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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 5, 2015 01:53 PM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Release of 9-1-1 Caller Info (HB756 of 2015-16)

In the near future, I will introduce legislation that amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) to protect the privacy of individuals who make 9-1-1 emergency calls. Specifically, the bill prohibits the release of all or part of a public record that contains a 9-1-1 caller’s name, telephone number, address or location. The language is identical to Representative Hackett’s HB 756 of this session.

Many of you may be familiar with the 2011 Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decision regarding the County of York v. Pennsylvania Open Records and Ted Czech, where it was ruled that the Right-to-Know Law required York County to release destination addresses or cross-street information with its 9-1-1 time response logs.

I do not believe that the intent of the Open Records Act of 2008, was to provide the public with information that could reveal the identity of 9-1-1 callers. Therefore, this legislation makes it clear to the Courts, and to the public, that identifying information of a 9-1-1 caller should not be included under this Act.

Information recorded during 9-1-1 calls often contains sensitive details that, if released to the public, could pose a grave danger to callers and victims. As such, this legislation is needed to ensure the safety and privacy of individuals who call 9-1-1 for emergency services and ensures that people who report crimes, and witnesses of crimes, are afforded protection and can remain anonymous.

Upon his departure, Representative Joe Hackett gave me his blessing to introduce this legislation. Please join me as I continue Representative Hackett’s work to protect the privacy of those who make 9-1-1 emergency calls.

Introduced as HB1310