Open Records Requests
Access to Police Records
Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect any record. Substantive common law principles construing the right to inspect, copy or receive copies of records shall remain in effect. [Exceptions do exists, see Wis. Stats. Sec 19.35 (1) Right To Inspection] (PDF)
Copies of police incident reports can be obtained from the Elm Grove Police Department. To obtain reports, you may be required to complete the Open Records Request Form in order to assist us in locating your record and fulfilling your request in a timely manner. Once completed, the form can be mailed, emailed, or dropped off in person. Fees may apply for open records requests. Walk-in and phone requests for records are handled on a workload priority basis. It is not necessary to disclose your purpose for requesting a record or your identity (with exceptions). What is important is that you narrow your search criteria for a record of interest. For example: Providing a date, time, and type of record will in most cases expedite the return of the record. Vague requests or requests that are not narrow in scope may be rejected.
In the wake of a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, holding that an Illinois village violated the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) by placing a parking citation containing information taken from Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records on the windshield of a car parked in violation of a village ordinance, we need to examine closely how we release information that is collected from a DMV/DOT record database (i.e. crash report, citations, parking tickets, etc.) in order to avoid a violation under the DPPA.
“Personal Information” that is obtained through the DMV that shall NOT be disclosed or otherwise made available to non-excepted third parties. The following personal information shall be redacted from any official record prior to release to non-excepted third parties:
- Telephone numbers
- Dates of birth
- Driver Licence numbers or ID numbers
- Any record identifying any individual when that identification would invade the person’s privacy and discourage full cooperation in reporting accidents
- A photograph of an individual
- Social security number
- 9-digit zip code (but not the 5-digit zip code)
- Medical or disability information
- Any information that would compromise the safety of victims or witnesses of a crime. See Wis. Stats. Ch. 950, Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime
- Any record that would endanger an individual’s life or safety, Wis. Stat. Sec. 19.35
- Any record that would identify a confidential informant, Wis. Stat. Sec 19.35
- Any record, the release of which would not be in the public interest under the Wisconsin Open Records Law
If you, as a party involved in a crash, have interest in a copy of the police record which contains personal information of another as derived from a DMV record, you will find the personal information struck (redacted) from your copy.
Contact your insurance agency to receive an un-redacted copy of a crash report. The insurance company may submit an Open Records Request Form for the report. Once completed, the request form can be mailed, emailed, or dropped off in person. Fees may apply for open records requests.
Submit Open Records Request forms to:
13600 Juneau Blvd, Elm Grove, WI 53122