Virginia Freedom of Information Act
Fairfax County Police and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 37 of Tile 2.2 of Virginia Code) provides access by citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia to public records and to meetings of public bodies, as defined in the act. The act also provides access to representatives of the print media with circulation in the Commonwealth and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.
The Fairfax County Police Department provides access to many records through this Web site. If you are considering submitting a VFOIA request, check to see if what you are seeking is already available. If you are looking for crash reports, crash photographs, police incident reports, or criminal record checks, you may want to access Records Checks & Criminal History. If you are looking for crime statistics, you may want to look at Crime Statistics and Crime Mapping.
VFOIA request for the police department should be made by:
E-mail to FCPDFOIA@fairfaxcounty.gov.
In person or mail to: Fairfax County Police Department, Office of Internal Affairs, Inspections Division, 4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA, 22030.
Calling Internal Affairs at 703-246-2918
Faxing Internal Affairs at 703-383-9085
A VFOIA request form is available for your convenience and may help organize your request.
Requirements for VFOIA request:
As required by Code of Virginia 2.2-3704, you must provide your name and your legal address. The law also requires the requestor to identify the requested records with reasonable specificity. The police department is not required to create a new record in response to any VFOIA request.
Fees for a VFOIA request:
The police department is allowed to make reasonable charges for any VFOIA request that does not exceed the actual cost of such request. If it is determined in advance that the cost of any request will exceed $200, the police department can require a deposit. The police department will require payment of any outstanding prior charges for the requestor before any future request is honored.
Some examples of fees are as follows:
- One page = $3
- Five pages = $15
- CD with 911 Recordings = $52
- CD with photos = $20
- Requests that require assistance from a crime analyst or traffic analyst would be charged the hourly pay rate for that analyst
These are just examples and actual costs may vary.
The following public documents are exempt from release under Virginia Code 2.2-3705.1 and 2.2-3706:
- Personnel records
- Legal memoranda and written advice from legal counsel
- Tests or examinations
- Confidential administrative investigations
- Background investigations of applicants
- Complaints, memo’s, correspondence, case files, statements, evidence
- Cell phone, pager, mobile device numbers of personnel
The police department may choose to withhold the following information:
- Identity of victims, witnesses
- Identity of undercover officers
- Investigative techniques
- Identity of anonymous sources
The police department may temporarily withhold information that would:
- Jeopardize an ongoing investigation
- Jeopardize the safety of an individual
- Cause a suspect to flee
- Result in destruction of evidence