Good evening. The publication is a continuation of a series of segments based on youth violence. The issue is everywhere but this specific project is based out of Grand Rapids, MI. The video below contains a Keynote presentation regarding the breakdown of this project. It includes the cause of youth violence, some statistics, those who have dealt with it and those who seek to help stop it.
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By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Day in and day out we see news stories that reveal the inner workings of local government, small business owners, 9-1-1 calls, etc. The information given on news broadcasts can raise an eyebrow as to how it was obtained. So how do they get their information and are you, the general public, able to do the same? In most cases, the journalist working on the story has put in a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This is something that anyone can do. According to foia.gov,
“Enacted in 1966, and taking effect on July 5, 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.”
How does this work for 9-1-1?
Speaking with a Training Coordinator and 13 year 9-1-1 operator of a local dispatch center, she states that, “FOIA’s are the requests that dispatch can receive in writing from a person or attorney (in reference to) a case that was handled.” She goes on to say that 9-1-1 calls are involved in the process because the dispatch center answers the 9-1-1 or general calls that come into dispatch. Since 9-1-1 centers fall under local government they fit right into the Freedom of Information Act.
The FOIA process has been used many times to acquire calls and transcripts to make the public aware of incidents going on around them. For example, Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow.com reported on, “a pro-life activist group (that) confirmed a 17th medical emergency in less than a year at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.” This incident occurred in Indianapolis and Butts spoke to Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, who told him that her organization was able to obtain transcripts of the 9-1-1 call through the Freedom of Information Act.
Butts of OneNewsNow.com reported on Sullenger as saying that, “Apparently in this particular abortion, a woman was involved in a second-trimester abortion in her 14th week of pregnancy,” she details. “And for some reason, the abortionist could not finish the procedure. She had to stop in the middle and call for help.” OneNewsNow.com reported further on what was revealed through the transcripts and 9-1-1 recording by quoting Sullenger as saying, “It appears that the caller, the employee at Planned Parenthood who called 9-1-1, was extremely evasive, did not want to give information,” Sullenger reports. “The dispatcher had to ask four different times what was wrong with the woman and why she needed an ambulance. — this actually delays emergency care, and the emergency responders cannot be prepared for what they’re going to find there.”
Can anything be obtained from a FOIA request?
In the example above, the person who submitted the FOIA request was able to get everything she needed, but not everything can be revealed through a FOIA request. Some items can be redacted from the file. A quick definition from Merriam-Webster defines redact as, “to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release.” The training coordinator says that, “items that can be redacted are the callers name, information, and Lein.” Lein in this statement refers to the callers name, address, and warrant check, license check, etc. “If a case is still open or pending investigation,“ says the training coordinator, “it is not FOIA’able until that case is closed by the agency.”
Being able to FOIA a record has done more than just release 9-1-1 calls. Below is an infographic on what being able to FOIA a record has done for us in the 46 years of its existence. For more information on 9-1-1 recordings, public records and the FOIA process for your state; you can go to the First Amendment Center. The site is a “compilation of state statutes and bills concerning public release of 911 emergency telephone recordings and transcripts.” If there is nothing listed for your state, you can also check out FOIA Advocates. This site can direct you to the public record laws of each state.Post Views: 192
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Good afternoon folks! This is going to be episode 36 of Within the Trenches. This is where everything will be revealed. Normally I would specify what the highlights of the episode are but for this one I will simply say, “Listen and you will find out.” This is a very important episode! Listen, share and please comment!Post Views: 163
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Good evening folks! Within the Trenches is back with episode 4 and boy have we picked up some steam since the beginning. This week I had the chance to sit down with Barry County, an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (PSAP) & AeroMedical Service Controller from Dublin, Ireland. Yes, you read that right. Barry had some excellent stories that I’m sure you will enjoy and we talked about how I was confused in the beginning with his name. I originally received a message from him on his interest in the show and being a guest. I thought he was…well I’ll save it for you to hear because it’s quite funny and I don’t want to ruin it. We touched on how social media has put major incidents in the hands of the media in seconds due to everyone having a smartphone and how the agency he works at is working on something to stop people from listening to their radio channels.
This episode is a must listen and if you didn’t already know, we have partnered up with Threadsy for a t-shirt giveaway. Check out our site for details or head over to our Facebook page. A big thanks goes out to Mark Fletcher of Avaya/E911 Talk Podcast and Spyder Harrison of SiriusXM Hits 1 for doing the intro and outro of the show. I appreciate it more than you know and as always you can email me your suggestions or if you want to be on the show at email@example.com.Post Views: 191