Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An open email written by me yesterday

to the Florida House Committee hearing bill PCB GAP 10-03:

I understand a bill that will be heard in committee for the first time tomorrow that will affect the ability of the public to ensure the E911 system is held to appropriate standards. The committee bill, PCB GAP 10-03, would exempt from the Florida Sunshine Laws all recordings of E911 calls. The public would be limited to a redacted transcript of the call available only after 60 days. I have grave concerns that the public would not be able to review the work of the E911 telecommunicators if this bill passes, because they would not be subject to review by anyone other than their departments. It is important for you to know that we strongly oppose this bill. And believe it would detrimental to public safety for many reasons. Many of you know the details of our tragedy and you know we have been fighting for improvements to our 9-1-1 system. How are we to fight for improvements if we are denied access to this information? How are independent studies to be conducted if denied access to this information? How is the public expected to vote for improvements if they do not know all the facts and are only told feel good stories? How was I ever to understand what went wrong in Denise’s case if I did not have access to the calls? For more information go to .
While I appreciate and understand your concern for the impact listening to these phone calls in the media over and over again and how heartbreaking they are, I beg you to vote NO to this bill. I KNOW what it is like to relive a tragedy by hearing 9-1-1 calls on TV over and over again. But still believe that people need to know and they have a right to know how their public servants are performing. Consider this! Our sheriff is an elected official. How are voters to make educated informed votes if they are not informed?
Please do not pass this bill!
Thank you and thank you for your service,
Peggy Lee
Denise Amber Lee Foundation