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Law Enforcement Records Management and Disclosure

MRSC created this series of webpages in partnership with the State Auditor’s Center for Government Innovation to help police and sheriff departments in Washington State manage their records and comply with disclosure and retention requirements under the Public Records Act and other statutes.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Inslee and the state legislative leaders have issued several temporary waivers and prohibitions related to the Public Records Act. For more information, see:

These orders do not relieve agencies from otherwise complying with the PRA during the COVID-19 emergency. Due to the pandemic JLARC staff have also extended the July 1 reporting deadline for 2019 public records metrics to September 1, 2020.


Police and sheriff departments, like all other units of local government, are subject to the Public Records Act and must disclose certain documents if requested. However, there are a number of special considerations that apply specifically to law enforcement agencies, as discussed in the links below:

Last Modified: July 31, 2020