Attorney Appeals SPD FOIA Denial to City Council

 01/13/2014 - 00:51

Saline City Council may pass a resolution to deny a local attorney's Freedom of Information Act request for police procedures and policy manuals. The resolution is on the consent agenda when council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday night at City Hall. Typically, city council passes consent agenda items without discussion.

The agenda item, bundled with approval of past minutes and bill payment, asks council to approve a resolution denying the FOIA request appeal.

On Dec. 23, Jeffrey Hall, of Saline Legal Group, submitted a FOIA request for Saline Police Department procedures and policies:

  • Relating to standards for handcuffing individuals under arrest.
  • For handcuffing people who are not under arrest, including placing individuals in police vehicles.
  • For making arrests.
  • For administering preliminary breathalyzer tests and the Data Master test.

On Dec. 26, Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik denied Hall's FOIA request for policies and procedures because the information would “disclose law enforcement investigative techniques or procedures,” and that releasing the information did not outweigh the public interest of keeping staff manuals private.

Hrinik invited Hall to appeal the FOIA denial to City Manager Todd Campbell or take up the matter in court.

Hall appealed the request to Campbell, writing that “withholding (the documents) frustrates a legitimate public interest, that is whether an officer followed his own department's policies and procedures incident to arrest.”

Hall wrote that the material should be released unless the government can show that disclosure would risk circumvention to lawful agency regulation.

Hall is defending a 20 year old Saline man who was arrested on a "minor in possession" charge.

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore founded The Saline Post on Aug. 15, 2012. Follow him on Twitter at @tranlongmoore. Follow The Saline Post @thesalinepost. Follow The Saline Post on Facebook by clicking here.