MOUNT VERNON POLICE DEPARTMENT RECORDS OFFICE AND RECORDS REQUESTS



Records Office
One of my primary responsibilities as Chief of Police is to promote accountability from those who serve the citizens of Mount Vernon.
My office fulfills this duty, in part, by empowering citizens through the use of a powerful tool: public records. I fully support government transparency and the right to have access to the policies, records, and other data collected and maintained by the Mount Vernon Police Department through the Department’s Records Office.
The mission of the Records Office is to provide access to public records retained by the Mount Vernon Police Department in accordance with law and Department policies and procedures, provide records to citizens, media, law enforcement, governmental agencies, and other entities and maintain records within the control of the Department in accordance with the approved record retention schedule.
Openness leads to a better-informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy. It is the mission and intent of the Mount Vernon Police Department to at all times fully comply with and abide by both the spirit and the letter of Ohio’s Public Records Act.

What is a “Record” vs a “Public Record”
A “record” is defined to include the following: A document in any format – paper, audio, video or other electronic means- that is created, received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of the Mount Vernon Police Department that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. This includes accident and offense reports.
A “public record” is a “record” that is being kept by this office at the time a records request is made that is subject to release. Some records are subject to applicable exemptions from disclosure under Ohio or federal law.

RESPONSE TIMEFRAME
Public records are to be available for inspection during regular business hours. Public records will be made available for inspection promptly. Copies of public records will be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” must consider the volume of records requested, the proximity or the location where the records are stored, the necessity for any legal review and redaction, and other facts and circumstances of the records requested. Some records may be subject to minimal fees associated with producing the required request.

REQUESTING PUBLIC RECORDS
Public records requests may be made over the phone, in person or through regular mail and email.
It is not required by law to provide identifying information when making a public records request, but it can be helpful when there is a need to clarify a request or to communicate that documents are ready to be picked up.
Please be as specific as possible when making your request. Include names, dates, addresses and any qualifying information to help us pinpoint the requested records.

Records requests can be made through the Mount Vernon Police Department’s Records Office during the following times and in the listed manners:
By phone: Weekdays 8 am to 3:30 pm (740) 393-9532
In person: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In writing to: Mount Vernon Police Department/ Records

5 North Gay Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050 By email: policerecords@mountvernonohio.org
For more information on public records and open meeting rules, please refer to the Ohio Sunshine Laws Manual available at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/sunshine.