California Public Records Act FAQs
1. What is the California Public Records Act (CPRA)?
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) was passed by the California Legislature in 1968 for government agencies and requires that government records be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there are privacy and/or public safety exemptions which would prevent doing so. Please see the California Attorney General’s Office Summary of the California Public Records Act (pdf) for additional information.
2. What is a Public Record?
Government Code §6252 (e) defines a public record as “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics."
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) respects the public’s right to access records created and maintained by POST in the course of normal business. POST requests that you narrow your request to that which reasonably identifies the desired records in order for staff to more efficiently search for and promptly provide responsive documents.
3. Information to include with your request
Pursuant to Government Code §6253.1, in order to make a focused and effective request, please include the following applicable information to ensure the scope of the request is narrow and clear enough for personnel to determine if POST has the records you are requesting:
- The subject of the record
- A clear, concise, and specific description of the record(s) being requested
- The date(s) of the record(s), or a time period for your request (e.g.: calendar year 2020)
- Full names for the individuals and/or agencies included in your request, including proper spelling
- POST ID(s) for the individual(s) included in your request if applicable, and/or current/former agency
- Any additional information that helps staff identify the record(s) being requested
- Your contact information for response to your request, preferably an email address
Please make every effort to research the records you are requesting, prior to submitting your request. There is a vast amount of information, resources, and records available on the POST Website, by utilizing the search tool, or browsing the topics related to your request.
Common questions for information might be found using the following resources:
4. How to make a Public Records Act Request
Mail: Commission on POST
Attention: California Public Records Act Request
860 Stillwater Road, Suite 100
West Sacramento, CA 95605-1630
Please note: The 10-day period mentioned in the Government Code §6253(c) is not a deadline for producing records. Should the request be voluminous, or require research, or computer programming, POST may need a reasonable amount of time to research, review, and inspect records prior to release; therefore, it may take longer before the records can be made available. Upon receipt of your request, POST will make every effort to keep you apprised of response timeframes.