Those 911 calls the public hears on TV and the Internet in North Carolina will begin to sound a little different, says the Raleigh News & Observer. Law enforcement agencies in North Carolina have begun to alter the voices on 911 call recordings before releasing them to the public, as allowed under a change in the law in June.
Calls to 911 are considered public records under state law and are commonly broadcast by the news media with stories about crime, fires, or accidents. Now, instead of releasing 911 calls as recorded, police are allowed to release written transcripts or alter the recordings before making them public to protect the identity of the callers. The Raleigh and Durham police departments and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office are distorting the audio of every 911 recording before releasing it to the public. Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. of Durham said voices on 911 recordings have been recognized and that especially in gang crime cases, callers were intimidated into dropping charges or refusing to testify.