Proponents say the public can get access after 60 days! But! then only after it has been redacted and then it's a written transcript. Then we have to PAY for not only the call but transcription costs etc...
Proponents say it is to protect victims' family of having to hear their tragedies on the news. HAH! I find that hard to believe. I am a victim's family member and no matter how heartbreaking and horrific or how many times I have to listen to certain calls, public safety needs to come first and all this bill would do, would be to protect police chiefs' and sheriffs' butts. If this bill had passed 2 years ago we would never have heard about Brian Wood in North Port, Jennifer Johnson in Tampa, and Olidia Kerr Day in Plantation, Florida.
It is shady and it is disturbing. If they want a victim's family perspective why have they not ask us? We've been in Tallahassee and they could approach us at anytime. Instead we had to hear about it from a complete stranger from up in Tallahassee.
Oh this is BAD. Please oppose it.
Here is a copy of the bill:
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to a public record exemption for E911 recordings; amending s. 365.171, F.S.; expanding the public record exemption for certain identification information of a person reporting or requesting emergency services to include the recording of such report or request; authorizing the release of a transcript of such recording 60 days after the date of a request for emergency services or a report of an emergency; requiring the requestor to pay the actual cost of transcribing the recording; authorizing the release of such recording to a public safety agency; providing for retroactive application of the public record exemption; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemption under the Open Government Sunset Review Act; providing a statement of public necessity; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Subsection (12) of section 365.171, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
365.171 Emergency communications number E911 state plan.—
(12) CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS.—
(a)1. Any recording of a request for emergency services or report of an emergency using an emergency communications E911 system held by a public agency or a public safety agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. Upon receipt of a public records request, a transcript of the confidential and exempt recording may be made available by a public agency or a public safety agency 60 days after the date of a request for emergency services or a report of an emergency using such system; however, Any record, recording, or information, or portions thereof, obtained by a public agency or a public safety agency for the purpose of providing services in an emergency and which reveals the name, address, telephone number, or personal information about, or information which may identify any person requesting emergency service or reporting an emergency by accessing an emergency communications E911 system shall be redacted from the transcript. The person requesting the transcript shall pay the actual cost of transcribing the recording, in addition to any other applicable costs provided under s. 119.07. is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except that
3. Such recording and record or information may be disclosed to a public safety agency. The exemption applies only to the name, address, telephone number or personal information about, or information which may identify any person requesting emergency services or reporting an emergency while such information is in the custody of the public agency or public safety agency providing emergency services.
4. This exemption is remedial in nature and it is the intent of the Legislature that the exemption be applied to requests for recordings received before, on, or after the effective date of this paragraph.
5. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(b) A telecommunications company or commercial mobile radio service provider shall not be liable for damages to any person resulting from or in connection with such telephone company's or commercial mobile radio service provider's provision of any lawful assistance to any investigative or law enforcement officer of the State of Florida or political subdivisions thereof, of the United States, or of any other state or political subdivision thereof, in connection with any lawful investigation or other law enforcement activity by such law enforcement officer unless the telecommunications company or commercial mobile radio service provider acted in a wanton and willful manner.
Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public necessity that any recording of a request for emergency services or report of an emergency using an emergency communications E911 system held by a public agency or a public safety agency be made confidential and exempt from public records requirements. The need for emergency services bespeaks a very personal and often traumatizing event. To have the recordings made publicly available is an invasion of privacy that could result in trauma, sorrow, humiliation, or emotional injury to the person reporting the emergency or requiring emergency services, or to the immediate family of those persons. Additionally, to have such recordings publicly available could jeopardize the health and safety of those needing emergency services in that people, other than emergency service providers, could actually gain access to the scene of the emergency and thereby impede the effective and efficient provision of emergency services. Furthermore, there are those persons, who, for personal, private gain or for business purposes, would seek to capitalize on individuals in their time of need. Those reporting or needing emergency services should not be subjected to this type of possible harassment. Furthermore, to allow such recording to become public could chill the reporting of emergency situations to the detriment of public health and safety. Finally, the public record exemption still provides for public oversight by authorizing the release, upon request, of a transcript of such recordings 60 days after the report while maintaining protections for the individuals involved in the report or receipt of emergency services.
Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law