Legislation would keep 911 tapes private

SPRINGFIELD – One Illinois lawmaker wants to exempt 911 recordings from the state’s open records law.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham, a Chicago Democrat, according to a report by Illinois Radio Network.

Cunningham, who once worked as a spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, said the recordings shouldn’t be released to the public because they can be traumatizing to crime victims who would be forced “to relive that experience,” he said.

“When the tape is released publicly and broadcast on the news and living forever on YouTube and the Internet, is something that I think invades the privacy of the individuals,” he said.

Cunningham decided to draft the legislation after hearing the audio recordings of 911 calls made from Sandy Hook Elementary School after the 2012 mass shooting that killed 20 children and six educators in Connecticut.

The measure would offer some exceptions. For instance, calls could be made public if the recording is played in a court or when the caller gives permission for them to be released.

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The bill is SB3072

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Online:

www.ilga.gov

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Information from: WJBC-AM, http://www.wjbc.com