The general process (more details in Filing a FOIA request)
- Log in to the online portal and/or make an account if you need one.
- Decide what records you are trying to obtain. Be specific.
- Submit a request using the online portal AND a form letter detailing the records requested.
- Wait five business days. If you have not received any response, send them a reminder/follow-up note reminding them of the legally stipulated timeframe and asking when it will be ready.
- Save ALL communication with the records officer. We recommend “printing” each email you receive from the system as a PDF and saving those PDFs in a common place on your computer — ideally one folder per request. This is important because the online records portal deletes communication after some period of time, and you may need to send correspondence for an appeal.
- If the response you receive is not good enough (it’s denied but it shouldn’t be, it’s the wrong document), either change your request slightly and try again, or appeal using the form letter and attaching copies of ANY exchanges had with the records officer. This appeal should be mailed.
Send any documents you would like released publicly to the press, or to Troy DSA (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or just use them for your own purposes.
With the repeal of section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, the city has no excuse to obscure from the public these records and internal investigations into police misconduct.
You can see all of our FOIL requests here.
JULY 31st: in response to the shooting of Colin Davis by Adam Harbour, a Troy police officer who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, Troy DSA issues a statement reiterating the need for full transparency from the TPD regarding each of its officers disciplinary records.
AUGUST 6th: Troy DSA receives a response from the city confirming the July 29th request would be responded to by September 10th.
SEPTEMBER 10th: The City delays release of documents until October.
OCTOBER 19th: A new delay from the city, until November.
NOVEMBER 9th: A new delay from the city, until December.
ONGOING: It goes without saying that withholding information necessary to keep TPD accountable adds insult to the very real injuries they’ve caused over the years. Folks interested in the joining the #defundtpd campaign should contact Troy DSA. We are building to ramp up informational, policy and research projects and welcome all additional help and interest.