By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — An organization representing news media outlets is opposing legislation that has already passed the state House that would restrict information about 9-1-1 callers.
The bill would prohibit the release of the names, telephone numbers, addresses and locations of 9-1-1 callers.
Supporters say the legislation is intended to protect crime victims and witnesses. But Paula Knudsen, Director of Public Affairs and Legislative Counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, says the bill would prevent news organizations from exposing the kind of emergency response problems that plagued Philadelphia on the day 16 year-old Eddie Polec was beaten to death on the steps of a church in 1994.
“To know where are these services going and how long is it taking to get there? The news media isn’t interested in outing victims of domestic violence or victims of other crimes.”
Knudsen says state law already provides protection for people who call 9-1-1.