In the Matter of a Complaint by


Jack Dolan and The Hartford






Docket #FIC 2001-086

Office of the Chief State’s Attorney,
State of Connecticut, Division of
Criminal Justice,




December 12, 2001





The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 22, 2001, at which time the complainants and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:


1.  Pursuant to §1-201, G.S., the respondent is a public agency with respect to its administrative functions within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.


2.  It is found that, by letter dated January 9, 2001, the complainants asked the respondent for an electronic copy of the database of reports filed by police in compliance with an ongoing racial profiling study.


            3.  It is found that, by letter dated January 16, 2001, the respondent denied the request described in paragraph 2, above.  Nevertheless, it is also found that, on January 24, 2001, the respondent provided the complainants with a copy of a CD-ROM containing the racial profiling data from January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2000, which data had thus far been reviewed and compiled by the respondent, in the form of an “Interim Report of Traffic Stop Statistics”. 


            4.  It is found that, by letter dated January 25, 2001, the complainants thanked the respondent for the CD-ROM described in paragraph 3, above, but renewed their request for all data maintained by the respondent, including data for the last six months of 2000. 


            5.  By letter dated and filed on February 13, 2001, the complainants appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act by denying their request for an up-to-date copy of the CD-ROM containing racial profiling data [hereinafter “the July to December records”], and by failing to include certain information in the CD-ROM provided as described in paragraph 3, above, including the towns where the drivers were stopped, the time of the stop, the statute under which a citation was issued, and event number assigned to the incident by police. 


6.  Section 1-211(a), G.S., provides in pertinent part, that:


[a]ny public agency which maintains public records in a computer storage system shall provide, to any person making a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, a copy of any nonexempt data contained in such records, properly identified, on paper, disk, tape or any other electronic storage device or medium requested by the person, if the agency can reasonably make such copy or have such copy made.  Except as otherwise provided by state statute, the cost for providing a copy of such data shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.


           7.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “...[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”


            8.  The respondent contends that the Commission lacks jurisdiction in this matter, asserting that the requested records do not relate to the administrative functions of the office of the chief state’s attorney, within the meaning of §1-201, G.S.


            9.  Public Act 99-198 [hereinafter “the Act”] defines “racial profiling,” as “the detention, interdiction or other disparate treatment of an individual solely on the basis of the racial or ethnic status of such individual,” and prohibits police officers from engaging in such activity.  The Act also mandates:


a) that the respondent, in conjunction with the commissioner of public safety, the attorney general, the chief court administrator, the police officer standards and training council, the Connecticut police chiefs association, and the Connecticut coalition of police and correctional officers, develop and promulgate:


i) a form in printed and electronic format, to be used by police officers when making traffic stops to record personally identifying information, including characteristics of race, color, ethnicity and age, based on the police officers’ observations, the nature of the alleged violation, the number of persons stopped, whether a warning or citation was issued, whether an arrest was made or search was conducted, the location and reason for the stop, and any additional information deemed appropriate by the municipal police departments or the department of public safety;


ii) a form in printed and electronic format to be used to report complaints of persons who believe that they have been subjected to racial profiling;


b) that, commencing January 1, 2000, each municipal police department, and the department of public safety, must complete the forms described in paragraph 9.a.i., above, for all traffic stops and provide copies of such forms to the respondent; and


c) that the respondent, within the limits of existing appropriations, provide for a review of the prevalence and disposition of traffic stops and complaints reported to him as described in paragraph 9.b., above, and, not later than January 1, 2002, report to the Governor and General Assembly the results of any such review, including any recommendations. 


10.  It is found that there were over 630,000 stops in Connecticut in the year 2000, and that approximately 35,000 to 65,000 occurred monthly.  Is further found that the interim report described in paragraph 3, above, was prepared by the respondent in an effort to provide early information to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the public, about data on racial profiling, and that such early report was not required by the Act. 


11.  It is found that, in order to fulfill its role under the Act, the respondent has attempted to work cooperatively with local and state police departments and to collect reports on a monthly basis, although the respondent has no authority to order such departments to comply on a monthly basis. 


12.  It is found that the process for compiling the data is as follows:

a.  for the most part, the police departments file reports on a monthly basis with the office of the respondent, which
            logs in those reports and converts any paper reports to an electronic format;


   b.  after assembling the reports, the respondent sends such data to DOIT, where it is stored on the DOIT mainframe for approximately    
   one month and then stored on the DOIT server;


     c.  an Office of Policy and Management [hereinafter “OPM”] staff member is responsible for validating the data by checking the number
    of reports received versus the number each police department states that it sent; and by seeing that the fields are completed correctly.
Incorrect or incomplete entries require communication between the OPM staff member and the reporting police department, renewed
    submissions and further validation.


            13.  It is found that neither the OPM staff member described in paragraph 12, above, nor the respondent, has access to the mainframe or server of DOIT. 


14.  It is found that the respondent’s function under the Act, and as demonstrated by the duties being performed as described in paragraphs 9 through 12, above, is clerical and administrative in nature.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent’s functions under the Act constitute “administrative functions”, within the meaning of §1-201, G.S., and that therefore the Commission has jurisdiction in this matter.


15.  It is found that, at the time of the requests described in paragraphs 2 and 4, above, the respondent had not received all July to December records from the various police departments, and that many such records that had been received had not been validated.  It is further found that, at the time of the hearing in this matter, all such records still had not been received and validated.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent pledged to provide the complainants with the requested records upon completion of the validation process, which event was expected to occur within a matter of weeks of the hearing in this matter.


16.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainants nevertheless contended that they should have been provided with the July to December “invalidated” records upon request, and that certain data was withheld from the report received as described in paragraphs 3 and 5, above.


17.  However, with respect to the report described in paragraphs 3 and 5, above, it is found that the respondent provided the complainants with all requested records that it kept on file or maintained in electronic form at such time.  Based upon the facts and circumstances of this case, it is further found that the respondent could not have reasonably made a copy of the July to December records or have had such copy made, within the meaning of §1-211(a), G.S., because it did not have all July to December data at the time of the complainant’s request.


18.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint.


The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.


1.     The complaint is hereby dismissed. 


Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of December 12, 2001.




Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission






Jack Dolan and The Hartford Courant

285 Broad Street

Hartford, CT 06115


Office of the Chief State's Attorney,

State of Connecticut , Division of

Criminal Justice

c/o Judith Rossi, Esq.

Executive Assistant State's Attorney

300 Corporate Place

Rocky Hill, CT 06067





Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission