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    Entries in public safety (2)

    Tuesday
    Feb142017

    From $37 to $339,000: Why the Price of Public Records Requests Varies So Much

    The laws about public records differ from one government to the next and are further complicated by some technologies, like police body cameras.
    BY  FEBRUARY 14, 2017

     

    In 2015, the editor of a newspaper in Florida filed a public records request with the Broward County Sheriff's Office asking for the email of every employee during a five-month period to be searched for specific gay slurs.

    In response, the South Florida Gay News received a $339,000 bill.

    The office said fulfilling the request would take four years and require hiring a dedicated staffer. The exorbitant charge set off a year-long legal battle that attracted the Associated Press and its lofty resources. To show how arbitrary the number was, the AP and South Florida Gay News filed a similar request to the sheriff's office in other Florida counties. They were quoted fees ranging from as little as $37 to more than $44,000.

    Why then is there such a big range of costs for similar information?

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Jan092017

    In Phoenix, Women Are Breaking Public Safety's Brass Ceiling

    The city has an unusually high number of women in leadership positions, even in male-dominated departments like police and fire. Why is that?
    BY  JANUARY 9, 2017

    Excluding education, women make up nearly half of the roughly 9 million workers in state and local government -- but they remain underrepresented in management and leadership roles. In general, the higher you look on a government's organizational chart, the more likely a position is to be filled by a man.

    Not so in Phoenix.

    In that city, nearly half of the 36 department heads and other executive positions are held by women, a share that far exceeds the national average. Women head notoriously male-dominated agencies like transportation, water infrastructure and even public safety. In fact, the city of 1.5 million is the largest municipality in the country to have both a female police and fire chief. Women also lead the city's homeland security and emergency management departments, as well as the prosecutor's office.

    Click to read more ...