New Procedure for After-Hours Media Inquiries
Police Community Relations Public Information Officers will typically not be available to respond to general media inquiries between the hours of 8:45 pm – 7:00 am Monday through Thursday and weekends from 5:45 pm on Friday through 7:00 am on Monday morning.
In order to insure that media outlets have access to basic information on active calls for service after normal PCR hours, Communications Supervisors will be available to field basic media inquiries on active calls for service. You may reach Communication Supervisors at (409) 880-3865.
Communications personnel will use the below guidelines when responding to after hour media inquiries:
- Media inquiries will be directed to Communications Supervisors.
- Communications Supervisors may give the media the following info about active calls for service:
a. The nature of the call (ex: burglary, theft, shots fired, disturbance, etc.).
b. The hundred block of the street on which the call is occurring.
c. The number of patrol units assigned to the call. (Patrol, CID, ID, etc.)
d. Brief synopsis of the call notes (Media must also be reminded that initial info provided by the caller has not been verified and true facts of the incident will only be determined upon further investigation by Patrol or CID)
e. Disposition of call, if available (offense report taken, arrests made, number of people transported to hospital, etc)
f. Communications personnel will not release any names or identities of any person affiliated with the call for service.
g. Communications Supervisors will remind the media that the above info is preliminary and that PIO’s will be available for follow-up during normal working hours.
- PIO’s will be available only if called out by a Patrol, CID, or Admin Supervisors or Staff.
a. If PIO’s are called out, then the media will be referred to them for information.
- If the media is persistent in wanting more information, or sound bites, Communications Supervisors may refer them to the on-duty Patrol Supervisor.
- The above guidelines are to be used by Communications Supervisors for calls for service that originate after normal PCR working hours only. Follow up media inquiries about ongoing investigations will be handled by PCR personnel during normal working hours only.
- During weekend on-call hours, the on-call PIO will be responsible for issuing press releases on hotsheets. They will also be responsible for fielding media inquiries reference press releases that are issued on hotsheets. For those calls not covered by a hotsheet or press release, Communication Supervisors will use the above guidelines to answer media inquires.
Any questions about this new procedure may be directed to Sgt. Rob Flores, Jr.