Freedom of Information

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

In 1967 the Federal Government established the Freedom of Information Act, also known as the FOIA.  Under the FOIA any person has a right to obtain access to Governmental agency records subject to disclosure under the act. The basic purpose of the FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry to hold the governors accountable to the governed. 

It is the Policy of the Blytheville Police Department to comply with request for information in a timely organized professional manner as prescribed by Law. The Blytheville Police Department routinely fulfills request for information under the Freedom of Information act. Information may be delayed, redacted or not subject to disclosure due to a variety of circumstances or reasons. While a single Criminal Incident report is free, there can be a cost depending on the type and amount of information requested. Click Here to request a copy of a police report or record. To get a copy of an accident report click on the Icon at the bottom of the page. 

Costs for Audio / Video

Act 778 of 2021 Arkansas Code § 13-4-403 SECTION 3 recognizes that the allocation of time of department personnel toward fulfilling requests for copies of audiovisual media is substantial and a uniform assessment of costs to defray and recover the costs is necessary and set forth the following guidelines for request for audiovisual media that requires more than three (3) hours of personnel or equipment time to fulfill the request or the requestor or the requestor's entity has made a request under this section in the immediately preceding thirty-day period, shall be charged at a rate that does not exceed twenty dollars ($20.00) per not including the cost of the electronic medium if not provided by the requestor. 

If it is estimated to require more than three (3) hours of personnel or equipment time to fulfill the request may be required to be prepaid. A request for audiovisual media shall be sufficiently specific to enable the custodian to locate the requested media with reasonable effort. 

Files Exempt From Disclosure

Some files such as, Employee personnel files, Undisclosed investigations, and Open investigations may be exempt from disclosure under FOI. If you have any questions you can refer to the Arkansas Attorney General's Freedom of Information handbook

Quick Links for additional information on the Freedom of Information Act. 

https://arkansasag.gov/arkansas-lawyer/opinions-department/arkansas-freedom-of-information-act/

https://www.justice.gov/oip/doj-guide-freedom-information-act-0

The Arkansas Attorney General is a great source of Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act and they can be reached by clicking here. You can download additional information and a copy of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Law. (unofficial)