Willhite’s Law Enforcement Safety Idea Becomes Law

State Rep. Matt Willhite

Last week, SB 1046 – Public Records/Law Enforcement Geolocation Information was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The house version of the new law was sponsored by State Rep. Matt Willhite (D-District 86).

This legislation exempts public records requirements for law enforcement geolocation information held by a law enforcement agency. Geolocation information refers to the information collected using a GPS or other mapping or locational system that tracks the location or movement of law enforcement officers and vehicles. Exempting the geolocation information from public records requirements protects law enforcement officers while they are on patrol and protects the exposure of their residences.

“This law closes a loophole in public records laws that allowed requestors of public records to obtain information from a police officer’s in-vehicle GPS,” Willhite said. “We understand that many law enforcement officers drive their law enforcement vehicle to and from work on top of using the vehicle while they are at work. In other words, police officers often take their law enforcement vehicle home — where their families live. The potential exposure of a law enforcement officers’ residence puts the officers and their families at unnecessary risk.”