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Phone: (423) 209-7000
After Hours / Non-Emergency: 423-622-0022
Emergency: Dial 911

Media Inquiries

It is the Public Relations Division’s goal to make requesting official information regarding our agency’s operations as easy and efficient as possible for citizens and members of our local print and broadcast media.

General Media Requests & Inquiries

All inquiries from members of the print and broadcast media should be submitted via email to Media@hcsheriff.gov. This email is distributed to the responsible on-call media liaison responsible for responding to inquiries 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Media Requests (After-Hours and Weekends)

A member of the Public Relations Division will be available after-hours to address media inquiries regarding critical incidents. Non-Critical media inquiries will be addressed the following business day during normal operating hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Examples of Critical Incidents:

  • Person Shot (Except Suicides)
  • Homicide
  • Officer Involved Shooting
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Involving a Fatality or Critical Injuries
  • Prisoner Escape
  • SWAT Call-Out Involving Highly Dangerous Individuals

Examples of Non-Critical Incidents:

  • Requests for Statistical Information
  • Agency Policies/Procedures
  • Updates Regarding Ongoing or Previous Investigations
  • Dog Bites (non-life threatening) - (non-serious injuries)
  • Fires under investigation (Initial info will be released by the HC Emergency Services)
  • Minor Traffic Accidents without serious injuries
  • Domestic Calls involving non-life threatening injuries
  • Stabbings involving lacerations (no serious injuries)
  • Routine Calls listed on the 911 Active Call List
  • Officer pursuits where no serious injuries occur or death
  • Arrests involving non-violent offenders
  • Requests for Records
  • Non-Emergency Issues at the Hamilton County Jail

NOTE: There are exceptions to this list and official press releases on these issues can be issued based on law enforcement assessment and advisement.

Requests for On-Camera Interviews

The HCSO understands that broadcast journalists/reporters desire on-camera interviews for incidents involving high profile incidents and news worthy events. In accordance with this, the HCSO will make every attempt to offer on-camera interviews when personnel are available and as the situation allows. After hours and weekend requests will be considered based on the severity of the incident/event and availability of personnel.

  • Please note, the HCSO is not required to give on-camera interviews. They are offered as a courtesy when time and personnel are available. There is only one designated agency spokesperson and they are not always able to be on scene at every call 24 hours a day.
  • On-Camera interviews are not conducted on active/ongoing investigations. However, exceptions may be made based on law enforcement assessment and advisement.

Jurisdictional Questions

The HCSO is the lead law enforcement agency in Hamilton County. It is managed by a sheriff who is elected by the residents of Hamilton County and is a Tennessee Constitutional Office.

HCSO Deputies have jurisdiction over all of Hamilton County. They are able to operate in a law enforcement capacity within any of the municipal boundaries inside Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee. However, HCSO deputies primarily patrol and respond to the unincorporated areas of Hamilton County. Police authority is typically deferred to the local municipal governing body unless otherwise noted or requested.

Generally speaking, if a crime or incident takes place in a municipality within Hamilton County (i.e. Chattanooga, East Ridge, Collegedale, Soddy Daisy, Signal Mountain, Red Bank, or Lookout Mountain), that municipality’s police department will address the issue.

The HCSO will not comment on issues or incidents that fall outside our normal operations and purview. These types of events include gas leaks, structure fires, or law enforcement operations in other municipalities or counties.

HCSO Official Records, Booking Reports, and Incident Reports

Neither the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Public Relations Division nor its staff supply reports or official investigative documents. Incident reports from other law enforcement agencies are also not released through the HCSO Public Relations Division. All requests for records must be directed to the HCSO Records Division or the originating agency.

The HCSO Records Division is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reports from this office are not issued on the weekends or after hours. The following reports and official documents can be requested through this office:

  • HCSO Incident Reports
  • HCSO Arrest Reports
  • HCSO Traffic Reports
(Please note, all HCSO internal reports can take up to 48 hours or longer to process through the system. Reports cannot be released until they have been approved, cleared, and issued to the Records Division.)

Members of the media may pick up hard copies of HCSO incident reports, arrest reports, and accident reports at any of the following Record Division Offices Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm:

HCSO West Patrol Annex
6233 Dayton Blvd
Hixson, TN 37343

HCSO East Patrol Annex
8395 Hickory Valley Road
Chattanooga, TN 37416
423-893-3503 Ext. 231

For Questions regarding Inmate Information, you may use our web-based service Inmate Information Online, or use our automated service by dialing 423-209-7000, and pressing (2) for Jail Information.

The following items are available online 24 hours a day for the media agencies and residents:

©2021 Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Phone: (423) 209-7000