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Bill to prohibit public disclosure of 911 tapes killed by Senate Public Safety Committee - California Newspaper Publishers Association : Legislative And Legal

Bill to prohibit public disclosure of 911 tapes killed by Senate Public Safety Committee

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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 2:26 pm | Updated: 4:32 pm, Mon Aug 27, 2012.

Disagreeing with the author's assertion that anyone calling 911 has a right to privacy in their conversation, the Senate Public Safety Committee, on a 0-4 vote, spiked a bill that would have essentially prohibited public disclosure of 911 tapes.

Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), for many years a 911 dispatcher, said her bill AB 1275 was needed to avoid disclosure of sensitive medical information which would discourage people from making 911 calls. She said disclosure of 911 tapes benefits just "tabloids and gossip magazines."

AB 1275 was supported by public employee unions and law enforcement groups but Public Safety Committee Chairwoman, Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), agreed with CNPA that its enactment would chill news media oversight of emergency operations and "needs a great deal of work."