Candidate for Indianapolis Mayor calls for no encryption on radio system

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Dispatch2323

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Interesting to see a candidate mention radio encryption:


Mayoral Candidate Robin Shackleford Unveils Public Safety Plan
Plan will REBUILD IMPD, RESTORE trust and accountability, and SECURE families

Indianapolis – Democratic candidate for Indianapolis Mayor, State Representative Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) today unveiled the first in a series of policy proposals. Shackleford’s platform for public safety was outlined during a news conference at Dubarry Park on the east side. That park was the site of a double shooting that killed two teens a year ago this month. The victims were best friends: 14-year-old Da’Vonta White and 15-year-old Isaiah Jackson.

Shackleford said we must do more to protect families – and especially our children.

“In 2015, Mayor Hogsett promised to put 150 more police officers on the street to protect our families and our neighborhoods,” said Shackleford. “Eight years later, we actually have fewer officers on the street than we did when he took office. In other words, he not only failed to deliver on his promise, but he’s also actually leading us backward. That is unacceptable. It’s time for Joe to go.”

As mayor, Shackleford will work to rebuild the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), restore trust and accountability, and secure families.

Her plans to rebuild IMPD would:

  • Reestablish the Public Safety Director, which was a civilian job with oversight of the city’s police and fire departments. The position was abolished under the Hogsett Administration.

  • Prioritize rightsizing IMPD to give the people of Indianapolis the safety and security we’ve been waiting for.

  • Ensure IMPD salaries are competitive to surrounding areas by increasing the base pay to $65,000 a year to recruit and retain the quality officers we need.

  • Decrease Indianapolis’ 65 percent unsolved homicide rate (2022) by increasing the number of available detectives and building streamlined communication channels with other police agencies.

  • Remove the Credit Check Report requirement as a consideration for employment. This is an outdated and unnecessary process that is only hindering recruiting and hurting the residents of Indianapolis. A credit report or score should not disqualify an applicant from moving forward in the hiring process.

  • Create a review committee to oversee all applicants with mitigating circumstances on a case-by-case basis to ensure qualified applicants aren’t being inappropriately rejected from the hiring process.

  • Institute a new home buying assistance program for police officers that will not only improve recruiting and retention but will also better integrate law enforcement into the communities they protect and serve.

  • Hold additional IMPD job fairs.

  • Rededicate a fully staffed IMPD to a citywide community-oriented policing program so we can stop just talking about building real partnerships, particularly in our communities of color.

  • Improve resources for victims’ assistance including the Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) and the Victim Witness Assistance Program.

  • Contract with service providers to render routine physical and psychological evaluations for all of our first responders free of charge to protect them from the effects of stress, PTSD and secondary trauma.

  • Hire youth for administrative internships in IMPD to establish a pipeline to the department.

As mayor, Robin Shackleford will restore trust, accountability and integrity with police reforms that include:

  • Mandating that all officer-involved shootings be investigated by an outside authority.

  • Releasing all body camera video for officer-involved shootings and excessive force to the public within 48 hours of the incident.

  • Fully funding and expanding the city’s Mobile Crisis Assistance Team so trained mental health professionals, and not armed police, respond to every mental health crisis.

  • Developing a city-operated app to allow residents to rate interactions with officers. This will allow direct citizen feedback and for officers to be rewarded for good behavior. The app would also allow residents to upload evidence of inappropriate police interactions in real-time.

  • Fining officers who intentionally turn off their body cameras or misuse any equipment in the attempt to conceal a criminal act. The fine would be in addition to state law that allows them to be charged with a misdemeanor.

  • Instituting new and ongoing training in cultural sensitivity, peaceful conflict resolution, de-escalation, chronic and mental health recognition, and unconscious bias recognition.

  • Instituting a focused minority hiring strategy to ensure our police force is as diverse as our city.

  • Ensuring transparency and accountability by publishing an annual internal affairs report that includes all complaints, updated dispositions, and use of force data.

  • Working to ensure police radio encryption is not implemented. Encryption is a direct violation of the public’s right to know what is going on in the community and decreases transparency about what police are doing.

  • Reducing recidivism by implementing a public/private “Second Chance Agenda” that invests in re-entry, job training and expungement.

  • Expanding the Officer Friendly and Indy Police Athletic & Activities League (Indy PAL) programs to proactively engage our youth with a positive image of law enforcement.
 

