Public Records Request
One of the many services offered by the Provincetown Police Department is the public provision of records that are created and maintained by the department. Public record requests are governed by the Massachusetts Public Records Law, and the Provincetown Police Department strives to adhere to the regulations set therein. It is our goal to provide the public with access to information legally defined as "public," while also maintaining confidentiality of information that is exempted by law. Our response to public records requests may therefore be redacted or even withheld, whichever is necessary to comply with applicable statutes. A list of exemptions may be found in the State’s Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. Read the State’s Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law.
PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS
All public records requests should be directed to the Public Records Access Officer for the Provincetown Police Department (see below). Public records requests may be made in-person, via USPS mail, fax, or electronic mail. We do not fulfill telephone requests. While using a standardized form is not required by the Public Records Law, it does help us clarify and expedite requests. In addition, appeals made to the State Supervisor of Records will only be accepted if the initial request is in writing.
PUBLIC RECORDS ACCESS OFFICER
Pursuant to the Public Records Law, the Provincetown Police Department assigns a Records Access Officer to help fulfill the records requests that the department receives. The following person has been designated as the Records Access Officer for the Provincetown Police Department. All public records requests should be directed to this person using the contact information provided below. By law, the records access officer will respond to your request within ten (10) business days.
Name: Barbara Peters
Title: Records Clerk
Address: 26 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown, MA 02657
Revisions to the Massachusetts Public Records Law effective January 1, 2017 require us to list the categories of public records we hold ("Guidelines"). Please note that records are subject to exemptions and fees as set forth by law.
- Arrest reports
- Incident reports
- Accident reports
- Audio recordings
- Video recordings
- Miscellaneous case documents
- Miscellaneous administrative documents & records
PPD POLICE LOG
Many people who request police reports are actually referring to incidents which did not generate a report, but are simply entries in our log.
Our daily logs are public information and may be reviewed here during normal business hours free of charge by coming to the station and requesting them by date. The logs we make available for public review remain in the station at all times. Log entries may also be obtained through a public records request. Basic information about every call is also available on our website. Click Here to Read the Police Log
Examples of calls which would be log entries but may not generate a report are: Animal complaints, non-reportable accidents*, minor neighbor disputes, minor vandalism, motor vehicle stops, reports of suspicious vehicles or persons, medical assists, false burglar alarms, public service calls, etc.
Examples of calls which generally generate a report are: Domestic disturbances, all arrests, reportable accidents*, breaking & entering, suspected criminal activity, reported sex crimes, assault & battery, etc.
* Look for "Definitions" on our Accident Assistance page for an explanation of reportable vs. non-reportable accidents
REPORT RELEASE POLICY
1. All requests are subject to approval of the Chief of Police before being fulfilled and may not be immediately available. The law allows us 10 business days to respond to requests; we usually endeavor to fill them within a few days for your convenience.
2. It is our goal to provide the public with access to information legally defined as public, while maintaining the confidentiality of information exempted by law. The Provincetown Police Department complies with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Records Law (M.G.L. c. 66, § 10d). Therefore if approved, the report you receive may have some information redacted (blacked out). Some reports may be withheld altogether. Some examples of potential exemptions include:
- cases/accidents/incidents which are currently under investigation
- social security numbers, phone numbers, etc. of involved parties
- information regarding an individual’s health issues
- criminal records protected by CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) statute
- reports involving juveniles (Under age 18)
- information indicating the ownership or location of firearms
- Information regarding an individual’s health issues (HIPAA)
- confidential witness, victim, or informant data
- materials or information which could compromise public safety or effective law enforcement
Please know that other exemptions may apply.
3. Per the Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act (209A), domestic disturbance reports are available free of charge to the victim. (All others are denied) 4. We will use the information you provide on your request form to comply with your request. It is important to note that your request itself is a public record and may be released under the provisions of the Massachusetts Public Records Act. We will not release this information for any other reason.
INCIDENT / ARREST REPORTS
Our incident and arrest reports (that are not considered to be CORI) are available to the public subject to the approval of the Chief of Police. If you have not reviewed our policy regarding the release of reports, you may wish to read it to determine if the call you are interested in is likely to have generated a report.
Although some incident and arrest information is considered public, much of it is not. A partial list of exemptions is included in the policy section of this page.
If you would like to request an incident or arrest report, we ask you to please submit a request. Your request will be reviewed and we will notify you whether or not we are able to release it to you.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORTS
Our accident reports are available to the public subject to the approval of the Chief of Police. Some accidents are considered non-reportable and may not have generated a police report. In addition, many people confuse police accident reports and the Information Exchange Form.
Reports regarding accidents under investigation are not available to the public.
Special Note: For insurance purposes, your insurance company should issue their own request to us. You may request a copy of the police report about your accident for your own information, but you are not required to obtain a copy for your insurance company.
While the Provincetown Police Department endeavors to fulfill all records requests completely, this may not be feasible due to exemptions under the law. Under 950 CMR 32.00 and MGL c. 66 s. 10A(a), you have the right to appeal our decision to redact or withhold a report. Your appeal must be directed to the State’s Supervisor of Publc Records and must be submitted within 90 calendar days. Such appeal shall be in writing, and shall include a copy of the letter by which the request was made and, if available, a copy of the letter by which the Records Access Officer responded. The Supervisor shall accept an appeal only from a person who had made his/her public records request in writing. Pursuant to MGL c. 66 s. 10A(c), you also have the right to seek judicial review by commencing a civil action in the superior court.
The Provincetown Police Department does not currently collect fees for public records requests.
Please e-mail our Records Access Officer for any records-related questions.