What Information is Generally Not Available to the Media?
Identity or address of witnesses and victims
Identity of juveniles under the age of 18, unless charged as an adult*
Medical conditions, unless permission is specifically given by the victim or the victim's family (HIPAA)
Information which, if prematurely released, may interfere with an
investigation or apprehension of a suspect, such as the nature of leads,
specifics of an "MO," details of the crime known only to the
perpetrator or police, or information that may cause the suspect to flee
or avoid arrest
Information that would disclose investigative techniques or would endanger the life or safety of law enforcement personnel
Evidence that may adversely affect a court proceeding
Status of persons turned over to the custody of Health and Welfare, such as mental hold or child custody situations†
Results of any investigative procedure, such as line ups, polygraph tests, ballistic tests, etc.
The identities of suspects before their arrest absent a warrant, unless
the release is necessary for public assistance in apprehension or to
warn of danger
The contents of a statement by the accused
*Child protection matters are also protected by law. Children taken
into protective custody for whatever reason are provided protection of
their identities and status under state and federal statutes.
†Police officers routinely deal with people who have diagnosed or
suspected mental illness. This is a medical condition protected under
the medical records provision of the public records act. The Police
Department may only be able to refer you to the Department of Health and
Welfare; however, they too are restricted in providing information due
to patient's privacy rights.