Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

What’s wrong with Edgerton police policy

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Greg Peck
May 17, 2013

Edgerton Police Chief Tom Klubertanz has announced a new policy to release no identifying details for anyone named in an official police report except for the person’s last name.

You might ask: “What’s wrong with that? If I get busted for disorderly conduct or drunken driving, I’d rather not have everyone know it anyway.”

As Neil Johnson reported in Thursday's Gazette, the policy is in response to a court case involving the village of Palatine, Ill. A court has ruled that the village was wrong to print the full name and address of a resident on a parking ticket left on the windshield overnight for anyone to see.

However, Madison Attorney Bob Dreps, an expert in media law, says the case involves access to motor vehicle records and not police reports and that it doesn’t even apply in Wisconsin, where state law demands the greatest possible public access to such information.

We’ll provide our perspectives on this issue in our editorial Saturday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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