Brought to you by:                                    December 2014
Public Safety Records and IT News




California court exempts personal device communications from open records laws




How PRI Can Help
Did You Know This About UCR?
Just because a warrant is obtained doesn't mean you can clear a case by arrest for UCR reporting purposes. 
In order to clear a case by arrest when a warrant is obtained, the warrant has to be served.
Host a Class at Your Agency and Get Free Seats
If you host one of our seminars at your agency, we'll give you 2 free seats. 
All it requires is use of a training room with a computer projector (and some coffee) and PRI handles everything else.
We make it easy.
We are interested in agencies in populated areas with good facilities for courses in 2015. See how here.
We're Hiring
PRI is hiring the following:

Part-time Training Instructors nationwide


Please share with someone you know that may be interested.

About Us
We provide professional public safety information management consulting and training services in the fields of IT, UCR, NIBRS, CJIS, records management and FOIA compliance.

P.O. Box 142151
Coral Gables, FL.
 Open records in the news
Ed Claughton, Owner
PRI Management Group
Open Records: The Pendulum is Swinging the Other Way

It's no surprise that public access to government records seems to be getting harder, not easier.  This isn't a good thing.  It's not a surprise because we have entered an era which focuses on privacy thanks, in part, to social media. The self-publishing of every minute of one's life on the internet via tweets, posts, and instant photos has led to a backlash of privacy concerns which has permeated the world of government records.  
A California appeals court recently ruled that emails regarding government business are not subject to the public record act if sent via a private computer, thus allowing government officials to hide public business.  The case is going to the CA Supreme Court.

In Rhode Island, the Attorney General recently said that public bodies are not following the law despite repeated attempts to educate government officials about the documents that are supposed to be public.

"Unfortunately, in the past three years, we have prosecuted or brought more cases on access to public records than in the previous 12 years combined," he said. "That tells me there is still a problem."

And both the Obama and Bush administrations have blocked access to records which reveal who has visited the White House. 

Like many controversial issues, there are valid arguments for both sides. Some argue correctly in favor of openness and some for privacy, all depending on the particular issue at hand.  In general though, citizens should not be blocked from seeing the actions and decisions of their elected, appointed and other types of officials unless some legitimate reason for doing so exists.  Those legitimate reasons are called "exemptions"  and there are plenty of them designed to protect people's safety in nearly every state.

Compliance with these, and the many other laws governing public safety information management is a daunting task.  That's why PRI has found such success as a business.  Since 2007 we have specialized in getting hundreds of agencies into compliance with the law and information management best practices.

See for our consulting and training offerings designed to keep your agency out of the headlines and running smoothly! 


Ed Claughton

  PRI Insights

Management by E-mail: Part II
How ironic that I write about an issue that I was once guilty of myself: management by email. Yes, I have done it many times; send out an email regarding an important topic to my staff at the police department and think "well, got that taken care of...". What a mistake.
Email is a great tool for sharing non-mission critical information or, anything with a low importance factor. However, using it to send information which should be communicated in person is a huge mistake.
Verbal communication between human beings is mostly received and interpreted via non-verbal cues including eye and body movement, facial expressions, gestures, posture and audibly speaking, not just what you say, but how you say it.
When we speak, other people read what we're saying in addition to listening to our words. This includes the timing and speed of what we say, how loud, your tone and inflection, and sounds that convey understanding, such as "ahh" and "uh-huh."  All of this doesn't come across in email and therefore, often makes it completely misleading.
Use email sparingly. It can truly miscommunicate your message and consume your time!

  Upcoming Police Records Training Seminars 

Building a Model Police Records Unit
A 2 day class for all police records personnel. $375 

The only one of its kind, this two day course was developed by current law enforcement personnel and has received excellent reviews. Learn how to minimize liability, improve performance, empower the records function, build professionalism, and increase customer service. Designed for records managers, clerks and supervisors, this course teaches you how to run the records unit as if it were a business: efficiently, legally and customer focused. Learn practical techniques that will improve the operations of this critical support component.

  • Develop a records management plan
  • Gain compliance with UCR standards
  • Developing efficient report correction workflows
  • How to legally correct reports after the fact
  • Disposing of records legally and efficiently
  • Reviewing and approving reports
  • Developing a report writing manual
  • Developing a records unit manual
  • Developing performance and accountability standards
Leesburg, FL December 9-10
Jackson, TN December 16-17
Murrieta, CA January 14-15
Fontana, CA February 9-10

Managing Police Records   
All you need to know about the release and retention of public info. $195 
For PIO, Records personnel, Command Staff


This class provides the information you need to ensure your agency is in compliance with public records law. Do your personnel understand what information can really be released and when it should be destroyed? Learn how long to keep records, in what format, and what the requirements are for managing information:

  • What can be released to the public and when 
  • Keeping track of what was destroyed and when
  • What records are permanent?
  • Records retention schedules and procedures
  • Police reports, email, financial records, supporting documentation, and more.

Greer, SC January 21



Crime Stats & UCR for the Police Executive
Everything you need to know about your agency's numbers. $145 
For Records/UCR staff, Investigations personnel, Command Staff
Reading a UCR report is one thing;  understanding what the numbers represent and how to explain them to those who ask is something entirely different.  We teach you how. UCR is highly misunderstood and this class will provide the police executive or other interested employee a very practical understanding of the program. This class will give you the tools you need to understand, review and report your crime statistics and UCR numbers correctly (2 different things!).  Learn about what UCR is for, how it works and why it's done.
  • How crimes are counted and cleared
  • The real difference between persons crimes and property crimes
  • Why your analyst's numbers are always different than Records
  • When can you really exceptionally clear a case?
  • Avoid the most common pitfalls to accurate stats
  • Keep your agency out of the headlines
  • Are your officers reporting multiple crime incidents correctly
About Our Seminars
100% of attendees at our last class rated it as "excellent".

Read an actual course review here from attendees.

Attendees receive course material electronically, a certificate,
and great training that is hard to find.