Freedom of Information Act, or commonly known as FOIA, ensures the free and open exchange of information between government and the public. It's simply another term for requesting records.
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, suspects, juveniles and witnesses, among others. There are also other allowed exemptions to prevent interference with pending law enforcement proceedings.
If any record is not provided in its entirety, Effingham Police will include the reasons for any lawful redactions in the response letter.
Before you start
Knowing certain details of information you want helps tremendously. If at all possible, obtain the following information before requesting records:
- Time of incident
- Date of incident
- Location (including apartment numbers) of incident
- Names of some or all involved persons
- Cell phone numbers of involved persons
- Police report numbers
- Any other pertinent information
What to do
Fill out a written request
Although we provide a standard FOIA request form, any written request is accepted. Oral requests will not be honored.
- Submit the online form below
- Email request to Records Division
- Request in person at Effingham Police Department
- Fax request to 217-342-5345
Pay fee if applicable
Any fees must be paid in advance by cash or check.
- No charge to view or inspect the requested documents
- No charge for the first 50 pages of black and white copies
- $.15 per page for any copies over 50 pages
- $1.00 per page for color copies
- Actual cost of media for CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and other media
- Commercial requests, large requests, and requests from frequent requestors may have additional charges
- Any incurred certified mailing fees
For most requests, a written response will be given in 5 business days (excluding weekends and holidays), although we work diligently to provide an immediate response.