The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Media Relations Unit
Dep. Kurtis Stenderup
Phone: (408) 808-4900
FAX: (408) 283-0562
The Sheriff's Office Media Relations Unit serves as a central source of information for release by the Sheriff's Office and responds to requests for information from the new media and the community.
The Media Relations Unit is responsible for maintaining an open flow of communication with local, national, and international media entities to provide accurate information to the public concerning Sheriff operations.
Deputy Kurtis Stenderup is assigned to the Media Relations Unit full time. Several other members of the Sheriff's Office are available to assist him when he is on assignment. The scheduled hours of operation for this unit are seven days a week, including holidays. Unit personnel are available 24 hours a day to respond to serious incidents and/or media requests. The Media Relations Unit is located within the headquarters building of the Sheriff's Office. The Media Relations Unit is part of the Administration Division and answers directly to the Sheriff.
Media Relations Unit personnel respond to newsworthy events and coordinate the dissemination of information to the news media. This is accomplished by first obtaining information on an incident from the lead investigator. Media Relations personnel will then provide on-camera interviews, radio interviews, etc., followed by a news release transmitted by facsimile to all concerned media on that particular incident. Section personnel respond regularly to various requests for information from local, national and international media organizations.
Using Mass Media:
A key ingredient in obtaining support of the public we serve is maintaining a cooperative climate in which the media may obtain information of interest to disseminate to the public. Community-oriented policing means fostering a relationship with our local news media of mutual trust, cooperation and respect. Whether it's a natural disaster, a homicide, a barricaded gunman with a hostage or an arrest of a notorious criminal, our job is to get well-informed, accurate information to the public through the news media. In fact, our policy on releasing information is "Maximum disclosure with minimum delay": in other words, to respond quickly, and to answer questions fully. That is what serves members of our community, who have an interest in everything we in public safety do.
Press/Media Credentials are issued to news media representatives employed by newspapers, electronic media, etc., which maintain regular news services in Santa Clara County and California. The request for a credential is submitted to the Media Relations Unit for processing and approval.
The news media does not have authority to be within a crime scene or area which has been secured to preserve evidence, or where their presence may jeopardize police operations. Sheriff lines are established to prevent persons from entering the area of a serious criminal incident or crime scene. Authorization for entry is dependent upon the decision of the lead investigator, Media Relations Unit, and the possession of a departmental identification card.
Members of the news media are not exempt from municipal, state, or federal statutes.
News Media Filming and Photographing Activities:
The Sheriff's Office frequently receives requests from media/production companies to participate in motion pictures, talk shows, crime shows, etc. These requests are evaluated by the Media Relations Unit Commander and recommendations are forwarded to staff for review, and approval or rejection. Once approved, unit personnel assist these organizations and monitor the production relative to agency involvement.
Awards to employees are issued by the Media Relations Section. Supervisors submit their concerned employee(s) for consideration via memorandum. An awards committee meets monthly with Media Relations Unit personnel for selection of employees to be recognized for outstanding performance.
Questions or comments regarding Media Relations Unit can be E-mailed to: