Police (probably not?) breaking the law (Updated)
UPDATE: I may be wrong, and I’m not afraid to say so. This blog went through the chain of command mighty quick and City Manager Eric Holmes contacted me and the entire city council to let them know that the city responded to my initial request on Aug. 17.
He enclosed a copy of the letter that was emailed to me, saying it would take the city 60 days to get me the recruitment and job posting info I asked for.
Which to be fair, sounds much more like them than ignoring me.
BUT, a search of my email inbox doesn’t show that I got it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t accidentally delete it, or that it didn’t get caught in our spam filter somehow.
So it’s very possible that this is just a miscommunication. But I will point out that when I mentioned that I hadn’t received a response (even if I had), and sent the second request, there was no follow through to resend their response. That’s not breaking the law though.
Don’t worry – it’s not murder or even a DUII. But the Vancouver Police Department has ignored a public records request that I’ve sent twice now since Aug. 15.
Under Washington law, public agencies have five days to respond to records requests, at which point they tell you how long they think it will take to get the information, or if they can even legally release that information.
What I wanted was simple, and I sent it to Spokeswoman Kim Kapp on Aug. 15: “I’d like to request the wording for all job advertisements posted for the Vancouver Police Department in 2010 and this year, along with a breakdown of costs spent on recruitment, background checks and other related hiring/interview costs for that time period?”
So when I saw Kapp early this month on an unrelated story, I mentioned I hadn’t heard word one in three weeks.
Kapp said she has to forward those types of requests to Human Resources. So I sent it again on Sept. 7.
I still haven’t heard anything.
City of Vancouver — you’re on notice. You’re breakin’ the law.