Chicago Police Department News Media Guidelines

The two sections that follow are retyped print-outs of CPD documents. I have not edited them. Bold-facing is copied from CPD documents. – Susan S. Stevens, Chicago Headline Club’s FOI vp.

Municipal Code of Chicago
TITLE 4 BUSINESSES, OCCUPATIONS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION
CHAPTER 4-328 NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS
CHAPTER 4-328
NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS
4-328-010 Credentials – Required.
4-328-020 Issuance authorized.
4-328-030 Application.
4-328-040 Advisory committee.
4-328-050 Credential – Form and contents.
4-328-060 City seal.
4-328-070 Credential – Revocation.
4-328-080 Violation – Penalty.
4-328-010 Credentials – Required.

No person shall pass police and fire lines for the purpose of gathering and editing spot news or photographing news events unless such person is a legal holder of a news media credential as provided herein.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-020 Issuance authorized.

The superintendent of police has power to issue news media credentials entitling the holder thereof to pass police and fire lines for the purpose of gathering and editing spot news or photographing news events in Chicago. Such news media credentials shall be issued only to those engaged in gathering, reporting, editing or photographing current news events for newspapers, press associations, newsreels and radio stations.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-030 Application.

The application for such news media credentials shall be made in writing by the employer on behalf of the employee qualified to hold news media credentials. The employer shall represent that the employee on whose behalf an application for a news media credential is made is a full-time reporter, editor, writer, photographer or broadcaster of spot news and is of good moral character. No such credential shall be issued unless the applicant meets these requirements and unless and until the fingerprints of the prospective holder are filed in the office of the superintendent of police.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-040 Advisory committee.

The mayor has power to appoint an advisory committee on news media credentials composed of five members, on which there shall be a representative of the mayor, a representative of the superintendent of police, a representative of the newspapers, a representative of the press associations, and a representative of the radio stations referred to in Section 4-328-020, which committee shall formulate rules of procedure, recommend standards of qualification, examine all applicants for news media credentials and advise with and make recommendations to the superintendent of police, where applicants are qualified, regarding the issuance of the same.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-050 Credential – Form and contents.

The news media credentials shall be in such form as is designated and prepared by the superintendent of police and shall contain spaces for signature, photograph and physical description of the authorized news media credential holder, and shall also contain space for the signature of the employer and for the signature of the superintendent of police. There shall also be printed on the news media credential an excerpt from Section 4-328-080 of the code to give notice of the penalty provided therein and the conditions under which the credential is issued. Such news media credential shall be valid for a period to be determined by the superintendent of police but not to exceed one year from the date of issuance.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-060 City seal.

The city clerk is directed to affix the city seal to each such news media credential so issued, without fee, which impression shall partly cover the photograph of the holder attached thereto.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-070 Credential – Revocation.

The superintendent of police has power to revoke any news media credential for improper use thereof by the holder, and upon notice thereof to the employer it shall be the duty of the holder and the employer to immediately surrender the news media credential so revoked.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)
4-328-080 Violation – Penalty.

No person shall counterfeit or imitate, or attempt to counterfeit or imitate, any such news media credential so issued by the superintendent of police; nor shall any person use or exhibit, or attempt to use or exhibit, any such news media credential or any credential similar in appearance thereto for the purpose of obtaining press privileges or of passing police or fire lines without authority of the superintendent of police; nor shall any person represent that he is a holder of such news media credential unless he is the actual authorized holder. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall upon conviction be fined not to exceed $200.00.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465)

D.S.O 03-16 Chicago Police Department

TITLE: NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS
ISSUE DATE: 02 October 2003
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03 October 2003
DISTRIBUTION: C
RESCINDS: Department Special Order 88-19

I. PURPOSE
This order:

informs Department members of the conditions for the issuance, use, and revocation of news media credentials issued by the Office of News Affairs.

discontinues the use of the:
New Media Identification card (CPD-13.413).
News Media Emergency Identification card (CPD-13.414).
News Media Photographer Identification card (CPD-13.416).
New Media Temporary Identification card (CPD-13.417).

continues the use of the News Media Vehicle Identification card (Windshield card) (CPD-13.412).

introduces the News Media Personnel Identification card.

