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Legislature's Task Force on Victim Privacy to Meet Tuesday

The goal of the group is to gather information and recommend ways to protect information relating to victims and their families when sharing it with the media and public.

The state Capitol building in Hartford. Credit: Patch File Photo
The state Capitol building in Hartford. Credit: Patch File Photo

The co-Chairs of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know, State Representative Angel Arce (D-Hartford) and Don DeCesare, President and General Manager of WLIS-AM in Old Saybrook and WMRD-AM in Middletown, announced today the task force will hold their first public hearing as part of the group’s effort to move its agenda forward and to engage citizens on the discussion of how information relating to victims and families is shared with the public and the media on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Phillips Metropolitan CME Church on Main Street in Hartford.

The task force was created by the legislature during the 2013 Legislative Session to consider and make recommendations regarding the balance between victim privacy under the Freedom of Information Act and the public’s right to know. The law responded to concerns raised by families of the victims of Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, as a measure to prevent the release of photos, videos or recordings describing the victims.

“I feel the task force has made significant strides as we approach and discuss this sensitive matter,” Rep. Arce said. “We have heard comprehensive presentations about victims’ rights, legal processes and other relevant information from professionals and others who have enlightened us with critical information in anticipation of our recommendations. Now we are inviting the public to come and share their opinions, ideas and concerns with us at this public hearing.”

Co-Chair DeCesare added, “We look forward to hearing a wide range of opinions from the public and their opinions will be very important to our deliberations.

The Task Force has 17 members, including a representative from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information (CCFOI) and the Executive Director for the FOI Commission, as well as legislators, attorneys, and others.

A report, including recommendations, is due to the legislature by Jan. 1, 2014.

— Information from the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know

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