The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) (Chapter 37 of Title 2.2 of Code of Virginia) provides citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia access to public records held by public bodies as defined in the Act. VFOIA also provides access to public records to representatives of the print media with circulation in the Commonwealth and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.
For more info on the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, follow this link: VFOIA
Please note, the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications is primarily the Custodian of public safety communications records, and is NOT the Custodian of Fairfax County Police Accident or Incident Reports, or any other reports or documentation otherwise maintained by the Fairfax County Police Department. If you wish to obtain these records, please submit a request to the Fairfax County Police Central Records.
How do I submit a VFOIA request to DPSC?
VFOIA requests for Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) records may be made by:
1) Submit your request using the electronic form at the following Link: Online Request Form
2) Printing and completing page #2 of the below form:
FOIA Request Submission Form (PDF) - to be completed by hand or by type
3) Email: email@example.com
If requesting by email, please include the following:
Requestor Info -
- Phone Number
- Organization (if applicable)
- Request must include legal address pursuant Virginia Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(A)
- If you would like items mailed to you at an address other than the legal address, please indicate a separate mailing address as well
Request Info -
- DPSC Event Number (if known)
- FCPD Case Number (if known)
- Incident Date
- Approximate Time
- Incident Address
- Phone Number(s) Used to Make Call
- Person(s) Involved
- Brief Description of Incident and Type(s) of Record(s) Being Requested
4) By phone/fax:
Phone: 571-350-1703 (Preferably for questions only. It is preferred that official requests are made in writing, in one of the above formats.)
Walk-Ins are strongly discouraged as request processing can take from several hours to several days to complete, depending upon circumstances.
What is required to make a VFOIA request?
Pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(A), the DPSC requires that you provide your name and legal address.
Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(B) requires that the requestor identify the requested records with reasonable specificity.
In general, the DPSC is not required to create a new record in response to any VFOIA request. Va Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(D).
Is there a cost associated with a VFOIA request?
The DPSC is allowed to make reasonable charges for any VFOIA request that does not exceed the actual cost of producing the records. If it is determined in advance that the cost of a VFOIA request will exceed $200, the requestor will be notified and the DPSC may require a deposit before processing the request any further. DPSC does require the payment of any outstanding charges, which have remained outstanding for 30 or more days in relation to prior VFOIA requests, before any future requests will be honored. Va Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3704(F) and (I).
Some examples of fees are as follows:
One page - $0.13
Five pages - $0.65
CD with 9-1-1 recordings - $25.00 (base estimate - see below)
- The actual fee for a VFOIA request will be determined by the amount of time it takes to gather the records and complete the processing of the request in its entirety. Due to the fact that actual cost is determined at the conclusion of request processing, please do not provide payment in advance.
- This department does not transcribe calls, therefore, transcripts of phone calls cannot be provided. Only audio recordings of phone calls can be provided.
- Records containing personal or identifying information will have such information redacted prior to release pursuant VA. Code Ann. § 2.2-3706(D).
- In accordance with the retention schedule established by The Library of Virginia (GS-17), this communications center currently maintains audio recordings for a period of 180 days. Any recordings exceeding 180 days old are automatically purged from the recording system. Currently the earliest available date is:
What public records are exempt from disclosure under VFOIA?
The following records are exempt from the mandatory disclosure requirements of VFOIA:
Personnel records (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3705.1(1))
Legal memoranda and written advice from counsel (Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3705.1(2) and (3))
Tests or examinations (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3705.1(3))
Subscriber data as defined in Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3705.2(10) and (11)
Records that are part of a criminal investigative file (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3706(B)(1))