IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING OPEN RECORDS, Effective March 24, 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING OPEN RECORDS, Effective March 24, 2020.

Georgia is under a Public Health Emergency.  Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and until the Public Health Emergency ends, members of the DPS Open Records Unit will only be able to check new open records requests sent by email, and respond by email to new requests for crash reports, incident reports, and citations.   Please utilize the following address for your request: openrecords@gsp.net

The Open Records Unit will automatically close a new request based upon one of the following events: (1) you are seeking documents that do not include a crash report, incident report, or citation; or (2) once we email the requested crash report, incident report or citation to you, or further advise you that such responsive documents were encrypted and are no longer available because of the ransomware encrypting the Department’s servers on June 26, 2019.  If you are requesting documents other than a crash report, incident report, or citation, or if you are seeking available responsive documents only by mail, fax, or pick up, you must resubmit your request once the Public Health Emergency has ended.

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IMPORTANT PUBLIC UPDATE REGARDING OPEN RECORDS, March 13, 2020.

The Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) continues to address a large backlog of open records requests resulting from the ransomware attack on July 26, 2019.  Because DPS servers were compromised, we have been forced to utilize substitute methods for record storage and retrieval. Please submit your request only once, as duplications require more administrative efforts, and ultimately slow our ability to respond.

The following should assist you in determining availability and processing:

      A.  Crash Report, Incident Report, or Citation

If you are ONLY requesting a crash report, incident report, or citation, you may submit your request, preferably in writing, directly to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Post that serves the county where the incident occurred. GSP locations are available on-line at https://dps.georgia.gov/troop-and-post-locations-0. Your request will be handled in the order of receipt.

     B. Photographs

The Department’s approximate 50,000 photo files held in our evidence room are intact; however, ransomware compromised some servers which were holding photos before they were moved to the evidence room. The virus also compromised the database that tells us the existence and location of those files.  Please be patient as we attempt to determine whether we have releasable photos that match your request.  

     C. Dashcam Video

Please determine whether your request for a copy of a DPS dashcam video is viable, as follows:

     1. Is the Criminal Matter Still Pending?

If your request for a DPS dashcam video pertains to a criminal investigation, we cannot release the video until the criminal matter is no longer pending, unless you provide us with written authorization for release from the corresponding prosecutor or Judge.  See O.C.G.A. §50-18-72(a)(4).  You will need to send a new request to the DPS Open Records Unit when the matter is closed, as the status of adjudication is maintained by the Courts. Not DPS.

     2. Availability

Prior to July 26, 2019, DPS dashcam videos were housed at 71 GSP Posts and Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) Weigh Stations which serve the counties where recorded.  For example, a GSP dashcam video of a GSP DUI arrest in Bibb County on May 31, 2019 would have been downloaded and stored at GSP Post 44-Forsyth (Monroe County).

If the criminal matter giving rise to your requested video is no longer pending or you have provided us with written authorization from the prosecutor or a Judge’s Order to release a copy of the video, then the following determines whether we can satisfy your video request:

      a. Digital Dashcam Videos Stored PRIOR to July 26, 2019 are NON-RECOVERABLE for 29 Locations:

GSP Post 3-Cartersville GSP Post 9-Marietta GSP Post 11-Hinesville
GSP Post 12-Thomasville GSP Post 13-Tifton GSP Post 16-Helena
GSP Post 17-Washington GSP Post 18-Reidsville GSP Post 19-Swainsboro
GSP Post 20-Dublin   GSP Post 25-Grovetown GSP Post 26-Thomaston
GSP Post 27-Blue Ridge GSP Post 28-Jasper GSP Post 29-Paulding
GSP Post 33-Milledgeville GSP Post 36-Douglas GSP Post 37-Cumming  
GSP Post 38-Rome GSP Post 39-Cuthbert  GSP Post 40-Albany
GSP Post 41-LaFayette GSP Post 43-Calhoun GSP Post 44-Forsyth
GSP Post 45-Statesboro GSP Post 52-Hartwell  
GSP SCRT E*    GSP SCRT G**  

Weigh Station Region 6 Station 13, Monroe County

*Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team E (SCRT E) – Serves GSP Posts 8-Madison, 17-Washington, 25-Grovetown, 33-Milledgeville and 46-Monroe

**SCRT G - Serves GSP Posts 10-Americus, 12-Thomasville, 14-Colquitt, 39-Cuthbert and 40-Albany 

See https://dps.georgia.gov/troop-and-post-locations-0 for GSP Post regions and https://dps.georgia.gov/divisions/motor-carrier-compliance-division/mccd-regions for MCCD regions to reference whether the dashcam video you seek from an incident occurring before July 26, 2019 was stored at one of the above 29 locations.  If so, that video was encrypted and is no longer available.

      b. OTHER DPS Dashcam Video Stored PRIOR to July 26, 2019:

By our current estimate, between 25% and 50% of DPS video recordings made prior to July 26, 2019 have been encrypted or concealed from use from the 71 DPS storage locations across the state.  Thus, in addition to the 29 locations listed above, it is possible that the dashcam video you desire from prior to July 26, 2019 no longer exists.  The process of determining the existence of your requested video will require multiple steps by DPS personnel at multiple locations. Thus, we ask for your patience as we address requests in the order of receipt.

     c. DPS Dashcam Video Stored SINCE July 26, 2019 IS NOW AVAILABLE:

DPS dashcam recordings made and stored since July 26, 2019 are mostly housed at centralized DPS facilities, which will require additional time for retrieval until the Department’s new and improved storage system becomes fully operational (currently anticipated for August 1, 2020).  If you have already requested a copy of video recorded on or after July 26, 2019, the DPS Open Records Unit has already created a corresponding file.  We are providing available, responsive copies in the order of the earliest request to the most recent.  We ask that you do not duplicate your request.    

     D. COSTS

Estimated costs for fulfilling several common open records requests are provided in the chart below. Your exact costs will be provided when DPS is able to respond to your specific request.

Thank you for your patience as DPS works through existing requests.

Estimated Costs for Retrieval and Reproduction of Common Documents

Individual Crash Report, Incident Report, or Citation

No Charge

Bulk Crash Report, Incident Report, or Citation

$1-$5 per report/citation

Other Documents Associated with Crash/Incident/Citation

$7-$14 per crash/incident/citation

SCRT File

$50-$300 (Some not retrievable)

Personnel File

$72-$144

Videos

$7 + $15 per hour of footage (Some not retrievable)

Incident Photos

$7 - $14 per incident

Office of Professional Standards Records

$72-$385 per case / investigation

Motor Carrier Compliance Records

$7-$14 per crash/incident/inspection