II. GENERAL INFORMATION

On behalf of the Superintendent of Police, the issuing authority for all Department-issued news media credentials is the Director of the Office of News Affairs.

The use of Department-issued news media credentials is restricted to the person to whom they are issued.

The Superintendent of Police can revoke any news media credentials issued by the Department for improper use or abuse.

News media credentials are used as identification for members of the news media who may need consideration when on emergency missions or when their duties requires that they cross police lines.

A record of all Department-issued credentials is maintained at the Office of News Affairs.

A person using news media credentials may be questioned and their credentials checked for validity by contacting the Office of News Affairs at (312) 745-6110 or Pax 0541. The Office of New1s Affairs is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Possession of news media credentials is not a authorization to:
violate existing laws.
violate parking restrictions
disobey police orders
provide access to any police activity before completion of the investigation.
If the on-scene supervisor determines that the news media personnel will not interfere with a police activity the supervisor may allow the news media with Chicago Police Department issued news media identification within the yellow (outer perimeter) crime scene taped area before completion of the processing of the crime scene.
At no time will the news media be allowed within the red (inner perimeter) crime scene taped area before the processing of the crime scene by all appropriate units.

Questions regarding news media credentials should be referred to the Office of News Affairs.

II. DEPARTMENT-ISSUED NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS

Department-issued news media credentials are as follows:

The news media personnel identification card (wallet-size) is issued to staff members of accredited Chicago-area media organizations. The card is issued under the provisions contained in the City of Chicago ordinance 4-328. The news media personnel identification card is approximately 2″ wide X 3 1/2″ long laminated card that contains:
a facial picture of the cardholder.
the cardholder’s name.
the title or position, i.e. reporter, photographer, etc.
employer or organization name, and
an expiration date.

The news media vehicle identification card (Windshield card)(CPD-13.412) is issued to members of the Chicago-area media whose full-time duties require the use of their personal or company vehicle to cover spot-news events.

The news media vehicle identification card is a placard:
(1) that lists the current Illinois plate, and
(2) is restricted to the person to whom it was issued.
NOTE: Cards will not be issued for vehicles with out-of-state license plates.
If the license plate number is changed for the vehicle for which a placard was issued a new application must be submitted when the old placard is returned to the Office of News Affairs.
The placard will be revoked if someone other that the person to whom it was issued is found using that card.

III. NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALING PROCESS

On an annual basis, the Office of News Affairs will send out application forms to news media outlets within the Chicago market.
NOTE: The news media outlets may photocopy the application forms and distribute them to individual applicants.

In accordance with City of Chicago ordinance, persons employed as full-time reporters, producers, camera operators, photographers, or engineers are the only acceptable applicants.

NOTE: Freelance personnel are eligible for media credentials when a media outlet within the Chicago market extends a letter of authorization.

Applications must be signed by one of the following:
Editor, city or managing editor of a newspaper.
Bureau chief of a wire service or news photo service.
News director or station manager of a radio or television station.NOTE: The person signing the application is responsible for all credentials issued to their employees and is responsible for returning the credentials of terminated employees to the Director of the Office of News Affairs.

After the application has been completed and properly signed the applicant is to contact the Office of News Affairs at 312-745-6110 between the hours of 0800 hours and 1600 hours, Monday through Friday, to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting and photographing that will be taken at a location determined by the Office of News Affairs.
NOTE: Applicants will submit the properly signed and completed News Media Application form before fingerprinting and photographing. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Falsification of information or any application for Media credentials will result in the revocation of credentials and possible prosecution under the ordinance.

The applicant’s credentials, unless denied consistent with Item V of this directive, can be picked up within two working days after the screening process is complete or as otherwise indicated by the Director of News Affairs.

Applicant’s fingerprints will:
If ink-printed hand cards were used, be returned to the applicant upon the issuance of the credentials.
If digitally recorded, be purged upon issuance of the credentials.

IV. DENIAL OF NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS

News media credentials will not be issued if the applicant has:
an active criminal warrant
NOTE: The applicant may reapply for news media credentials after satisfying the warrant.
previously had his or her media credential revoked and that revocation has not been rescinded by the Superintendent of Police.

The Office of News Affairs will notify an applicant that is denied credentials for any of the reasons as delineated in item V-A.

