Should there be an exception to Wisconsin’s public records law for audio recordings of 911 calls?

Representative Amy Sue Vruwink of Milladore has introduced a bill which would make an exception to Wisconsin’s public records (aka open records) law (Wis. Stat. 19.31 – 19.39) by restricting public access to a transcript of 911 calls rather than the actual recording of the call.  Supporters tend to cite the sensationalism and continued harm to the victims and families involved from media broadcasts of the 911 calls, while opponents (often the media) cite to principles of open government.  Assembly Bill 612 is working its way through the legislative process.  At this time I can’t tell which way the wind is blowing on this one, but there was a public hearing on Feb. 4th, and Representative Vruwink appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio promoting the bill.

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