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Open Government and FOIA - MPDC

Open Government Material

The District is committed to a transparent, open form of government. District agency websites are required to make certain records available online to the public, if those records exist. In cases where these records exist but are not yet available online, agencies are working to provide them as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Officer.

The Metropolitan Police Department, and all District of Columbia Government agencies, are governed by District of Columbia Official Code § 2-531 et seq. Requesting parties are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content of the law. 

Under District of Columbia Official Code § 2-536, certain information is made available to the public via the internet, including the list and salaries of current employees (PDF) and the policies and procedures that govern the agency’s operations. The MPD has gathered many of its commonly-requested documents in one place -- the MPD Public Documents Reading Room. To view these documents click on the link below.

Furthermore, requesting parties are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the exemptions provided for in District of Columbia Official Code § 2-534. Specifically, FOIA requests for personal information about members, to include disciplinary records, and information about ongoing investigations, are exempt from public disclosure. Requesting parties that are unsure if their request falls into one of the exempt categories are encouraged to call the FOIA Officer for clarification prior to formally submitting their request.

Additional documents a citizen can request (these do not require a FOIA request):

Common request How to obtain it
Police Reports and Accident Reports
The MPD provides basic crime report information through CRIMEMAP.DC.GOV.
 
However, Individuals interested in obtaining copies of police reports (PD-251) or accident reports (PD-10) may make the request directly in person or by US Mail to:
 
Metropolitan Police Department
Records Branch
Public Documents Section
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 3075
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-4357
Fax: (202) 727-4464
 
Get more information on how to obtain reports from Public Documents here.
 
Criminal Record Checks (Police Clearances)
Requests for criminal record checks (police clearances) should be made to the Criminal History Section in person or by US Mail to the address below. Requests must be made via a Criminal History Request (PD-70), accompanied by a notarized letter from the person to which the inquiry pertains.
 
Metropolitan Police Department
Records Branch
Criminal History Section
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 3055
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-4245
Fax: (202) 727-4464
 
 
Get the details on requesting police clearances from the Criminal History Section.
Crime Data and Statistics via Online Tools

CRIMEMAP.DC.GOV
The advanced features on MPD’s crime mapping application can provide a substantial amount of information on incidents that have been reported in the District of Columbia, including: Advisory Neighborhood Commissions; Block (block address provided, but specific addresses are not available); Criminal Complaint Number; District; Method; Offense; PSA; Report Date; and Shift.

MPD Policies and Procedures
In order to comply with DC Official Code § 2-536 (2001), the MPD has posted online the written directives that include Statements of Policy and Interpretations of Policy approved for release. 
Employee Information
Under District of Columbia Official Code § 2-536, certain information is made available to the public via the internet, including the list and salaries of current employees.

Submit a FOIA Request

Visit the District of Columbia Government's Freedom of Information Act public access website to submit or check the status of a FOIA request or appeal.

The FOIA Officer is the principal contact point within the Metropolitan Police Department for advice and policy guidance on matters pertaining to the administration of the FOIA. The Metropolitan Police Department’s FOIA Officer’s information is listed below.

Donald Kaufman
Metropolitan Police Department
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 4153
Washington, D.C. 20001
Phone: (202) 727-3721


Who May Submit a FOIA Request?

Requester (Type) Document(s)/Information Required
Self
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location  (of incident/accident/and/or arrest)
  • Central Complaint Number (If Available)
Attorney
(on client’s behalf)
  • Copy of Client’s Driver’s License or another form of Government issued ID
  • Client’s signed authorization and/or Retainer agreement
Third Party Request
(Information requested about someone other than yourself)
  • Authorization from the individual(s)
  • Copy of ID from the individual(s)

NOTE: If none of the above-listed information/documentation is provided  when making a 3rd party request, your request will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed until the requested information is received.  If the information is not received in the time frame specified, your request will be administratively closed.

 

What Is NOT Available?

The following MPD documents are not available to the public:

  • Mugshots
  • Arrests Records to Third Party without Authorization
  • Disciplinary Records on an Officer/MPD Member
  • Third Parties and/or Witnesses Oral Interviews or Written Statements (without authorization)


The following records are not managed or owned by the MPD:

Non-MPD FOIA Requests Agency to Contact with Request
DMV Tickets, Traffic Violations, Driving records, etc.    DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
911 Calls or Calls for Service    Office of Unified Communication (OUC)
DDOT CCTV Footage     Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)

 

Submitting a FOIA Request

The quickest way to submit aFreedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is through the District of Columbia Government's Freedom of Information Act public access website.  In addition, the public access website may be used to check the status of a FOIA request or appeal.

If the request is sent by mail, it should be sent to the address above and the envelope shall prominently be marked "FOIA Request."

If requesting records regarding yourself, provide the date, time, and place of the incident/accident/arrest and the Central Complaint Number, if available, along with proof of your identity (or, if you are an attorney, your client's identity), e.g., copy of a Driver's License or other government-issued identification.  In addition, if you are an attorney, please attach proof that you represent your client, e.g., retainer agreement or client authorization.  

The FOIA statute also authorizes the collection of fees for processing FOIA requests. 

Contact Information

Please be sure to include at least one method of communication so that the FOIA Processing Unit may contact you in order to properly handle your request (email, phone number, fax, business or home address).

What You Can Expect

Once you have submitted your request via one of the methods above, you will receive a letter acknowledging your request and the assigned FOIA number which will be used to track your request. Use this number as reference in any correspondence you have during the process.

The DC FOIA statute provides that public bodies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 15 business days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays).  The amended FOIA Statue allows for a response within 25 days in the case of requests for body-worn camera video.  The response period begins on the date the request is actually received by the FOIA Officer of the public body that maintains the records you are requesting. Public bodies may extend the time for a response by an additional 10 business days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) for unusual circumstances, as defined by DC Official Code § 2-532(d).  In the case of requests for body-worn camera video, an extension of an additional 15 days may be taken.

Once your request has been processed, you will receive a response letter along with the responsive records (if any exist), the total cost, and information on how to file an appeal.  If fees are accessed, you will be provided instructions on who the payment should be made out to and where to mail it. 

Get More Information

For additional information on how to file a FOIA request, including applicable exemptions, fees and their waiver, the appeals process, and more, please visit the DC Government FOIA Information Page or contact the FOIA Officer.