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NJ Pol Wants Exclusion for Police Cam, 911 Records

TRENTON, N.J. (CN) - A New Jersey state legislator wants to ban news organizations and the public from accessing 911 recordings and transcripts, as well as recordings from police body and cruiser cameras.

The bill, sponsored Jan. 12 by Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, would add the police and 911 recordings to the list of government records excluded under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.

"Specifically, the bill provides that law enforcement camera recordings and 9-1-1 audio recordings or transcripts of a 9-1-1 call are not included as government records under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and, therefore, would not be available to the public," according to the bill's text.

Only courts, law enforcement agencies, or legally authorized attorneys would have access to the records if the legislation passes.

Sarlo, who is also deputy majority leader, has said the bill is designed to protect citizens caught on tape or video during their "worst moment."

The bill has not yet been heard by the New Jersey Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.


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