- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine Department of Public Safety has proposed a change to state law that would bar the public release of certain information from 911 calls involving domestic violence, sexual assault or personal medical information.

Agency spokesman Stephen McCausland says 911 calls often contain extremely sensitive and personal information that is being given during traumatic times.

Under current state law, written transcripts of 911 calls can be released to the media, but not the audio. Information that could compromise a criminal investigation can be withheld.

McCausland said no particular case prompted the department’s proposal.

The state’s high court last year ruled that transcripts of 911 calls were public documents.

Media lawyer Sigmund Schutz says restrictions on access reduce public oversight and the public’s ability to hold government agencies accountable.

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