Open Records Act

For questions or concerns call (918) 596-1384

How do I request a record under the Oklahoma Open Records Act?

Complete this form and submitt it to the office of the Chief of Police.

The Records Section of the Information and Technical Services Division operates under procedures that are in compliance with Title 51 of the Oklahoma State Statutes, Subsection 24, also known as the Oklahoma Open Records Act. This statute details which records law enforcement agencies shall make available for public inspection, if kept. Mayor's Executive Order 95-04, issued by Mayor Susan Savage, states that all departments within the City of Tulsa will comply with the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

The Open Records Act states that law enforcement agencies shall make available:

  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 his person, and the date or manner of his discharge or escape.

The Oklahoma Open Records also states, in paragraph B of Subsection 24:

"Except for the records listed in subsection A (above) 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."

Mayor's Executive Order 95-4 states: "Record production requests must be precise enough to identify with reasonable certainty exactly what document is requested. Generalized or blanket requests will not be honored."

Arrestee information and facts concerning the arrest can be found on the Arrest and Booking Data Sheet. In order to obtain this information, the requestor must provide the name of the individual arrested and an approximate date of arrest (within a few days of the actual date of arrest).

The Records Section does not consistently maintain conviction information. The most up-to-date and accurate source for conviction information is the court of record. In Tulsa County conviction information for state felonies and misdemeanors can be obtained from the Tulsa County District Court Clerks' Office. Conviction information on municipal misdemeanors can be obtained from the City of Tulsa Municipal Court Clerk's Office.

The disposition of warrants can be obtained through the court issuing the warrant. Copies of outstanding warrants can be obtained through the Records Section, however, because they are on file in a physically separate location, they can only be produced after a 24-hour delay.

A chronological list of incidents does not exist in written form. Records personnel are able to search a computer database by name or location to locate a specific report. Generalized requests for information, such as the number of drunk driving arrests, the number of accidents at an intersection, or the number of burglaries in a geographic area can only be obtained by running a search of the computer database. Requests of this nature should be directed in writing to the Chief of Police. The requestor will have to pay a research fee to obtain this information.

The department prepares a monthly report listing a summary of crimes reported by crime type. This report also contains summary information about the number of people arrested by crime type. This information can be obtained from the Records Section.

Radio logs are maintained by Public Safety Communications, a separate department within the City of Tulsa.

The Records Section maintains a copy of the jail blotter for thirty (30) days. Older copies of the jail blotter can be obtained from the City of Tulsa Municipal Court Clerks Office.

FEES

The fees charged for report copies are authorized by either the Oklahoma Open Records Act, the Mayor's Executive Order, or City Ordinance. City ordinance 19224 authorizes the Tulsa Police Department to charge a fee of $3.00 for a copy of a police report of ten pages or less. It also authorizes a fee of $1.00 a page for each page over ten pages. This city ordinance states that an individual identified as the victim of a criminal offense in the police report, or a pedestrian, an occupant, or an owner whose property was directly involved in a traffic collision report may receive one free copy of the report. The Mayors Executive Order lists fees for documents not listed specifically on the ordinance. This fee is $.25 per page for a copy. Other charges are authorized by the Mayor which are the costs to reproduce items such as pictures, video tapes, or computer programs.

JUVENILE INFORMATION

Title 10, Chapter 73 of the Oklahoma State Statutes is known as the Oklahoma Juvenile Code. Paragraph A states: "Except as provided by this section or as otherwise specifically provided by state or federal laws, the following juvenile records are confidential and shall not be open to the general public, inspected, or their contents disclosed." The list of confidential records includes law enforcement records. Therefore, the Records Section is unable to release any record on a juvenile, including arrest records or reports in which the victim was a juvenile. These records cannot be released to the juvenile or his parents or guardian. Title 10 does specifically state that records of traffic violations are not considered confidential.

SUBPOENAS

All subpoenas should be addressed to the Chief of Police/Keeper of Records. They can be delivered to the Records Section. Each subpoena received will be reviewed by an officer designated by the Chief of Police. The department does have the right to contest a subpoena if it feels releasing the information requested would be a violation of state or federal law. After a subpoena has been reviewed and approved by the designated officer, it will be forwarded to the subpoena clerk who will obtain the subpoenaed materials. The subpoena clerk will then contact the individual requesting the subpoenaed materials.

RECORD REVIEWS

Any individual has the right to view any records we maintain on them; however, they can only view their own records. No one except a law enforcement officer can view another persons criminal arrest record. A supervisor will review the record with the individual. The individual has the right to purchase a copy of any documents in their record; however, we do not provide the subject with a computer printout of their record.

If a person states that their record is incorrect, we conduct an investigation that usually includes taking the person's fingerprints and comparing them against the fingerprint on the arrest report. If there is not a fingerprint on the arrest we will look at mug shots or compare physical descriptions. If we find errors, we make corrections and notify all law enforcement agencies to which we have contributed information, such as the Tulsa County District Court Clerk's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the City Prosecutor, the O.S.B.I., and the Department of Public Safety.

VISA LETTERS

The Records Section also provides criminal background letters for international travel. These are known as "visa" letters. We will take requests for visa letters by phone, mail, fax, or in person. If someone appears in person, it can be the individual themselves, a family member, or someone else they have sent such as a secretary. If the subject does not have a criminal record, we can mail the visa letter back to the individual or hand it to whoever presents the request in person. If the subject does have a criminal record, we can only hand the visa letter back to the individual the letter is on. If that person is not present to accept the letter, then we can only mail the visa letter to the embassy from which the visa is being requested.

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