The Records Office
The Records Office is the main repository of information for criminal incidents and all reportable motor vehicle accident reports. The Records Office is also the first point of contact for citizens and visitors to Police Headquarters who are seeking information. The staff of the Records Office maintain the vital documentation of incident reports and provide valuable assistance to the public.
The Records Office is located next to the Rappahannock Parking Deck. Visitor parking is available in designated areas. This is to be utilized for police department inquiries only as space is limited. Alternate visitor parking is available in the ground floor of the Rappahannock Parking Deck. Our GPS address is 4393 University Drive, Fairfax VA. 22030. Click here to see a campus map.
Hours of Operation:
The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM and is closed from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. The office operates on the University schedule during inclement weather. Closing alerts are posted on the University’s home page. You may call our office during regular business hours. Please see a list of our office’s services and procedures below.
Contact the Records Office:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing Address: 4400 University Drive, MSN 3D3, Fairfax, VA 22030
- Phone: (703) 993-2803
- Fax: (703) 993-2899
Requests for Records
The Records Office only releases three types of records to members of the public: (1) criminal record checks, (2) traffic crash reports, and (3) incident verification letters. See below for more information. Note: Release of other public records such as incident reports or “police reports” are processed as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. For more information, please visit the Freedom of Information Act page.
Criminal Record Checks
A criminal record check will disclose a date of incident, criminal charge, and disposition if available. All individuals and background investigators requesting a criminal record check will be provided with a form upon inquiry. If you prefer to arrive with the form signed and completed click here to retrieve it from our forms page.
Procedures for Requesting a Criminal Record Check of Yourself:
Individuals requesting a personal criminal records check must request this in person with a valid photo ID. If an individual is requesting a background check but lives outside of the immediate area or internationally, the following documents will need to be sent via mail to Central Records, or via fax:
- Part 1&2 of the criminal record check request form filled out (disregard Name & Address of Agency)
- A formal letter requesting a background check, notarized
- A copy of a valid driver’s license or passport
Procedures for Background Investigators Requesting a Criminal Record Check of a Third Party:
Background investigators seeking a criminal records checks on individuals must provide the following:
- a copy of the release of information form and have credentials in hand.
Record checks can be requested via fax with the required release of information, Background Investigators must appear in person and show ID to retrieve the background check. International requests must include certification by US embassy or consulate.
DISCLAIMER: Criminal record checks only disclose arrests made by George Mason University Police officers. Further inquiry can be made with the city, county, or state police localities.
Traffic Crash Reports
Procedures for Requesting Traffic Crash Reports:
To obtain a copy of the crash report all insurance companies and/or attorneys must request this in a formal written document. Individuals may request this in person with a photo ID; a driver’s license or passport is acceptable. All requests for a vehicle accident report are releasable with a fee of $5.
*Acceptable payment methods are by check or money order.
This document is releasable to:
- Driver, and passengers involved in the crash
- Injured persons/pedestrians/bicyclist in the crash
- Property/vehicle owner
- Attorneys and or insurance agents representing the driver or property owner
Incident Verification Letters
In circumstances where an Incident Report was not taken, your FOIA request was denied, or a copy of the Incident Report is not needed, you can request an Incident Verification Letter for the incident at no cost. Incident Verification Letters are releasable only to involved parties. Incident Verification Letters are similar to a receipt acknowledging police were called to the incident and typically include the following information:
- Incident number
- Incident date
- Report date
- Name of victim or complainant (only if the requesting party is the victim or complainant involved in the incident)
- Name of investigating officer
- Nature of the incident
- Location of the incident
- Whether any injuries were reported
- Whether any property was damaged or stolen
Procedures for Requesting an Incident Verification Letter:
Individuals involved in a particular incident may request an Incident Verification Letter in-person during regular business hours at the Records Office. You must show a photo ID (driver’s license, GMU ID, or passport are acceptable) to prove involvement in the incident.
Incident Reports and other Public Records
Incident reports and other public records are only releasable to law enforcement agencies, pursuant to subpoena or court order, or pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Incident reports are considered “public records” under FOIA. See Va. Code § 2.2-3700 et seq. Requests for other public records such as audio and video recordings, call for service records, and other report records are also considered a FOIA request. For more information, please visit the Freedom of Information Act page.
Records Retention and Disposition Schedule
Mason Police follows the records retention and disposition schedule approved by The Library of Virginia pursuant to Virginia Public Records Act, § 42.1-76, et seq. of the Code of Virginia. Descriptions of retention and disposition timeframes for records maintained by Mason Police are described below. Complete General Schedules for State Agencies are available at https://www.lva.virginia.gov/agencies/records/sched_state/index.htm.
Criminal Offenses – Between 5 and 75 years after closed
The results of any systematic investigations, inquiries, or examinations into criminal or suspected criminal acts that have been committed, are being committed, or are about to be committed that the agency has deemed to be:
- Non-serious in nature – 5 years after closed
- Less serious in nature – 25 years after closed
- Serious in nature – 75 Years after closed
Such records may include but are not limited to records pertaining to the following: Breath Alcohol, Confiscated (non-weapon) Property, City-wide/In-car Surveillance/ Monitoring Recordings, Controlled Substance Seizures, Dispatch/ Communications Recordings, Emergency Calls, Evidence (including receipts and requests for), Field Notes, Fingerprints (including latents), Incident Reports, Lab Requests/ Reports/ Certificates of Analysis, Photographs, Polygraphs, Release (Waiver) Forms, Summons, and Virginia Criminal Information Network/ National Crime Information Center (VCIN/NCIC) entries.
No Investigative Value – 5 years after closed
Reports with no investigative value are retained for 5 years after closed. Such reports may include but are not limited to non-criminal incidents and occurrences such as accidental deaths, suicides, lost and found property, and other occurrences that have been determined not to require further investigation. Such records may include but are not limited to the following: incident reports, tracking records, property receipts, and investigative files.
Traffic Accidents/Crashes – 3 years after closed
Investigations into and reporting of motor vehicle accidents/crashes that involve law enforcement vehicles are retained for 3 years after closed. Such records may include but are not limited to the following: notes, reports, photographs, evidence, and other supporting documentation.