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Public Information Office

The Public Information Office was created in 1979 to serve as a liaison between the Austin Police Department, the news media, and the public. The purpose of the Public Information Office is to seek a balance between permitting the free flow of information to the public and the media while protecting both the prosecution's case and the rights of the accused from possible prejudicial publicity.

Public information and positive media relations are an integral part of the operation of any public service agency and APD is no exception. Most citizens have little contact with law enforcement and their opinions of the police are often formed by our Department's portrayal in the media. The release of public information and maintenance of good media relations is a crucial element of APD's mission.

APD is committed to informing the community and members of the news media of events that are handled by, or involve, the Department. Employees will cooperate fully in meeting the relevant information needs of the public and the news media. Every reasonable effort should be made to obtain requested information, so long as the release of that information conforms to federal and state laws, and follows established Department guidelines.

Pursuant to section 552.301 (c) of the Government Code, the City of Austin has designated certain addresses to receive requests for public information sent by electronic mail. For requests seeking records held by the Austin Police Department, send an email here or fax your request to (512) 974-6662. For requests seeking the records held by any other City department, send an email here. Your request will not be considered received unless it is sent to the proper address.

The PIO staff consists of three civilians and four sworn police officers. The sworn PIO personnel are on-call 24/7 and respond to bank robberies, homicides, SWAT call-outs, officer involved shootings, and any other high profile incidents. Sworn personnel provide on-camera, phone and radio interviews to media outlets who request them. All PIO Personnel work with media on a daily basis, respond to requests from the public and participate in writing news releases. Additionally, PIO Personnel provide media relations training for APD officers, internal communications for department employees, and content management for the Austin Police Department’s Website. PIO Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.