Once your request has been processed, you will receive a written response in five (5) business days, although we work diligently to provide an immediate response. This response will let you know whether records were located and will include all releasable documents. If any portions of the records are withheld, for instance because disclosure would invade an individual's personal privacy, the agency will inform you of the specific FOIA exemption that is being applied.
What can I do to make the process easier and faster?
Knowing certain details of information you want helps tremendously. If at all possible, include the following in any requests: time, date, location (including apartment numbers), names of involved persons, police report reference numbers, or any other pertinent information.
What can I request through FOIA?
Generally any person, group, organization, firm or partnership, at any time, can request to copy or inspect any document or report that is held by Effingham Police Department.
Even though any record can be requested, FOIA law allows certain exemptions for law enforcement which protect the privacy and personal information of involved persons, including victims, juveniles and witnesses, among others. There are also allowed exemptions to prevent interference with pending law enforcement proceedings. To read the full Act in its entirety, visit www.ilga.gov.
What is the cost to make a FOIA request?
There is no charge for copies for the first fifty (50) pages of a request. After 50 pages, the fee is $0.15 per page. There are certain fees associated with large requests, as well as for frequent requesters. Color copies, as well as media such as CDs, DVDs and thumb drives also have fees associated with them. If you prefer to view the requested document rather than have a copy, there is no charge.
What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
FOIA ensures the free and open exchange of information between government and the public. Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under FOIA unless it falls under one of the exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. For more information, visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
What requests are prohibited by law?
We are unable to provide full criminal background checks on any individual. We can provide a limited check of Effingham Police records only; however, this service can only be done for an individual who presents valid photo identification and is requesting their own personal records.
We are prohibited by law from releasing any report where a juvenile is a suspect, investigated, or arrested.
Other exemptions for law enforcement purposes include:
Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings
Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication
Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source
Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions
Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual
When and where do I make a request?
Requests may be made in person, faxed, filled out online, or emailed to EPD at any time. Office hours to make a request in person are Monday through Friday, 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., excluding holidays. Faxed requests may be sent to 217-342-5345. Email requests can be sent to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Requests can also be made on line here. Although we provide a standard FOIA request form, any written request is acceptable.