Media Policy

Media Policy
The HCSO’s Media Relations Team strives to be responsive and professional, acting in compliance with the Texas Public Information Act and in the best interest of the department, its employees and the people of Harris County. Routine media inquiries and records requests are handled as expeditiously as possible during normal business hours. You may contact the HCSO Media Relations Office at 713-755-3647 ormediarelations@harriscountyso.org.
 
After Hours
In the event of significant breaking news outside of regular office hours you may reach the on-call PIO by e-mail at mediarelations@harriscountyso.org. Please be as specific as possible about the incident you are inquiring about by including the type of case -- e.g. homicide, traffic accident -- date, approximate time and the address. The on-call PIO will respond as soon as possible. The on-call PIO will not provide updated information about previous cases or the status of cases not considered breaking news and will not have information regarding non-fatal car accidents, crimes not resulting in death or critical injury, or routine arrests. The purpose of the PIO being on call is to address immediate news concerns that cannot be postponed until the following business day. Please note that for homicides, traffic fatalities, and officer-involved shootings there will be an HCSO representative at the scene to talk to the media once he/she has gathered preliminary information. Please be patient.
Booking Photos (Mug Shots)
Booking photo requests must be made in writing Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please send requests to mediarelations@harriscountyso.org. Booking photo requests must include the defendant’s name, date of birth (DOB) and/or SPN, and criminal charge associated with the photo you are requesting. Booking photos for defendants not arrested by the HCSO, and those no longer in custody and that did not result in a criminal conviction, will not be released.
 
Records
Please send your public information request to mediarelations@harriscountyso.org. Please make sure to include your name, the name of your news organization, and contact information. For more information on the Texas Public Information Act, click here.
 
Inmate Media Interviews
Inmate on camera interviews, if permitted, will be done within the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All media requests for interviews (recorded or not) must be made in writing to the HCSO's Media Relations Office. Send requests to mediarelations@harriscountyso.org.  Interview requests should include inmate name, Date of Birth (DOB) and/or SPN. Request for interviews must be accompanied by a signed letter on letterhead stationery from the defendant's attorney of record in the criminal proceedings, reflecting the attorney's approval of the interview request. The letter must state that the judge having jurisdiction over the criminal proceeding has been informed of the interview request. Any inmate to be interviewed must first grant his/her written consent to the HCSO. The HCSO will consider all interview requests but reserves the right to deny requests for any reason. Any media representative who conducts an interview within the boundaries of the institution will be asked to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution and will be subjected to the same security measures as visitors, including but not limited to searches of his/her person or property.
 
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