How Transparent are Bay Area Police Departments?

For our story on police response times in San Jose, The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit made public records requests from five Bay Area police departments.

We asked for response times to emergency calls for residential or business burglaries. None of that information is available online, but should be accessible to anyone via the California Public Records Act.

Specifically, we asked for response times for confirmed burglaries and not false alarms. Here's a few of the things we requested:

  • date of the incident
  • time of initial call
  • time on scene
  • total response time
  • type of burglary
  • amount of loss
  • anything else regularly kept in reports and/or data records

San Francisco responded the quickest: within four business days. Palo Alto provided records 27 days from the time of asking. Neither, however, charged for the information.

We had the most trouble with the San Jose Police Department. San Jose said that it would cost between $10,000 and $29,120 to fulfill our request.

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