The Palo Alto Police Department regularly distributes news releases to our community about significant crimes, crime trends, upcoming events and programs sponsored by the Police Department, and more. These news releases are simultaneously sent via e-mail to our media partners, posted to this web page, and distributed to our followers via Twitter, Nextdoor, and Nixle.
Our news releases are listed below, with the most recent appearing first. If you are looking for a news release published before November 2019, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to assist you.
To begin receiving our news releases via social media using Twitter or Nextdoor, or via e-mail using Nixle, visit our Social Media Connections page.
To view our Police Report Log, which lists all of the reports our officers investigate, visit our Police Report Log page.
Criteria for a PAPD News Release
Formal news releases are generally reserved for the most significant crimes and incidents that occur in Palo Alto. Typically, those include:
- Felony person crimes that occur in public with a nexus to a public safety concern (e.g. a street robbery committed by an armed suspect)
- Select felony person crimes that occur in private homes (e.g. homicide)
- Fatal injury traffic collisions
- Any other case where a proactive release of information would benefit the community and allow people to better provide for their own safety
What Information Does PAPD Release about Suspects?
The information we release on an arrested suspect depends on their age and whether they went to jail:
- If the suspect is an adult (18 years old or older) who is booked into jail, we always will release their full name, age, and their city of residence. With regards to the publication of booking photos, we will comply with the provisions of Penal Code section 13665, signed into law by Governor Newsom on July 23, 2021, to take effect on January 1, 2022
- If the suspect is an adult (18 years old or older) who is criminally arrested but not booked into jail (i.e., issued a misdemeanor criminal citation), we always will release their full name, age, and city of residence
- If the suspect is a juvenile (under 18 years old), regardless of their arrest disposition, we generally will release their gender, age, and city of residence. We do not identify the name of the juvenile, the school they attend, or a photo of them
Why Does PAPD Issue News Releases?
We proactively release information like this for many reasons. The main ones are:
- We believe strongly in transparency and in being open with information about crime and events that are occurring within our community
- Releases give our community an accurate account of notable public safety events
- Releases allow our community to be aware of crime that occurs in town, and to take necessary precautions for their safety so they too are not victimized
- Releases allow us to better control the information that is disseminated publicly
- Releases are an efficient use of staff time and allow for greater consistency and accuracy in the information released