According to the San Diego Police official Media Relations Policy:
All members of the department are encouraged to cooperate fully with authorized news media in providing information to the public about the affairs of this department in which the public has a legitimate interest.
The Media Relations Office has specific responsibility for dissemination of information and provides a department-wide, limited resource for the various commands. It (also) shall be the responsibility of the Watch Commander’s Office to
disseminate information and available news releases to authorized news media regarding all major incidents, significant crimes or other noteworthy events.
Information that MAY be released: most department information which is not confidential or which would not hamper an investigation or jeopardize the rights of anyone. This includes basic information about a crime or an arrest and any information that might result in public assistance in an investigation.
Information that MAY NOT be released: statements or confessions made by a suspect; results of any test taken by a suspect; the names of juveniles arrested or listed as suspects in a crime report; information from child abuse reports; the names and addresses of victims of sex crimes or hate crimes; “rap sheets” or information obtained from rap sheets; the names of deceased persons (the Medical Examiner will release that information after next of kin are notified).
(MEDIA IDENTIFICATION CARDS)
To be eligible for a San Diego Police Department press pass, an applicant must demonstrate a need to cross police and/or fire lines on a regular basis. When a media member presents a valid press identification card and has a vehicle identification placard issued by a law enforcement agency, he/she should be permitted to drive through police and/or fire lines, provided that public safety and order will not be jeopardized, and that investigations or operations by police or fire departments will not be hampered. Visit http://www.sandiego.gov/police/forms/index.shtml for a press pass form.
Department-issued media vehicle placards are not licenses to park illegally. Be sure to read any restrictions on the placard before parking.
Disasters (earthquakes, flooding, etc.) and scenes of civil disobedience may be closed to the public pursuant to 409.5 P.C.; however, news media representatives are exempt from this restriction. As soon as a disaster has been identified and
secured, authorized media shall be permitted free access to the area after being advised of any existing danger. They may not interfere with law enforcement or public safety functions.
Crime scenes are closed to the public and the media until any preservation and processing of evidence has been completed. 409.5 P.C. does not apply to crime scenes.
News media personnel have no right of access to private property greater than the general public and are subject to public access restrictions imposed by the owner or person in charge when a critical incident occurs on private property.
The San Diego Police Department requires press to apply for a pass to cover many events.