Right to Know

SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW REQUEST POLICY

It is the policy of the South Whitehall Township Police Department to provide public records in accordance with the Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. ~~ 67.101 et seq., as amended (the “Law”). This policy outlines the proper procedures for requesting records from the South Whitehall Township Police Department. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Right-to­Know Officer for the South Whitehall Township Police Department:

John T. Christman, Chief of Police, South Whitehall Township Police Department (610) 398-0337

Requests:

To download a copy of the Right-to-Know request form for the Police Department, please click on the following link.

SWTPD Right to Know Form

Police Department open records requests shall be in writing, signed by the requestor, and directed to the Chief of Police at the South Whitehall Township Police Department at 4444 Walbert Avenue, Allentown, PA 18104. Written requests shall include the date of the request, the name and address of the requester, and a clear description of the records sought.

Open records requests may be submitted by e-mail (PDRTK@swtpd.org), mail, facsimile 610-391-9471, or in person during normal. business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the exception of holidays and official office closings. The requests shall include a name and address to which the Police Department should address its response. The Police Department will not accept oral or anonymous requests for records.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Under the Right-To-Know Law, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS (i.e. Incident reports and police reports) are exempted from the definition of a “public record.” Therefore, any such request may be denied.

Fees:
Copies – .25 cents per page
Certification of a Record – $ 1.00 per record
Notary Fees – Actual Cost
Specialized Documents (blueprints, color copies, non-standard sized documents) – Actual Cost
Postage Fees – Actual Cost of Mailing
Accident Reports – $10.00 (Accident reports will be furnished to any person involved in the accident, his attorney, or his insurer and to the Federal Government, the registered owner,
branches of the military service, Commonwealth Agencies, and to officials of political subdivisions and to agencies of other states and nations and their political subdivisions).

The Police Department shall require pre-payment if the total fees are estimated to exceed $ 100.00 (One Hundred dollars).

Responses:
The Chief of Police shall review all written requests for access to public records. As soon as possible, but no later than five (5) business days after receiving a written request to access public records, the Chief of Police shall respond to all such requests in a manner consistent with the Law.

Criminal history information is not accessible under the Law, but may be obtained through the submission of a Request for Criminal Record Check, Form SP 4-164, which is available on the Pennsylvania State Police website (www.psp.state.pa.us). All such requests will be referred to the Pennsylvania State Police. The South Whitehall Township Police Department does not possess or retain investigative or administrative information for other state or local agencies. Therefore, such requests will be denied.

Police Department employees shall cooperate with those requesting records to review and/or duplicate original Police Department documents while taking reasonable measures to protect police Department documents from the possibility of theft and/or modification. All personal information, such as dates of birth and/or social security numbers for all persons mentioned in any record, shall be redacted by the Police Department to help eliminate the possibility of identity theft.

Appeals:
If a written request is denied or deemed denied, the requester my file exceptions within fifteen (15)business days of the mailing date of the response or with fifteen (15) days of a deemed denial. Appeals should be made to the following:

Denial of Criminal Records:
Lehigh County District Attorney’s Open Records Appeals Officer
Lehigh County Courthouse
455 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101-1614

Denial of all other Records:
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225