Opinion: Court ruling bolsters public's right to know


[Williamsport] Sun-Gazette

The state Commonwealth Court last week reversed a decision of the York County Court of Common Pleas by finding that 911 response logs are required to contain destination addresses or cross street information.

This is a positive decision in the name of the public right to know and, most importantly, the public's right to know things accurately.

The York Daily Record had requested the address information and the state's Office of Open Records upheld the request before the York County Court reversed the ruling on appeal from York County.

We hope this ruling stands without challenge and addresses in 911 logs are no longer contested. While this may be viewed as a victory for the media, it's a major victory for all citizens of Pennsylvania.

Without the destination addresses, whole blocks of neighborhoods and the people who live there become implicated when they are listed as a robbery or burglary response in a 911 log, for instance.

Groups of people become implicated by police logs that are only slightly better than hearsay with such generalized information.

The public should have the right to know about emergencies and crimes and where they are happening.

It's our job to make sure that information is accurate.

But we can't do that job as we should if we don't have complete information from our taxpayer-funded governments.