Frequently Asked Questions
How do I submit a Public Record Request to TCOMM?
Any person wishing to request copies of public records of TCOMM should make the request via the TCOMM website. If unable to do so please use the request form (See attachment on the right side of page.), letter, fax, or email addressed to the public records officer and including the following information:
- Name of requester
- Address of the requester
- Other contact information, including telephone number and any email address
- Identification of the public records adequate for the public records officer or designee to locate the records
- The date and time of day of the request
- How you would like to receive the records
Written request should be mailed to:
Thurston 911 Communications
Attention: Public Records Division
2703 Pacific Ave SE; Suite A
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone number: 360-704-2730
Fax number: 360-704-2723
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
All submissions received outside of the online form, i.e. Mail/Fax/Email/PDF/In-Person, will be entered directly into the online form by staff for tracking purposes.
What is a public record?
A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, email, microfilm audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public record request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision, but as much detail as you can provide will be helpful. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.
How long do you keep records?
In compliance with the Emergency Communications (911) Records Retention Schedule, TCOMM is required to keep audio records of all 911 calls for a period of ninety (90) days and Incident Activity Reports (CAD) for a three (3) year period.
Can TCOMM utilize an installment methodology to respond to my records request?
Yes. When a request is made for a large number of records, TCOMM Public Records Official may provide access for inspection and copying in installments, if he or she reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that manner.
If, within 30 days, the requester fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the TCOMM Public Record Official may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
Likewise, if payment for an installment is not made, the TCOMM Public Record Official may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
Where can I obtain officer notes, photographs, video, or the officer written report?
TCOMM does not maintain records such as investigative files, photos, videos, dash cam or body cam footage, fire department records, or officer notes, emails, or text messages; such records are held by the originating agency. Please contact the relevant agency for access to such information.
Please click here to see a list of records not available through TCOMM.
What public information is exempt from disclosure?
Each record must be reviewed to determine whether it is exempt from disclosure. Most exemptions are listed in RCW 42.56.230 – 42.56.480. However, certain state and federal statutes outside the Public Records Act also provide exemptions from disclosure or prohibitions on disclosure of particular records. When a request for disclosure of a public record is denied due to exemption, the specific statutory exemption on which the denial is based must be identified, along with a brief explanation of how the exemption applies.
Are public records requests confidential?
No, once a public record request is received, the request itself becomes a public record. However, requests can be submitted anonymously.
Can TCOMM search for records by name and date of birth?
TCOMM does not have the ability to perform this type of search. Any list provided by completing a name and date of birth search will not be an accurate list. TCOMMs system is setup to query by incident location only.
Must TCOMM create a document when responding to a specific request for public disclosure?
No. Washington case law has established that an agency is not required to create a record which is otherwise non-existent.
Is there a fee for public records?
- $0.15 /page paper (Double sided is considered 2 pages)
- $0.10 /page scanned into electronic format (Double sided is considered 2 pages)
- $0.05 /4 files or attachments and provided by electronic delivery
- $0.10 /gigabyte of electronic record transmission
- Actual costs of storage media, container, envelope; postage/delivery charge
If the total fee for the public records request (regardless of delivery method) is $1.00 or less the fees will be waived.
Other copies and reproduction rates can be located here.
How are the five business days calculated when responding to a public records request?
RCW 42.56.520 provides that a response to a request for public records must be made within five (5) business days. The day the request is received does not count as one of the five (5) days. Weekends and holidays observed by the agency are also excluded in the calculation. Within the five (5) days, TCOMM will do one of the following: – provide the records (or an installment of the records) – acknowledge receipt of the request and give an estimated timetable for delivery – ask for clarification – deny the request with a statement as to why the record is being withheld and a citation of the applicable state or federal statute.
How do I follow-up on my police report? What is the status of the investigation?
TCOMM provides 911, dispatch and records management services for law and fire agencies within Thurston County; we do not investigate incidents. For information about or to check the status of a case or incident, you must contact the relevant law enforcement agency.
What is the status of my public record request?
If you successfully submitted a request via the Records Request form online, you may check the status of your request(s) anytime by emailing email@example.com or by calling 360-704-2730.
How long will it take for me to receive my records or 911 audio request?
TCOMM processes public records requests on behalf of the agencies it serves; however, the applicable law enforcement or fire agencies oftentimes must approve requests before TCOMM may provide copies. It is common for requests to experience delays during this process and requestors will be notified by email when the records are available.
Can I submit a request without a case/incident number?
Yes. Please use the incident details section of our online form to specifically describe what you are requesting. Please include all of the information you have, such as the date/time and address/location of the incident, and the names of anyone involved.
How do I decipher the codes on the Incident Activity Report (CAD) I received?
The Public Records Act does not require TCOMM to provide research services, to analyze data, answer written questions, or to create records in response to a request.
TCOMM does not have a document containing a breakdown of all codes.