Toledo police, firefighters address fight with The Blade over public information

Toledo police, firefighters address fight with The Blade over public information

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo police officers and firefighters are upset and claim their lives were put at risk by a City of Toledo staff member.

On March 4, a Toledo Blade employee sent a public record request for a list of employee addresses of Toledo Police Department and Toledo Fire and Rescue.

It's a request the City of Toledo has since denied, stating addresses of employees are not public record and would also violate an employee's right to privacy.

According to the City of Toledo's response, The Blade was looking for the information to determine which personnel resided within city limits.

A statement issued to WTOL by Fritz Byers, an attorney for The Toledo Blade, states the paper's legal right to the information under Ohio Public Records law:

"Addresses of safety-force employees are not generally available to the public, but the Ohio legislature created in that very same law a clear and carefully written provision that specifically allows journalists to obtain access to that information when doing so is in the public interest."

The City's Law Director Adam Loukx points out in a letter that the City did offer The Blade limited residency information that could still help the paper with their request.

"The City again offered other compromises that would have shown city of residency of employees without unnecessary infringement of employee privacy," he said.

He goes on to say the Blade refused the offer.

But, the attorney for The Blade says that is a false statement.

The Blade's legal team claims they'll continue to work on getting this information, but will not take legal action.

Sources with TPPA and Local 92 tell WTOL they're prepared to fight if a lawsuit comes. They say the main issue is keeping their members and their families safe.

WTOL has learned the Toledo Blade requested this information for a story they are working on about the number of police officers and firefighters who actually live within Toledo city limits.

The City of Toledo does not have a residency requirement for its employees.

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