AP NEWS

Longmont City Council Considers Criminal Justice Records Fees Changes

February 24, 2019
Longmont Times-Call

If you go

What: Longmont City Council regular meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont

Agenda: tinyurl.com/y56evftt

Longmont City Council on Tuesday is set to consider updating a years-old set of fees the city charges people who request criminal justice records.

The current fee schedule “does not take into consideration increases in actual cost of providing information” to people seeking those records, and does not address “costs associated with digital audio/video files,” according to a Department of Public Safety staff memo.

Under a fee schedule last updated in August 2008, Longmont now charges a $5 “research, retrieval and redaction fee” for criminal, non-criminal and accident reports, plus a 25 cents per page copying fee for each single-sided page.

Under the fee updates resolution set for council action on Tuesday, Longmont could charge $30 per hour for spending more than 15 minutes of time researching and redacting records before providing copies, as well as $5.25 for the first page of the copy of an accident or police report and 25 cents for each additional page.

The 2008 fee schedule set a $10 fee for a record of an individual’s Longmont arrests. That would not change under the proposed fee updates. Also unchanged would be the city’s $5 charge for a report about arrest activity at a specific Longmont address.

The 2008 fee schedule included a $10 search, retrieval and redaction fee for 35 millimeter photographs. It also charged the actual cost of developing those photos and imposed a $1 charge for digital photographs, $3 for a compact disc with photos or images, and $1 for a booking photo.

The new fee schedule would retain the $1 charge for a booking photo but would set a $20 fee for a compact disc with photos or images.

The resolution up for action Tuesday does not mention 35 mm or digital photos.

Among a number of public safety records charges not specifically listed in the 2008 fee schedule but included in the proposed update: 25 cents per page for a fire incident report and 25 cents per page for a patient care report.

The cost of getting a jail booking video would decrease, dropping from the current $25 to $20.

The charge for a CD recording of a public safety dispatch would increase, going to $20 from the present $10.

Public Safety Department records supervisor Stacy Hughes “has researched and examined the actual costs of searching, retrieving and redacting criminal justice records and proposes the new fee schedule,” according to the staff memo.

The resolution up for the council vote states that fees “may be waived at the discretion of the public safety records supervisor or designee when in the best interests of the city.”

Denise Wood, the Department of Public Safety’s information and technology manager, in an email said that last year, Longmont’s collections of fees charged for various criminal justice records totaled approximately $32,000.

“We do not have fee breakdown of fees by category,” she said.

Hughes researched and compares fees charged by other Colorado law enforcement agencies to ensure that Longmont criminal justice records fees are reasonable and comply with state law, Wood said.

State law “authorizes criminal justice agencies to assess reasonable fees for criminal justice records, not to exceed actual costs for personnel and equipment, search, retrieval and redaction,” the memo states.

If approved by council, the updated fee schedule would take effect on Friday, according to the resolution.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc