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City amends open records policy

Xavier Smith • Nov 7, 2017 at 9:07 PM

The Lebanon City Council amended its open records policy Tuesday to make it easier for citizens to view and receive police reports.

The city adopted the state comptroller’s office model public record policy after legislators pushed to make sure cities had a solid open records policy. The city adopted the model policy in March.

The policy states public records requests shall be handled by the public records custodian, which is designated as Lebanon Finance Commissioner Robert Springer.

Citizens who wanted any form of public record in the city would have been required to make the open records request at city hall or via email, even if the record was stored or involved a department outside of city hall, such as the Lebanon Police Department.

The resolution approved Tuesday alters the policy to allow citizens to make open records requests at the Lebanon Police Department for routine records, such as accident reports.

Springer said several cities realized the model policy did not include an exception for routine police records and received advisement from the state to simply alter their policy to reflect the desired change.

Lebanon Police Chief Mike Justice said citizens do not need identification to receive a copy of normal police records. Springer said the city’s open record policy still applies to any other form of open records request, such as personnel files.

For more information, visit lebanontn.org/499/records-request.

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