SECTION 1. Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 18M: The audio recording of a call placed to a 911 system for the purpose of requesting service from a law enforcement, fire, or medical agency is private data on individuals with respect to the individual making the call, except that a written transcript of the audio recording is public. A transcript shall be prepared upon request. The person requesting the transcript shall pay the actual cost of transcribing the call, in addition to any other applicable costs for transcript preparation. The audio recording may be disseminated to law enforcement agencies for investigative purposes. The audio recording may be used for public safety and emergency medical services training purposes.
The release of the audio recording of a 911 telephone call without the express written consent of the caller or the caller’s legal representative shall be prohibited, except pursuant to a court order finding that the right of the public to the release of the recording outweighs the privacy interests of the individual who made the 911 call or any person involved in the facts or circumstances relating to the 911 call. This section shall not apply to law enforcement personnel conducting an investigation where the 911 telephone call is or may be relevant to the investigation.
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