Public Information Fact Sheet

The Public Information Act provides a mechanism for citizens to inspect or copy government records. It also provides for instances in which governmental bodies, within narrow parameters permitted by the Act, may wish to or when they are required by law to, withhold government records from the public. The Public Information Act provides that a governmental body must respond promptly to a request for information within ten business days upon receipt.

The majority of information contained in police offense, incident, arrest, and accidents reports collected and maintained by the police department is considered public information by law and is available to citizens or the media.

Pursuant to exceptions cited in the Texas Government Code Section 552.101 - Section 552.1425, certain information is not subject to release. Exceptions include confidential information (such as social security numbers, medical information, juvenile information, identity of sexual assault victims, information that contained highly intimate or embarrassing facts about a person's private affairs, etc., and details that may interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime, usually meaning anything other than the first page of an offense report).

How do I make a public information request?

What should I say in my public information request?

How long does the governmental body have to respond to my request for information?

What procedures must be followed if a governmental body wishes to withhold information?

The SPD will provide, in the interim, information deemed releasable under applicable statues, but nothing more, pending the AGO ruling.

Requests for
offense reports only are usually provided at no cost. However, costs are incurred for the reproduction of other media types, and may include charges for labor, overhead, and other actual costs. SPD must provide the requestor with a written estimate of charges if the cost will exceed $40 before the requestor is obligated.

You also have the right to make subsequent requests.  If you have any questions, please contact the Records Office at 903-892-7359.

For additional information regarding the Public Information Act, refer to the Office of Attorney General of Texas.