4-500 Reports and Records - Access and Confidentiality
4‑501 CONFIDENTIAL DEPARTMENT RECORDS, REPORTS AND INFORMATION (06/21/02) (04/22/09) (11/15/13) (05/03/20)
A. Numerous official files, documents, records, reports and information held by the MPD or in the custody or control of MPD employees are regarded as non-public or confidential.
B. Employees shall not access, disclose or permit the disclosure or use of such files, documents, reports, records, or information except as required in the performance of their official duties and consistent with State and Federal law related to data practices, such as the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act at 18 U.S.C. § 2721, et seq., the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, and Chapter 171 of the Minnesota Statutes, for example Minnesota Statutes section 171.07 subd. 1a which strictly limits the use of driver’s license photographs.
1. If an employee is uncertain of the status of any document, the employee should consult with the supervisor of the Records Information unit.
2. Employees shall only access Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records for official business-related reasons.
C. The identity of a juvenile suspect or arrestee can only be released with an order from a Hennepin County Juvenile Court Judge.
4-502 SECURITY OF REPORTS (06/21/02) (11/15/13)
Only MPD personnel conducting official police business shall be admitted to the Transcription Unit. Persons other than assigned personnel shall not be allowed into the Records Information Unit without permission of Records Information Unit Staff.
4-503 ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS (06/21/02) (12/9/13) (01/23/14)
Law enforcement officers, with proper identification and on a need-to-know basis, may inspect criminal records in their entirety. Other persons, including the news media, may inspect arrest records and other available public information in accordance with data practices guidelines. A crime summary and access to the public information terminal is available during normal business hours. Charges for copies of public information reports will be in accordance with established guidelines.
4-503.01 ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS (06/21/02) (11/15/13)
Employees conducting criminal history checks shall disclose restricted or privileged information and data in accordance with established data practices and other statutes governing such disclosure. Any MPD case supplements or summaries should include the following information regarding criminal history data:
- Purpose of the investigation and reason for the criminal history check;
- Identity of the source of the data or information; and
- Disposition of criminal history data.
The supervisors of the Records Information and Property and Evidence Units are responsible for coordinating activities concerning the production or inspection of criminal evidence or records in court as required by legal process. In any case involving criminal evidence or other records in custody of other divisions, the supervisor's shall:
- In criminal matters, confer with the appropriate prosecuting attorney if there are doubts about confidentiality.
- In civil matters, determine the confidentiality of the items requested. If in doubt, contact the City Attorney’s Office for advice.
- Arrange for transportation of records or criminal evidence to court when compliance is ordered or deemed advisable.
Members of the news media and the public may inspect police records as allowed by law. These records are available only during regular business hours in the Records Information Unit. Certain reports may be photocopied and charged for in accordance with established guidelines.
Photographs and videos that are part of an active case investigation are not public and shall not be released to any individual or agency. Photographs and videos, which are part of an inactive case investigation involving one or more of the following situations, are private and may not be released to any individual or agency except as provided by state law:
- Sexual assault victim
- Child abuse victim
- Depiction of images which are clearly offensive to the common sensibility
- Police personnel involved in inter-departmental or intra-departmental instruction on law enforcement-related issues who desire use of photographs or videos involving the above situations shall obtain permission from the bureau head in charge of the case. In all cases, the identity of the subjects of such photographs or videos shall be concealed. Employees shall not use photographs or videos for private purposes or enterprises. (11/15/13)
In addition, photographs and videos that reveal the identity of any of the following individuals is private and shall not be released to any individual or agency:
- Undercover law enforcement personnel;
- Paid or unpaid informants; and/or
- Victim or witness of a crime, if the victim/witness specifically requests that their identity not be revealed, and it has reasonably been determined by the agency that the release of such information may in fact pose a risk of threat to the victim or individual.
Public disclosure of policies and openness in matters of public interest shall be afforded to the public consistent with current data privacy laws. All MPD personnel shall safeguard the legal rights of the individual while maintaining the public's right to know. Any questions or concerns related to the release of data should be referred to the MPD Data Practice Specialist or the supervisor of the Records Information Unit.
MPD Human Resources maintains a personnel file on all MPD employees. Each personnel file is divided into six categories containing the following information:
- The EMPLOYMENT SECTION contains the employee's Civil Service certification including promotions, suspensions, information regarding disciplinary actions against the employee, and personal data such as home address and phone.
- The ASSIGNMENT SECTION contains a record of the employee's assignment during their career with the MPD.
- The COMMENDATIONS SECTION contains a record of any awards received by the employee during their career with the MPD.
- The TRAINING SECTION contains the employee's training records.
- The MEDICAL SECTION contains medical information about the employee such as sick leave, injury reports, and physician(s) reports.
- The PERFORMANCE SECTION contains copies of the employee's performance evaluations.
Any supervisor or Commander is allowed access to an employee's personnel file. All employees are allowed access to their own personnel file. (01/05/07)
All data practices requests shall be handled in accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). (01/05/07)
Last updated May 4, 2020