Trouble at the 911 Center

It seems that the Madison 911 Center screwed up after receiving a call from a recent murder victim. The 911 Center has been refusing to respond to requests for more information:

Over the past two and a half weeks, the 911 Center has refused requests for basic information about the calls. This week, Joe Norwick, director of the Dane County 911 Center since July, declined further opportunities to comment after being provided with a written summary of parts of this story.

In an email, Norwick said he was basing his refusal on a request from the Madison Police Department to withhold all information “pertaining to this matter” because release would “seriously impair” the murder investigation.

Madison police officials vigorously dispute this. While declining to call the 911 Center’s action a cover-up, they suggested that Norwick is improperly using the department as an excuse not to own up to his agency’s mistakes.

Despite all that (or maybe because of all that) it sounds to me like this calls for a FOIA.

H/T to Badger Blogger.

UPDATE: I just hit sent on this request. It made more sense to me to request internal communications about Brittany Zimmermann’s call than to ask for the call itself, as the Isthmus article above shows that they have already hit a wall using that angle. Let’s see if I get anything useful back!

6 Responses to “Trouble at the 911 Center”


  1. 1 Alison May 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    What a sad story, made even more troubling by the fact that local agencies won’t do the right thing and provide information that could help prevent something like that from happening again. They need to disclose that information promptly and I wish you all the success in getting them to do so. The letter you sent was awesome.

  2. 2 Elizabeth May 1, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for your feedback — I really hope that the powers that be in the 911 center see things the way you and I do.

  3. 3 Jesse May 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    FOIA requests should also be put in for calls made to the center on the day Joel Marino was found murdered and the days surrounding the disappearance of Kelly Nolan.

  4. 4 reallyoldman May 4, 2008 at 11:52 am

    This secrecy fetish among the police and others has gone way too far. Glad to see you’re helping keep the pressure on them. The State Journal has prised a couple of things out of them already. http://www.madison.com/wsj


  1. 1 Friday link round up brought to you by Friday FOIAers « Wisconsin Sunbeam Trackback on May 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm
  2. 2 Madison is not the only city with a troubled 911 center… « Wisconsin Sunbeam Trackback on June 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm

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