Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The media actually follows up

Good on them:

WISC-TV, Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee filed the suit to ensure local officials comply with several open records requests regarding the Dane County 911 Center and the ongoing controversy after a dispatcher was accused of mishandling a call from the cell phone of 21-year-old Brittany Zimmermann, who was killed in early April.

The suit was filed against the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center and its director, Joe Norwick; Dane County and County Executive spokesman Joshua Wescott; the Madison Police Department and Capt. Carl Gloede of the department's Records and Technology section; and the city of Madison and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's spokesman George Twigg.

The suit urges a judge to compel local officials to comply with the requests for information regarding the 911 center as well as the ongoing investigation into Zimmermann's death.

Reporters for the outlets have requested to inspect and copy the audio files of any 911 calls from Zimmermann's home, an un-redacted report of the 911 center's investigation into the alleged Zimmermann call and all documents related to the Zimmermann call and the investigation into the incident produced from the Public Safety Communications Center, Madison police and the mayor's office.
I'll be curious to see the judge's ruling on this, especially since it would be easy for the city to claim that several of the requested items are critical to the investigation, and therefore cannot be fully released. In this case, though, I think it would be in the best interest of the city to release as much of this as possible, if for no other reason than to re-instill some sense of trust in them by the community.

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The Lost Albatross