UNC Police Blotter
This map shows incidents reported by UNC’s Department of Public Safety for February 2014. Click the map to view incidents.
Every time government agencies file a piece of paper or elected officials hit the send button on an e-mail, they’ve made something you can look at. Public records aren’t just for reporters and lawyers — you can use them too.
How to make a public records request
- Identify: Figure out exactly what information you want and who would maintain that record. A narrower request is more likely to be accommodated quickly.
- Request: Go to the office, send an e-mail, or call and ask the clerk or official in the office if you can examine and photocopy the information. Inspection is free, but the public body can require reimbursement of the price for copying.
- In writing: If informal requests do not work, writing a letter or e-mail citing the public records law will ensure there is no misunderstanding about exactly what you asked for and when, and serves as evidence in a lawsuit, if necessary to obtain the information. See below for a sample request letter.
- Appeal: If denied access to the information, go back to the public body and discuss your request and why you were turned down with the public official or his supervisor.
- Last resort: If you’re still denied access, you can consult a lawyer to make sure the record is public and then file a lawsuit demanding access.