his discharge or escape.

 

B. Except for the records listed in subsection A of this section and those made open by other state or local laws, law enforcement agencies may deny access to law enforcement records except where a court finds that the public interest or the interest of an individual outweighs the reason for denial.

C. Nothing contained in this section imposes any new record keeping requirements. Law enforcement records shall be kept for as long as is now or may hereafter be specified by law. Absent a legal requirement for the keeping of a law enforce ment record for a specific time period, law enforcement agencies shall maintain their records for so long as needed for administrative purposes.

 

51 O.S. 24A.8 (1991).

¶2 The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department is a law enforcement agency for the purposes of Section 51 O.S. 24A.8. 51 O.S. 24A.3(5) (1995). In general, the Open Records Act provides that records of a public body shall be subject to public review and copying unless protected by a privilege of confidentiality. 51 O.S. 24A.2 (1991); 51 O.S. 24A.5 (1995). By the plain language of Section 51 O.S. 24A.8(A), only the specific records identified, if kept, or records which are made public records by other statutes must be made available to the public. Other records may be kept confidential unless “a court finds that the public interest or the interest of an individual outweighs the reason for denial.” 51 O.S. 24A.8(B) (1995).

¶3 Thus, only those records of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad which fall under the provisions of 51 O.S. 24A.8(A) are subject to release under the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

¶4 It is, therefore, the Opinion of the Attorney General that:
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad is a law enforcement agency pursuant to the Open Records Act. 51 O.S. 24A.3(5) (1995).
Records of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad are confidential except as provided by the Open Records Act. 51 O.S. 24A.8 (1991).
Records of the Oklahoma County Bomb Squad which are subject to release include:
1. An arrestee description, including the name, date of birth, address, race, sex, physical description, and occupation of the arrestee;
2. Facts concerning the arrest, including the cause of arrest and the name of the arresting officer;
3. Conviction information, including the name of any person convicted of a criminal offense;
4. Disposition of all warrants, including orders signed by a judge of any court commanding a law enforcement officer to arrest a particular person;
5. A chronological list of incidents, including initial offense report information showing the offense, date, time, general location, officer and a brief summary of what occurred;
6. A crime summary, including a departmental summary of crimes reported and public calls for service by classification or nature and number;
7. Radio logs, including a chronological listing of the calls dispatched; and
8. Jail registers, including jail blotter data or jail booking information recorded on persons at the time of incarceration showing the name of each prisoner with the date and cause of his commitment, the authority committing him, whether committed for a criminal offense, a description of the person, and the date or manner of discharge or escape.

W. A. DREW EDMONDSON
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA
JAMES ROBERT JOHNSON
ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

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