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Freedom of Information Act FAQs

Digital copies provided via email are free. After the first 50 pages of black and white printed copies, a fee of $0.15 per page will be charged. Color copies, as well as media such as CDs, DVDs, and flash drives also have fees associated with them. If you prefer to view the requested document rather than have a copy, there is no charge.

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. The purpose behind FOIA is to provide transparency as the public has a right to know what the government is doing. 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 https://foiapac.ilag.gov/.

Anyone can file a FOIA request, acting individually or as a group.

  • Individuals
  • Organizations
  • Businesses
  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Firms
  • Associations

Anyone wishing to view or obtain copies of Effingham Police Department records should submit a request in writing to the Records Division online, by email, in person, by mail, or fax to 217-342-5345.

Once your request has been processed, you will receive a written response in five (5) business days, unless:

  • The Police Department extends the time for a response by an additional five business days for a reason allowed by FOIA
  • The Police Department and requestor agree to an extension in writing
  • It is a commercial request or the request is otherwise subject to an exemption allowing additional time to respond
    • Commercial requests must be responded to within 21 business days

The response period of five business days starts the first business day after the FOIA request is received.

Although we have five business days to respond, 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, we will inform you of the specific exemption that is being applied.


Knowing certain details of information you want helps tremendously. If at all possible, include the following in any requests:

  • Police report reference numbers
  • Time of incident
  • Date of incident
  • Location of incident (including apartment numbers)
  • Names of involved persons
  • Telephone numbers of the involved persons
  • Any other pertinent details of the incident

Get help

Sandi Rich
Technical Services Assistant

(217) 347-0774 extension 5326
110 South 3rd Street
Effingham, IL 62401
Office hours:
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
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