Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA), 4-101 et seq. of the General Provisions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, grants people the right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens. The PIA applies to all three branches of Maryland state government, as well as local government entities.
Howard County Government asks that all PIA request be submitted in writing, either via letter or email, to the Office of Public Information (PIO) EXCEPT for those requests that seek ONLY records from the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) or Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS). If you seek records from HCPD and/or HCDFRS, as well as other Howard County Government departments, please submit your request to PIO. Please note, the Howard County Health Department, a State agency despite its name, is the custodian of its own records. For instructions on how to submit a PIA request to the Health Department, please visit its PIA website. Additionally, requests for records maintained by the Howard County Council, the legislative branch of government, are to be sent to the Council's Public Information Officer as the County Council is the custodian of its own records.
In your request to Howard County Government, it is important that you specifically describe the precise records you seek so that the County can thoroughly research your request. Please be sure to provide all necessary contact information as further discussions may be necessary to clarify your request.
If you ONLY seek records from HCPD OR HCDFRS (and no other Howard County Government department), you will need to contact HCPD or HCDFRS directly. To submit a request for records solely to HCPD, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail the request to: Howard County P