How to Find Public Police Records in the State of Kentucky?
Any information or document that has been made by any government agency or official and is maintained by them as per the law, is termed as public record. As the name suggests these records are generally open for public inspection. Baring a few exceptions, any member of the general public can request to view this record by paying the requisite fees. Public records are generally either court records, property records, government information or vital records related to marriage, birth, divorce, and death.
Public Records in the State of Kentucky:
The Kentucky Open Records Act, established in 1976, allows the citizens of Kentucky an opportunity to view and inspect public records. The purpose of this Act was to show government transparency and accountability. It was a move made in the public interest.
As per the Act, apart from fourteen exceptions, anyone can request for and search the public reports. The public reports need to be maintained by a government agency or an official. The information can be maintained in both electronic and/or paper mode (KRS 171.410).
Public Police Records in the State of Kentucky:
The State of Kentucky started to record and maintain documents as early as 1852. However, it was only in 1976, that a law was passed to make the records accessible in view of public interest. Police records are an example of records that are accessible to the public.
Police records maintained by the police and are basically like a criminal's rap sheet. It contains details on the criminal history, the police report on the investigation, details on arrest and warrants and any other such related information pertaining to the criminal. The Kentucky Police Department is a government agency, and hence part of public records. However, not all information on the police report is open for inspection and is kept confidential as per the Open Reports Act.
Finding Public Police Records in the State of Kentucky:
In order to inspect the records administered by the police department, the person requesting the records will need to contact their local police department. The police department will conduct a background check for criminal details, licensing and employment purposes. There are two ways through which the individual can request the report:
1. Fingerprint Search:
The applicant can mail the fingerprint to the Kentucky State Police at Frankfurt. For this, they will have to request a fingerprint card and follow the provided instructions. The applicant will have to send a fee of $13.25 in check or money order. The search will normally take up to four weeks to get processed.
A second search using fingerprint can be requested without any additional fees, however, if it gets rejected, the department will conduct a name search which may take an additional 2 to 4 weeks to be processed.
2. Name Search:
The individual requesting the public police report can visit their local police department or the headquarters at Frankfurt. The applicant will be required to fill a form and they may have to pay the requisite fees. Alternatively, the applicant can visit the Administrative Office of Courts (AOC) online portal CourtNet for online requests. The AOC will generally take 2 weeks to process the records. The applicant can choose either of the following options:
- AOC FactCheck: Allows the applicant to download the records electronically, once they are processed.
- Paper Request: The department will mail the reports to the applicant in paper format. This may take up to 2 to 4 weeks to reach the applicant.
Do note that a name check may require the consent of the person whose background is being investigated.
Apart from the above options, the applicant can also visit the various archives online. However, these sites may not be able to provide accurate data as they are not affiliated with the government. These online archives can be used for a basic background check only.