VI. LOST OR TOLEN NEWS MEDIA CREDENTIALS
Any news media credential as delineated in item III-A that is lost or stolen will be reported, by the person who was issued the credentials, to the Chicago Police Department and the appropriate case report will be made.
NOTE: In the efent that the incident occurred outside the City of Chicago, the person who was issued the credential will make a report with the respective law-enforcement agency.

A letter stating the circumstances of the loss and the respective police agency report number must be sent to the Director of the Office of News Affairs, Chicago Police Department. This letter will be signed by the person who was issued the credentials and must be countersigned by the person who is authorized to sign the original application.

A AMFN message will be sent on all lost or tolen media identification cards. If the lost or stolen credentials occurred:
in Chicago, the reporting unit is responsible for sending the AMFN message.
outside the City of Chicago, the Office of News Affairs is responsible for sending the AMFN message.

VII. IMPROPER USE OF CREDENTIALS AND CONFISCATION PROCEDURES
Any Department-issued news media credential that is being used by an individual other than the person to whom it is issued and all expired news media credentials, unless the expiration is extended by the Office of News Affairs, that are being used will be confiscated y the discovering Department member.
The discovering Department member will:
1. notify:
Operations Command, and
The Office of News Affairs
2. prepare a to-from-subject report stating the circumstances which led to the confiscation.
submit the to-from-subject report and the confiscated credentials to the Director of the Office of News Affairs.

Authenticated by: Philip J. Cline
Acting Superintendent of Police

D.S.O. 04-14 Chicago Police Department

TITLE: NEWS MEDIA GUIDELINES
ISSUE DATE: 01 OCTOBER 2004
EFFECTIVE DATE: 02 OCTOBER 2004
DISTRIBUTION: C
RESCINDS: General Order 02-07

PURPOSE
This directive:
states Department policy and procedure concerning the release of information to the news media concerning arrests, investigations, and other police incidents of public interest.
establishes procedures for Department members who are invited to participate in television, radio, or print interviews.

II. POLICY
It is the policy of the Chicago Police Department to cooperate impartially with the news media in providing information on crime and police-related matters while simultaneously conforming to the protections guaranteed to individuals under the U.S. Constitution.
Staging the movement of an arrestee for the sole purpose of allowing the arrestee to be photographed or videotaped by the news media is prohibited.
The Superintendent of Police is the official spokesperson for the Department on matters of Departmental policy. The only exception to this provision is when the Superintendent specifically designates a subordinate member for this purpose.
District commanders/unit commanding officers will respond to press inquiries and provide information within the procedures outlined in this directive.
Department members participating in interviews will comply with the procedures outlined in this directive.

III. PROCEDURE
News Media Inquiries
1. The ranking officer at the scene or in charge of an investigation of a crime, arrest, or other police incident will respond to news media inquiries. The ranking officer may designate a subordinate member to speak to the media.
2. When there is doubt regarding the release of information, the Director or the Office of News Affairs or the ranking supervisor on scene will be contacted for assistance.
3. Inquiries can be made to the Office of News Affairs seven days a week during all watches.

News Media Authorization
The Superintendent of Police has the authority to issue news media credentials to authorized representatives. Such credentials are identified in the Department directive entitled “News Media Credentials.”

Access to Crime Scenes
Upon approval of a supervisor, news media with Chicago Police Department issued news media credentials or credentials issued by another law enforcement agency will be allowed access to a crime scene’s outer perimeter secured with yellow barrier tape.
NOTE: News media without any of the above-mentioned credentials will be allowed access to a crime scene’s staging area but not within the yellow crime scene barrier tape perimeter.
;Supervisors in charge of a respective crime scene will determine what media access is allowed in accordance with the Department directive entitled “Crime Scene Protection and Processing.”
News media will be permitted on a crime scene only after the Medical Examiner, Forensic Services Section, Detective Division, and the Office of Professional Standards personnel have completed their examinations of the crime scene and any other legitimate police purpose is not compromised by media presence.
Media access may be further limited by the following:
a. Media access to a crime scene on private property will only be permitted after the owner or the owner’s agent informs the police that the owner authorizes the media’s presence.
b. Access to disaster areas will be restricted when such access will hamper necessary emergency action, volatile circumstances may exist, or the presence of news media representatives would unnecessarily endanger their lives and/or the lives of surviving disaster victims.

