Sunday, April 25, 2010

Local police back bill to restrict access to information about crime witnesses

"Invariably when a crime happens, police begin an investigation and, most times, produce a trove of information.

Just who has access to that information, and how much of it they can obtain, remains a balancing act for lawmakers. The smallest details of what can - or should be - publicly released often spark debates between competing interests.

It usually requires the state Legislature to step in and re-interpret the California Public Records Act, which has been on the books since 1968.

"I know it's a balancing act," Whittier police Chief David Singer said.

It pits "public information versus what we need to do or what the victims need or want," said Singer, who also heads LA IMPACT, a regional narcotics task force.

That debate, mostly dormant since the mid-1990s, was reignited last week with the consideration of a bill authored by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The proposal would allow law enforcement agencies to withhold the address of a victim of a crime from journalists or any other member of the public"

Read more
Location Oakland, Ca - Private Investigator