Policy on Records Availability to Non-Participating Agencies
For the purposes of this document, non-participating agencies or individuals shall be considered anyone other than law enforcement agencies, fire companies, or emergency medical services units under contract with the Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications hereafter known as the Department.
Requests for Records
All requests for records shall be in writing and include: incident date, time, location and description of the incident. The Department of Emergency Communications must be given at least 10 working days in order to comply with a request.
No records will be released without an original subpoena referencing an active court case, signed by the current Prothonotary or Clerk of Courts and carrying a raised court seal. A court order signed by a Commonwealth or Federal Court Judge is also sufficient for the release of records.
Hard Copy Printouts
Physical printouts of the computer-aided-dispatch incident records or 911 ALI/ANI printouts will be available based on the following fee schedule:
- Current records (within 60 days) are $25 per incident
- Back dated records (over 60 days old) are $50 per incident
Oral Communications tapes will be retained for the current year and one additional calendar year. All original tapes will remain the property of the Department.
The following procedures and fee schedules shall apply to all tape playbacks for non-participating agencies and individuals:
- The Department will make a standard cassette copy of the incident requested.
- The Department shall supply the tape.
- A representative(s) (limited to a total of three persons) of the requesting entity may be present during the copying of the recordings.
- The fee is $50. This fee includes set up time and the first hour that the playback equipment is in use.
- An additional fee of $50 will be imposed for every hour or fraction there after.
- If the playback equipment must be removed from the Department to another part of the Courthouse, an additional daily flat fee of $500 will be added to the above stated fees. An Emergency Communications' Department representative must accompany any original tapes or equipment removed from the Department.
- If the playback equipment must be removed from the County Courthouse Building, a daily flat fee of $1,000 shall be imposed. Also an insurance bond of $50,000 must be supplied to cover possible damage to the equipment while it is removed from the Department. These fees and requirements are in addition to the above stated playback fee. An Emergency Communications' Department representative must accompany any original tapes or records equipment removed from the Department.
- All checks are to be made payable to Bucks County Commissioners.
An employee from the Emergency Communications Department will be available if subpoenaed to testify in a criminal matter.
A fee of $400 a day (plus expenses) must be paid if a county employee is to testify or be deposed in a civil matter. All payments are to be made payable to the Bucks County Commissioners, before the testimony.
The Department Director or his/her designee shall address exceptions to this policy on an individual and discretionary basis.