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St. Bernard Police Department
4200 Vine Street
St. Bernard, OH 45217

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Public Records Request


What are a person’s rights and a public office’s responsibilities under this Act?
Prompt inspection of public records
Upon request, copies of public records will be provided within a reasonable amount of time.
Upon request, receiving copies of records by mail.
Receiving copies in the medium specified, so long as it is available in the public office’s normal     business operations. 
Public Records and records retention schedules are outlined in O.R.C. 149.43 (Ohio Public Records Act). This topic is also discussed in detail in the Ohio Sunshine Laws, which is updated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office 
How do Citizens get a copy of a public record from the Police Department? 
The Department Clerk and Dispatcher at St. Bernard Police Department, work Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM with the exception of holidays.  During those hours, you can request a copy of a public record from them in several ways: telephone us at 242-2727, send a letter, email us at, or just stop in the St. Bernard Police Department between those hours to make a request. 
To process your request, the clerk will need some information from you: date, type of records request (I.e. Police Incident Report, Accident Report etc.), type of medium, reason for request etc. The Clerk will then locate your record, and copy it for you.

What are the costs? 
Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies. The charge for paper copies is 5 cents per page. The charge for downloaded computer files to a compact disc is $1 per disc. There is no charge for documents e-mailed. Requesters may ask that documents be mailed to them. They will be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies. If a photo or tape or other medium is requested we will charge whatever our actual costs are for those items and nothing more.
How long does this process take?  
Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested. .
Each request should be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records. Routine requests for records should be satisfied immediately if feasible to do so. Routine requests include, but are not limited to, meeting minutes (both in draft and final form), budgets, salary information, forms and applications, CPR and Run Tracker reports, etc. If fewer than 20 pages of copies are requested or if the records are readily available in an electronic format that can be e-mailed or downloaded easily, these should be made as quickly as the equipment allows.
All requests for public records must either be satisfied or be acknowledged in writing by the St. Bernard Police Department within three business days following the office’s receipt of the request. If a request is deemed significantly beyond “routine,” such as seeking a voluminous number of copies or requiring extensive research, the acknowledgement must include the following: An estimated number of business days it will take to satisfy the request. An estimated cost if copies are requested. Any items within the request that may be exempt from disclosure.
If citizens have any questions please direct them to your supervisor. Remember we are custodians of the public’s records. This policy will be posted in the lobby and on our Department website to educate the public on how to go about public records requests.

Are there public records that are exempt from a public records request? 
Yes, some items are specifically listed as exemptions from the Public Records Act. These include the following:
Catch All Exception (Confidential Records) I.e. Attorney-client privileged information, Child Abuse Reports, Student education records, “Judicial Mental Process”, Peace Officers Home Addresses, Ohio Ethics Commission Proceedings, Taxpayer records, Estate Tax Returns, Federal Tax Returns, Criminal Backgrounds, Records that have been sealed pursuant to court order, Trade Secrets, Social Security Numbers, Mediation Communications etc.      
Medical Records
Trial Preparation Records
Confidential Law Enforcement Investigatory Records
Other Exceptions (Abortion records, Adoption Records, Putative Father Records, Civil Rights Commission Records, DNA Database Records, Rehabilitation and Correction Youth Services Records, Intellectual Property Records, Donor Profile Records, Department of Human Services Records, Peace Officer Information, County Hospital’s Trade Secrets etc.
Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. If there are redactions, each redaction must be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority. 
What about requests for e-mail records? 
Documents in electronic mail format are records as defined by the Ohio Revised Code when their content relates to the business of the office. E-mail is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules. Records in private e-mail accounts used to conduct public business are subject to disclosure, and all employees or representatives of this office are instructed to retain their e-mails that relate to public business (see Section 1 Public Records) and to copy them to their business e-mail accounts and/or to the office’s records custodian. The records custodian is to treat the e-mails from private accounts as records of the public office, filing them in the appropriate way, retaining them per established schedules and making them available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Public Records Act. 
What are the consequences of failure to respond to a public records request? 
The St. Bernard Police Department recognizes the legal and non-legal consequences of failure to properly respond to a public records request.  In addition to the distrust in government that failure to commonly may cause, the St. Bernard Police Department’s failure to comply with a request may result in a court ordering the St. Bernard Police Department to comply with the law and to pay the requester attorney’s fees and damages.