Here’s an open records request I just emailed and faxed. (Microsoft Word format, if you want to use it as a template.)

March 29, 2010

Sent Via Facsimile No. (512) 974-6662 & Via Email to

Austin Police Department
ATTN: Open Records Department
P.O. Box 689001
Austin, Texas 78768-9001

RE: Austin Police Department policies about ticketing/citing instead of arresting for some Class B & A offenses

Dear Records Department:

I am interested in obtaining information on the Austin Police Department policies regarding ticketing/citing some offenders for some Class B/Class A misdemeanors instead of arresting them. The policy is known informally, even among police, as “Catch and Release”. I believe these policies came into effect some time around 2008, although they may have started being discussed in 2007.

I would like a copy of any letters, reports, memorandum or documents relating to these policies made by Austin Police Department.

I am particularly interested in (but not limiting my request to) information/memos about cost savings, both in police time, and the amount spent to incarcerate, and how these policies will save money over the long run.

Please feel free to contact me at (512) 472 9909 if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your time and attention in this matter.


Jamie Spencer

Updates forthcoming…