Incidence reports or what one would call police reports are made available by the State to the people; however, the amount of information is limited to what is termed as “public information report” which includes a brief summary of the report. Information after the first initial reports are restricted from the public until such time when the case receives a conviction, a grant or someone is arrested. The State of Texas police reports are examples of these records, which are made available through the Texas Public Information Act and can be requested from the city or town where the case was filed.
Each county or city has their own guidelines or step by step process to make the request easier. In Houston for example, the Open Records Office division is tasked with keeping all incident reports and a person requesting can send their letter of request either by fax, e-mail or standard mail. The Office will send the report requested via standard mail and as such, the person requesting should indicate their mailing address in the request form. Fees for the request depend on the number of pages and additional fees might incur for postage and the amount of time it takes to process the records.
For walk in, they can visit the Records Division during working hours and wait for the reports to be generated. To make the transaction faster, the person requesting the records must submit information such as the incident report, parties involved, date as well as the cause of the accident. One must also specify that the purpose for the records will be for “public information only” as not stating so, especially in “open request”, will route the request to the Attorney General’s Office for approval, which can take up to 2 months of processing time.
For those who want to request for police reports in El Paso Texas, they may do so by visiting or mailing the Records Division. The record division is open seven days a week, from six in the morning until midnight and they can handle requests of walk-in persons. Requests for reports should be in writing and sent through email or standard mail. Cost for each page of the report is about $.10 for the first 50 pages. Additional fees also apply for more than fifty pages. The office accepts checks or money orders and walk-ins can pay in cash.
For those who are in Texas City, police reports are available from the Criminal Records and Identification Office. The cost is about $4. Walk-ins are also allowed and they can easily get the public release report or Page 1 of the report. Some cases might still be under trial and as such these might be restricted although the police can give one a brief summary of the case.
On the other hand, police reports in Austin can be requested from the Main Police Headquarters. Reports cost about $10 for every page although only the public part or portion is made available to the public. The reports are also accessible from the APD incident report database. Some local enforcement agencies also make available their police reports online to make it accessible for residents or the public. Other ways to obtain police reports are through search database, which provides search services of public records or vital records.