The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located at § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees. A public record is any writing or recording - regardless of whether it is paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format - that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of, a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemptions applies.
You have a right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
Method of Request
You may request records by U.S. mail, fax, e-mail, in-person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that the request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA. We have provided a form for both your and our convenience and we encourage you to utilize it to ensure the accurate, complete, and expeditious processing of your requests.
Putting Your Request in Writing
From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put the request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect not to put it in writing.
A request must identify the records needed with "reasonable specificity". It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that are being requested; instead, it requires that the request be specific enough to allow the responding body to identify and locate the records.
Record Must Exist
A request under FOIA must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives the right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where one is asking general questions about the work of an agency nor does it require the responding body to create a record that does not exist.
You must pay for the actual costs incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. We have adopted a cost schedule to assist you in calculating applicable cost for a FOIA request.
If we have questions about your request, please cooperate with staff's efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
To request records or questions concerning records from KMPD, you may direct the request to the KMPD FOIA Coordinator, who may be reached by:
Mail: KMPD FOIA Coordinator
309 McLaws Circle
Williamsburg, VA 23185