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Final Decision FIC2012-345
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Robert Cushman,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2012-345
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Enfield; and Police Department,
Town of Enfield,
     Respondents
March 13, 2013

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 19, 2012, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, this matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2012-373, Robert A. Cushman v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Enfield; and Police Department, Town of Enfield.
     After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
     1.  The respondents are public agencies, within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.
     2.  It is found that, by letter dated June 15, 2012, the complainant made a request to the respondents for a copy of all records, reports, audio, video and digital recordings and photographs related to a motor vehicle stop of David O’Brien and subsequent meeting at the police department between Mr. O’Brien and the respondents.
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated June 20, 2012, the respondents informed the complainant that his request had been received and was being reviewed, and that they would contact him once the records had been compiled.
     4.  By email dated June 26, 2012 and filed June 27, 2012, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by failing to comply “promptly or otherwise” with the request for records described in paragraph 2, above. 
     5.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:
          “Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
     6.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
          Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 
     7.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
     8.  It is found that the records, described in paragraph 2, above, are public records, within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
     9.  It is found that, via email dated August 1, 2012, the respondents notified the complainant that copies of the records he requested were available at a cost of $119.00, and would be sent to him once payment was received.  It is found that the complainant received such records from the respondents.
     10. At the hearing in this matter, the complainant claimed that the respondents withheld certain records, or portions thereof, responsive to the request, described in paragraph 2, above.   Specifically, the complainant stated that a portion of the video and audio taken by the dashboard camera of the police car, used in the motor vehicle stop, was not provided to him.  In addition, the complainant stated that he had not received a copy of the audio of certain telephone calls made to the police station, or a copy of the video and audio of Mr. O’Brien’s filing of a complaint at the police station. 
     11. It is found that the entirety of the traffic stop was not recorded by the respondents, either because the officer did not record the entire traffic stop, or because the police car used in the traffic stop had the older in-car camera system installed in it, which is not as reliable as the newer system also being used by the respondents.  At the hearing in this matter, the deputy police chief testified, however, that the entirety of the video that was recorded by the dashboard video camera was provided to the complainant. 
     12. With regard to records of telephone calls and video and audio of Mr. O’Brien at the police station, described in paragraph 10, above, it is found that no such records exist.
     13. Based upon the testimony provided by the respondents at the hearing, which is found to be credible, it is found that the respondents provided the complainant with all records they maintain that are responsive to the request, described in paragraph 2, above.
     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
     1.  The complaint is dismissed.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 13, 2013.
__________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Robert Cushman
705 North Mountain Road
Newington, CT  06111
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Enfield; and Police Department,
Town of Enfield
c/o Kevin M. Deneen, Esq.
Town Attorney
Town Hall
820 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT  06082
and
Maria N. Elsden, Esq.
Sr. Assistant Town Attorney
Town Hall
820 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT  06082
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2012-345/FD/cac/3/13/2013