Public Information Act (Open Records)

 

Baylor University is not subject to the Texas Public Information Act because it is not a “government body” as defined by the Texas Government Code. During the 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Senate Bill 308 was passed that states in part: “A campus police department of a private institution of higher education is a law enforcement agency and a governmental body for purposes of Chapter 552, Government Code, only with respect to information relating solely to law enforcement activities.”

 

 

Effective September 1, 2015, the Baylor Police Department will comply with the Texas Public Information Act by making available those records related solely to law enforcement activities. The Baylor Police Department is not required to and will not release any record not related to law enforcement activities.

 

 

Before submitting a request for a police report, please be aware that a criminal incident report is not considered public information and will not normally be released unless the case was closed by conviction (someone was arrested, convicted and received jail/prison time and/or deferred adjudication and/or a fine). If the incident did not include a conviction, the only portion that must be released in most cases is the basic information portion or what is commonly referred to as the “front page” information. The basic information portion contains a summary of the crime; the complainant's name and address; date, time and location of the incident; the responding Officer(s)'s name(s); the incident number; and the suspect’s information if a suspect(s) was arrested and charged. If you need the report for an insurance claim, this is generally all the information needed by your insurance company. To request the basic information report, please specify on the Baylor University Police Department Public Information Request Form or in your written request that you are asking for the basic information report, not the entire police report.

 

 

If the case was not closed by conviction and you submit an Open Records request for the entire report (or if you do not specify basic information report” in your request), your request will likely be forwarded to the Texas Attorney General's Office for a ruling as to whether or not we can release the full report.

 

 

 

Procedure:

 

The Baylor Police Department is the repository of all records related to law enforcement activities and is responsible for responding to all open records requests. The BUPD Office is open Monday- Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,with the exception of the holiday schedule below. The office will also be closed during any closure of the campus due to weather or other emergencies.

 

Holiday Schedule:

 

2017

 

New Years Day-January 2nd

Martin Luther King Day- January 16th

Easter- April 14th and 17th

Memorial Day- May 29th

Independance Day- July 4th

Labor Day- September 4th

Thanksgiving- November 22nd, 23rd and 24th

Christmas Break- December 25th through 29th

 

Public Information Requests must be made to the Baylor Police Department. Requests must be in writing and can be submitted using any of the methods listed below:

 

In Person*

Lynnette Barbera
Baylor University Police Department
1521 South 4th Street
Waco, Texas 76706

By Mail*

Public Information Act
c/o Lynnette Barbera
Baylor University Police Department
1521 South 4th Street
Waco, Texas 76706

By Fax*

(254) 710-3473
Attention: Lynette Barbera

By Email*

openrecords@baylor.edu

 

*To expedite your request please consider using the Baylor University Police Department Public Information Request Form.

 

 

 

What Your Request Should Include

All requests must be in writing and should include the following information:

1) Your name
2) Mailing address (so we can send you a response)
3) Your phone number (so we can contact you with questions about how to respond to your request)
4) A list or description of the specific information you are interested in obtaining, preferably with dates. Try to be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking and please remember it must relate solely to law enforcement activities. This will assist us in expediting your request.
5) Using the Baylor University Police Department Public Information Request Form will help us process your request.

 

 

 

The Response to Your Request

The Police Department will review all written requests for public information and respond as promptly as possible. In response to a request, the Police Department may:

1) Inform the requestor that the information cannot be immediately provided and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time;

2) Request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding any information that the Baylor Police Department has a question about whether the information comes within the terms of, or is exempt from, the Public Information Act, and send a copy of the request for ruling, or a redacted copy, to the requestor. Please be aware that The Public Information Act provides several exemptions for law enforcement records. These exemptions can be reviewed in the Attorney General's 2016 Public Information Act Handbook;

3) Segregate public information from information that may be withheld and provide that public information promptly.

 

 

 

How You Will be Charged

The requestor can choose whether to inspect the requested information at the Police Department during regular business hours at no cost, recieve or make copies of the record for a fee, or both. You will be charged for copies at the rate of 10 cents per page, and understand there may be additional personnel charges of $15.00 per hour if there are more than fifty pages. You will also have to pay associated postage/faxing costs that may be incurred in processing your request. You will be contacted before your request is processed if the estimated charges exceed $40.00. Payment must be made by cash. The Baylor Police Department may require a deposit if the estimated charge exceeds $100.00. If you have any questions about the fees, please contact Lynnette Barbera at the Baylor University Police Department, 254-710-2211.

 

 

 

How to Find Additional Information About the Act

For more information about the Act, you may wish to refer to the 2014 Public Information Act Handbook published by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas (“OAG”) or the OAG's Texas Public Information Act poster. (For poster in Spanish, click here.)