Releasing Information Contained in University Police Department Records
UPPS No. 05.04.01
Issue No. 5
Effective Date: 4/09/2014
Next Review Date: 6/01/2020 (E6Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Police Department
- This UPPS establishes policies for releasing information contained in records maintained by the University Police Department.
DEFINITIONS AND REPORTING LINES
“Director” as used in this UPPS refers to the director of the University Police Department.
The University Police Department, a sub-unit of a government agency, performs the administration of criminal justice pursuant to state statute and allocates a significant part of its annual budget to the administration of criminal justice. It is a “criminal justice agency” as defined in 28 CFR § 20.3(g)(2).
For the purpose of dissemination of information, and for the purpose of administration of criminal justice, those individuals in the director’s administrative chain of authority have access to information maintained by the University Police Department, subject to the restrictions and limitations of law.
Officers of the university police are peace officers under article 2.12, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Law enforcement records of the University Police Department relating to university students are:
maintained apart from other student educational records;
maintained solely for law enforcement purposes; and
not disclosed, other than to law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction or to campus administration for internal action due to violations of university policy.
Student education records maintained by Texas State are not disclosed to personnel of the University Police Department, except when in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (see UPPS No. 01.04.31).
PROCEDURES FOR THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION
Generally, the university will release to the media, either at the university’s initiative in the form of a press release, or in response to media inquiries, not made confidential by law.
The director of the University Police Department, or his or her designee, ordinarily will respond to media inquiries about criminal investigations and incidents involving police action. The director may, after responding to a media inquiry, refer the inquirer to the director of University News Service for additional assistance. The director will notify the director of University News Service of all media inquiries as soon as practical after they occur.
The following are guidelines for information that may be released to the press:
nature of the offense;
location and time of the offense (the exact address of a sex offense, where such information could lead to the identity of the victim, shall not be released);
injuries sustained or damages resulting from the action. When there has been extensive damage to or loss of property owned by the university, dollar estimates of the loss must be cleared by the vice president for Finance and Support Services before their release. The amount taken in robberies or burglaries shall not be released, nor shall any information be released regarding exact identifying information that could be known only to the guilty party (i.e., “investigating keys”);
identity of the victim, except that the name of an alleged sex crime victim shall not be released;
method of complaint (officer observation, citizen, warrant);
whether or not there are suspects (the identity of suspects not charged shall not be released);
names of persons arrested, except that the names of juvenile arrestees shall not be released;
date and time of arrest;
the exact charge;
facts and circumstances relating to the arrest, such as resistance, pursuit, and possession or use of a weapon; and
the name of the arresting officer (undercover operations may require withholding the officer’s identity).
Information that is exempt from required public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, Government Code Chapter 552, shall not be released to the press or the public (see UPPS No. 01.04.30).
Before releasing the names of deceased or injured individuals, the director, or his or her designee will verify notification of next of kin.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date Director, University Police Department June 1 E6Y Support Services Supervisor, University Police Department June 1 E6Y Director, University News Service June 1 E6Y Associate Vice President and Dean of Students June 1 E6Y
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Director, University Police Department; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Vice President for Student Affairs