Per your message below, your records request for copy of the May 2012 Police Dept. phone bill has been withdrawn and PRR-12-105 is now closed.
Regarding your statements and question on text messages (PRR-12-104), I will clarify the following:
With this, please let me know the status and your expectations regarding PRR-12-104.
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: Blackberry messages Public Records Request
Date: Mon, August 06, 2012 10:22 pm
To: “Bonnie Walton” <Bwalton@Rentonwa.gov>
Cc: “Mark Dougan” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If that is the case, I request;
1) all text messages from all police department mobile devices for the past 2 years. As the messages are electronic, I request production electronically. If I can receive a listing of employee names and the devices assigned, I may be able to prioritize the production and potentially eliminate a number of devices from the request, otherwise, I request all text messages from all devices.
2) all cell phone statements for all police department mobile devices for the past 2 years. To prevent years of waiting for review and cost for production, I simply request the number of text messages per mobile device, for the 2 years in order to determine if I am being given all text messages. This can be produced in a single email to myself or Mr. Dougan. As an easy example, I should be able to receive 1,566 text messages from the month of May 2012, including redacted text messages with their specific exemption in the event an in-camera hearing will be required.
3) copies of the policies you reference, or links to your website if they can be downloaded.
4) all text messages from employee owned mobile devices in which text messages sent or received contained business information.
I am assuming, that since you said transitory text messages can be deleted, that all deleted text messages have been reviewed and determined not to be public records by those trained in the review, retention and destruction of government records, as text messages are government records. Therefore, that reasoning would imply that every phone has saved every business related text message and deleted “transitory” messages. However, with that, I disagree with non-business messages not be public records and do not accept that reasoning. I believe all text messages sent or received on public owned mobile devices are public records unless specifically exempted by law. If not provided, I will take the stance that these public records are being withheld.
My belief is that there has been no supervision of text message content, nor has there been any attempts to preserve text messages based on your repetitive stance of messages not being public records and not preserved. Text messages are also not transitory, particularly as each messages in a string of messages give context to complete conversations. Not unlike email, text messages are virtually identical in conveying thoughts and ideas as an electronic medium, capable of being stored, filtered, printed, and produced as public records. The definition of transitory does not pertain to text messages in the manner you speak.
Your production will either prove or disprove my theory of not preserving public records, resulting in a denial of production of public records.
Regarding technology, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+save+blackberry+text+messages+to+a+computer
. I seem to have found more than a dozen methods on preserving, printing, and saving text messages from Blackberries, I’m sure all mobile devices have similar methods to produce text messages. If I can save messages from my phone, I do not understand why a trained IT employee cannot try any method other than photocopying a cell phone to preserve text messages. This technology to save text messages has been in existence for more than 2 years, therefore, the excuse of not being able to keep up with technology is moot.
If the City of Renton honestly follows document retention policies as required by state law, all text messages will have been preserved, are able to be reviewed and will subsequently be produced.
You may want to review the following documents as I did, in which within the State of Washington, not only are text messages (writings) public records, but also that information on personally owned computers used for business communication. This implies personal mobile devices as well. I am in agreement with your laws in your state.
Related to another request with Commander McClincy and emails from personal email accounts/computers, we will be filing for withheld records once she completes that records request as she has not provided a single email from a single personal email account or computer, nor has provided any response if she will be providing that information.