The Westminster Police Department Records Bureau accounts for all police records on a daily basis. The most common types of records under the bureau’s responsibility include:
Traffic Collision reports
Field Investigation Cards
Sex Registrant Files
Permits and licensing
Public Records requests
It is the responsibility of the bureau to assist the public in requests for records following the California Public Records Act laws. Records Specialists are responsible for reviewing the information for release, determining if there are exemptions, and to follow department policy and procedures on the dissemination of those records.
The staff currently consists of the Records Supervisor, five full-time Records Specialists and one part-time Police Aide. They process local and state criminal offender information, input information for Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting standards, and actively perform a detailed list of law enforcement recordkeeping processes. The responsibilities to the State of California include mandatory entries into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication Systems (CLETS) for records such as impounds, missing persons, stolen property, restraining orders, sex registrants, to name a few. Staff has training in over fifty technical systems. Other collateral assignments, include supply ordering, forms management, subpoena management, mail distribution, jail matron duties, adult and juvenile sealings, warrant due diligence processing, scanning and filing.
The bureau processes over 12,000 crime reports, 1400 traffic reports, and 2000 criminal and administrative citations annually. We processed over 2500 public records requests for insurance agencies, attorneys, general public requests, and 1000 criminal discovery requests. We use a Records Management System that allows for the electronic storage and dissemination of crime reports to various agencies. With a technical infrastructure, we help to keep costs down by reducing redundant printing costs. As a result, we submit our court packages electronically to the DA’s office, uploading traffic collision reports for online services, and even share local data within the Orange County community.
The staff also provides lobby assistance. Our website provides citizens the ability to make payments for citations, arrest booking fees, DUI emergency response fees, false alarm payments, or purchase copies of traffic collision reports 24/7. The efficiency of online services continues to grow. A kiosk has been added to our lobby to provide citizens who do not have computer access to come into our lobby to file police reports without having to wait in line for a desk officer. Overall, the records bureau is critical staff in keeping all information systems running efficiently and ensuring the valuable information collected is available for internal and external needs.