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How confidential are our 911 calls?


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  • How confidential are our 911 calls?

    Recently a story was reported about a radio station exploiting a 911 phone call made by a little girl who said that her step brother murdered her mother. This got me thinking. How did that radio station get that 911 call? I mean, aren't our calls suppost to be confidential and not available to the public? Sure I can understand if some calls would be used as evidence in some court cases, but I think it is wrong to play any calls in the media without any of the callers consent. This makes me wonder how cinfuidential our calls are and how do radio and television stations get them? What do you think?

  • #2
    Re: How confidential are our 911 calls?

    911 tapes and even the police reports themselves are matters of public record.

    If you want to remain anonymous, you need to state that up front and do not give your personal information. Coming from law enforcement, I can tell you plenty of horror stories about so-called "confidentiality".

    Retribution is a reality...


    • #3
      Re: How confidential are our 911 calls?

      All 911 calls are recorded. There has to be a reasonable expectation of privacy for confidentiality to exist. A recorded phone call holds no expectation. News shows play 911 calls all the time.
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      • #4
        Re: How confidential are our 911 calls?

        For what it's worth, even if they are a matter of public record, I find the playing of 911 calls as part of a "news story" to , disgusting, and of no particular purpose other than exploit the misery of others beyond what is normally done.
        I have been a member of the media for some time and have had arguments with news directors I've worked for, to no avail.
        The poor person facing an emergency, calling 911, should not have to worry about if he or she will be hearing themselves on the airways the next day.
        I'm not calling for any First Amendment restriction here - just for some restraint (lol) on the part of my profession.
        This really strikes a nerve about something I've always felt strongly about.
        I'll get off my soapbox now.
        God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


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