ARMER Scott County MN Encryption

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citiot

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If anyone is in Scott County, could you send a short email to Commissioner Beard (MBeard@co.scott.mn.us ) and Sheriff Hennen (LHennen@co.scott.mn.us) opposing the 2021 Full LE Encryption?

Everything to gain, nothing to lose. Just a quick respectful email might change things...

Sheriff Hennen said this in the Shakopee Valley Newspaper during his campaign:

"Do you think the law enforcement radio system should be changed in any way?" - Response "No, our current 800-megahertz radio system that went live 10 years ago is meeting the current needs."

He also said "to encrypt certain law enforcement channels"

In actuality, the plan is to encrypt ALL.
 

citiot

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Update: Scott County commissioners were unaware of the encryption. Sheriff Hennen (LHennen@co.scott.mn.us) can do this unilaterally. Carver also will go encrypted.

With the current events, some pressure to the Sheriff, just a quick simple email, may sway the decision. It happening in other states (some Pennsylvania counties have reversed encryption in the spirit of police transparency)
 

stmills

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I believe Scott county radio system decision for Law Enforcement is done similar to Hennepin County where all the Served agencies Chiefs or delegate along with the Sheriff and Radio System manager have the votes on governance and then it goes to the city council to fund the upgrades. The last I heard - Carver had upgraded all its radios to encrypted to be operational with its neighbors who go encrypted- Hennepin and Scott but, nothing on a plan to switch Carver to Encrypted.
The environment now is probably the best it could be to put pressure on for dropping Encrypted dispatch mains.
 

citiot

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The environment now is probably the best it could be to put pressure on for dropping Encrypted dispatch mains.
Thanks for the clarification on details. Totally agree that now is the time to pressure to drop encrypted dispatch.

Just a short email or phone call to sheriffs, police chiefs, etc now could work. It is working on other states.
 

stmills

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Don’t forget City Councils and City Managers, I don’t know how many really know the Chiefs are making a vote on the encryption. When Hennepin went encrypted it was presented to many city councils that the Sheriff had decided to switch the system to Encrypted, then when the new sheriff came in and reviewed the move to encryption it was revealed that the Chiefs of dispatched departments had voted to move to encryption.
 

citiot

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Thanks @stmills I just contacted a Shakopee City council member who is sympathetic. (mentioned that the chiefs decided it basically behind the backs for city councils and county commissioners)

Never thought about the city manager. Doing that now. Great ideas @stmills !

Two things in the current environment that can aid in reversal of encryption plans:
1) significant and reasonable issues with law enforcement transparency
2) governments and officials making decisions without public oversight (various elected councils, etc) like COVID emergency powers decisions.

We have a window. Let's use it. Call and email elected and appointed officials.
 

ofd8001

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I would probably also inquire if they do full time encryption, do they have some plans in mind for real time public information? For example will their public information officer be available to answer the question of why are the police blocking all the streets around X and do we need to do something special? Also, potential plans for increased social media presence to fill in the gap that would have otherwise been filled by listening to scanners.
 

stmills

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Hennepin County was the first to go Encrypted and seems to be who others are watching- they have done nothing to fill the lost info gap. From what is reported in the news Ever since the county went encrypted crime went down in all the cities dispatched by Hennepin County.
 

kb0uxv

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Recent civil unrest/rioting/looting resulted in several documented examples of how the anarchist / communist groups used live radio traffic to their advantage. I suspect these situations will soon be pushing additional encryption on ARMER. For the most part the decision to encrypt is out of the hands of elected officials.
 

stmills

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Can you reference the documented examples where this was used as an advantage, beyond officers saying on the radio they are listening to us? If this is true I am assuming they are being charged both in MN and Federally since both have statutes making it illegal to monitor/ use radio traffic in the furtherance of a crime.
 

RayAir

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Recent civil unrest/rioting/looting resulted in several documented examples of how the anarchist / communist groups used live radio traffic to their advantage. I suspect these situations will soon be pushing additional encryption on ARMER. For the most part the decision to encrypt is out of the hands of elected officials.
I think encryption is a great idea because of this. They should use full time encryption on all police talk groups and maybe if they're nice they will provide a half hour delayed feed.
 

wogggieee

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Can you reference the documented examples where this was used as an advantage, beyond officers saying on the radio they are listening to us? If this is true I am assuming they are being charged both in MN and Federally since both have statutes making it illegal to monitor/ use radio traffic in the furtherance of a crime.
It doesn't really matter if there are cases documented. The simple fear of it would likely be enough to push for more encryption. The scrutiny from the Minneapolis city Council of the MPD could work as a benefit to prevent encryption if enough people voice concerns about encryption and the lack of transparency. However the fear the protests created in other departments in the area could help push them towards more encryption. And those departments would likely be able to make the change with few people noticing. If they were noticed or sought pre-approval they'd likely find a sympathetic city council and citizens.

With the number of listeners to feeds carrying the protests on broadcastify, numerous reddit posts I saw posting live details on local subs, and numerous scanner facebook groups and twitter accounts basically providing live play by play it is undeniable that there were a lot of people paying attention to police radio traffic. With all of those people paying attention the odds of none of that information being used to benefit the protesters seems small to me.
 

citiot

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I still think it's worth everyone's time to contact the various boards/commissions. They encryption was snuck through without any input from reps or residents. All a person has to lose is 30 seconds of their time.
 
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