Right to Know

The Borough of Emmaus is a public agency and subject to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act.  The Borough of Emmaus recognizes that certain information is public record, and may be released to the public in a manner that does not compromise the effectiveness or operations of the agency. 

The Borough of Emmaus also recognizes that it is not obligated to keep or create separate data bases to comply with the provisions of the Act.

The purpose of this is to explain the procedures for requesting information and how the information will be disseminated. 

 

Right to Know Request Forms:

 

For all records request with the Borough of Emmaus (with the exception of police requests), please use this Right to Know Request Form

 

For police records, individuals are asked to use this  Right to Know Request Form

 

Requests for Records:                                           

All requests shall be in writing and signed by the person making the request.  The following requests will not be accepted:

  • Oral requests.
  • Anonymous requests.
  • Requests via e-mail.

 

Requests for records shall be addressed to:

Borough of Emmaus.
Office of Borough Manager
Attn:  Shane M. Pepe, Open Records Officer
28 S. 4th Street
Emmaus, PA 18049
 

Requests for Police Department records shall be addressed to:

Emmaus Police Department
Office of the Chief of Police
Charles Palmer, Chief of Police, Open Records Officer
400 Jubilee Street
Emmaus, PA.  18049

 

The following fees will be charged to the requestor when a written request for records is granted:

  1. All copies: (25) cents per page.
  2. Postage:                                            
    • Records fitting into a standard sized envelope: no cost  
    • Other mailings: actual cost
  3. Fees must be paid by a certified check or money order, or cash payable to: Borough of Emmaus.
  4. The requestor may be required to prepay fees where the fee estimate is $100.00 or greater.

 

Record Dissemination:

Public Information that may be released includes:

  • Information permitted to be released in accordance with the Department’s Media Relations Policy (Procedure No. 16).
  • Crash reports in accordance with Title 75 (PA. Vehicles Code).
  • Incident reports are limited  to the following:
  • Date of incident.
  • Type of incident.
  • Location of incident.
  • Person(s) arrested: name, age, place of residence, charges.
  • To the extent that incident reports are considered investigative records, release of information will be limited.
  • Other records as permitted by the Act.

Denial of requests for information pursuant to the Right to Know Act may be appealed, pursuant to the Act.

Requests shall only be accepted by:

  • Regular mail.
  • Delivery in person during official business hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays and other closings.
  • All requests shall include the name and address to which the response will be sent.
  • All requests shall specifically describe and identify the record(s) being requested.
  • The requestor shall be a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Requests of record(s) from former residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Proof of former residency will be required.

Information will be released in one of the following manners:

  1. In writing.
  2. By being made available for viewing.

Non-Public Information: Information which will not be released includes but is not limited to:

  1. Information that could jeopardize the personal security of police department personnel.
  2. Investigative records and information.
  3. Investigative crash reports.
  4. Personnel records.
  5. Any and all records that do not fall under the definition of a public record.
  6. Information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  7. Victim and witness information.
  8. Police Department Procedures and Policies.

Redaction of non-public information will occur when it is part of a document containing information that is not considered public under the terms of the Right to Know Act.

 

Click on this link to see a copy of the Open Records Act.  The Act details any and all requirements of the Act.  In all cases where there are discrepancies between the Act and the policy as established in this webpage, the details of the Act shall govern.

 

Appeals:

Individuals have the right to appeal to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records if they do not agree with the decision of the Open Records Officer, pursuant to the requirements of the Open Records / Right to Know Act. 

The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Open Records within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Agency’s response. Appeals should be sent to:

 

Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North St., 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225


You can also visit the Pennsylvania Department of Open Records Office website by clicking this link.