Information that will not be Disseminated
Department members are reminded that pursuant to the Department directive entitled “Hospital Run Sheet,” MEMBERS WILL TREAT ALL INFORMATION RECEIVED AS CONFIDENTIAL. DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL MEDICAL INFORMATION MAY RESULT IN LEGAL SANCTIONS THAT MAY INCUDE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, IN ADDITION TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT.
Subject to the exceptions in this directive and in the Department directive entitled “Freedom of Information,” information contained in all Department documents will not be disseminated in response to a media request for information.
The following information will not be released to the news media:
The identity or addresses of witnesses or cooperating individuals, or specific information from their oral or written statements that could reasonably be used to identify them or endanger their lives or physical safety.
The names or addresses of sex-crime victims.
Juvenile records or information that will identify juvenile victims, offenders, or arrestees, including those charged as adults.
The content of any confession, statement, or admission.

When it is necessary to withhold or delay the release of information, Department members will explain the reason for doing so to news-media representatives.

Information that may be Disseminated

1. The following information may be released if an accused adult is in custody and charged on a signed complaint or wanted on an issued arrest warrant.
name, age, address, and occupation;
time, place, and reason for the arrest;
the nature, substance, or text of the charge;
the scheduling or result of any step in the judicial proceedings;
any information to aid in the apprehension of the accused or to warn the public of any dangers that the accused may present;
requests by the Department for assistance in obtaining witnesses or evidence.

2. The following information may be released to the news-media through the Director of the Office of News Affairs or through the exempt member in charge of a particular investigation:
Convictions that are part of criminal histories.
A request for an arrestee identification photograph
NOTE: The Identification Record (IR) Number must be removed before releasing an arrestee identification photograph.
General crime and news information, except as limited in this directive. All other request for general information will be disseminated in compliance with existing Department guidelines.

3. The following information may be released subject to the specific restrictions mentioned below:
The identity of a crime victim may be given to the news media except when the release of such information may endanger the victim’s life or physical safety or the release of such information is prohibited by provisions in this directive.
The name of a deceased person may be given to the news media only after the next of kin has been notified and obtained their consent.
Information concerning physical evidence will be released only with the approval of the Detective Division area/unit commander or the commanding officer in charge of the investigation. If necessary, the Assistant State’s Attorney in the Felony Review Unit may be contacted for further guidance.
No photo of an officer under investigation shall be made available to the media prior to a conviction for a criminal offense or prior to a decision being rendered by the Police Board.

4. The following general information may be released in any incident where the accused adult or victim is incapacitated or refuses to have any personal information released:
General description of the incident.
Gender of the injured
Age of the injured
Hospital where the injured has been transported.
General medical condition of the injured, e.g., conscious, unconscious, subject to the provision in Item III-D-1 of this directive.

V. PROCEDURES FOR PARTICIPATING IN MEDIA INTERVIEWS

A Department member can participate in media interviews subject to the following provisions:

1. If acting as an official representative of the Department to discuss Department policy or other information available to the general public, the member must:
a. have approval of the Director of the Office of News Affairs before participating in a media interview.
b. be identified as an official representative or spokesperson of the Department, and
c. appear in uniform if a sworn member or professional conservative attire if a civilian member, e.g. suit and tie, business dress, etc.
NOTE: Unless excused by the Director of the Office of News Affairs and their respective supervisors, sworn members not wearing their uniforms must follow the civilian dress code.

If acting as a nonrepresentative of the Department to express personal opinions, the member must:
participate during nonduty hours;
not conduct the interview at a police facility;
preface any comments with a clear prelude that the statement about to be made is a personal viewpoint and is not representative of the Department’s position; and
not appear in uniform or wear any Department insignia or item.

Media interviews will consist of the following types:
Print interviews: the term “print” includes all newspaper, magazine, internet news services, discussion groups, similar forums, etc.
Television interviews: the term television includes the industry of broadcasting all programs via local network, cable, or satellite, etc.
Radio interviews: the term radio includes panel discussions, documentaries, workshops, audience participation programs, etc.

Authenticated by: Philip J. Cline
Superintendent of Police

 

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