Desire to keep lid on crime reports may be rooted in protecting image



ESPN filed a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame after being denied information on crime reports involving college athletes. The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the police department of the University of Notre Dame is subject to the state’s Access to Public Records Act.

The court accepted transfer of the ESPN v. University of Notre Dame Police Department case from the Indiana Court of Appeals. The university appealed the decision of the appellate court, which ruled that a private police department is a public agency required to make crime information accessible.

“Information about crime on campus isn’t good for public relations or recruiting,” said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for HSPA. “But, the public has a right to know about events that could impact their safety under I.C. 5-14-3-5, and I believe the legislature intends transparency for police departments with the authority to deprive people of their liberty.”


Steve Key is executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association.