JethrowJohnson

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  • Fully funding and expanding the city’s Mobile Crisis Assistance Team so trained mental health professionals, and not armed police, respond to every mental health crisis.
Someone could get seriously hurt that way. I don't think people understand that officers are trained for mental health crises and they deal with them often and they do it well. Just because police are called for a mental health crisis doesn't mean that the person is going to have any type of force used against him or her. My department gets those calls so often, and the last time I've heard them use a Taser on someone was over a year ago, although they might have used it a few weeks ago on an armed subject in a domestic violence incident, but I'm uncertain. As far as I know, they haven't even had an officer-involved shooting in the department's history. The idea that the police shouldn't respond to such calls is nonsense, and these social workers could get hurt or killed and/or traumatized by being put in those situations.
 

AK9R

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The mental health crisis assistance team concept is not a new thing for Indianapolis. It was one of the steps that the current mayor and police chief took to address the high number of mental health incidents that resulted in shootings.
 
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RTmed519

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Working to ensure police radio encryption is not implemented. Encryption is a direct violation of the public’s right to know what is going on in the community and decreases transparency about what police are doing.
Has there been serious talks about encryption for IMPD? I know they have their Secure TG's, but I wasn't sure if there were plans beyond that...
 

INDY72

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Has there been serious talks about encryption for IMPD? I know they have their Secure TG's, but I wasn't sure if there were plans beyond that...
The only talking has been recently due to Madison, Hancock, Hendricks, and this summer Hamilton all now E on LEA TG's. And due to that new law that goes into effect this summer over SSN's and LEA's must use E or use another "secure" method for transmitting them... Its a hot topic. Marion County rarely if ever transmits SSN's on the TG's in he LAW Zone of the radios. As far as I am aware they can't even use SSN's for identification on any of the databases in use any more, other than as an secondary verification where there are multiple subjects with same names etc... (Other than the oddball warrants/records verification that is still being tweaked.) There are no plans in place to encrypt the Dispatch TG's for any of the non Federal LEA's in Marion County using the MESA systems at this time , and this new candidate would make sure that never happens if they could. (If being the operative word, as there is not much they can do but blow smoke up your butt when it comes to an law the State of IN passes, if they make things even more restrictive. SO remember folks, elections have consequences, research the folks you want to be in power.)(ALL Federal LE here will be full time E on their own systems by this fall once the VAPD gets their new dispatch console put in.)
 

cubn

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Has there been serious talks about encryption for IMPD? I know they have their Secure TG's, but I wasn't sure if there were plans beyond that...

The IndyStar article posted online today mentions that IMPD has been considering implementing encryption but no date has been finalized.
 

RTmed519

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The IndyStar article posted online today mentions that IMPD has been considering implementing encryption but no date has been finalized.
This would be unfortunate to say the least. It's one of the last major cities in the area that are still in the clear for primary Dispatch. Bloomington (IL), Decatur (IL), Danville (IL), Chicago, and the counties in Indiana mentioned above have all encrypted their police radios within the last 3-5 years. I know there's quite a bit of... discussion and opinion... regarding encryption, but I hope they work it out in a way that allows at least some routine dispatch to stay in the clear (if not all).

Also, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but IMPD has "Secure" TalkGroups for all districts, correct? Theoretically they could utilize those if necessary, instead of going full E. Unsure of if these are programmed into ALL IMPD radios though.
 

AK9R

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Also, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but IMPD has "Secure" TalkGroups for all districts, correct?
As shown in the RadioReference database for the Metropolitan Emergency Services Agency, each IMPD district has one encrypted talkgroup. Been that way for several years.
 

INDY72

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This would be unfortunate to say the least. It's one of the last major cities in the area that are still in the clear for primary Dispatch. Bloomington (IL), Decatur (IL), Danville (IL), Chicago, and the counties in Indiana mentioned above have all encrypted their police radios within the last 3-5 years. I know there's quite a bit of... discussion and opinion... regarding encryption, but I hope they work it out in a way that allows at least some routine dispatch to stay in the clear (if not all).

Also, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but IMPD has "Secure" TalkGroups for all districts, correct? Theoretically they could utilize those if necessary, instead of going full E. Unsure of if these are programmed into ALL IMPD radios though.
In the newest codeplug, all Law Enforcement Agencies in Marion County now have ONE template that is used countywide. There are no longer separate templates for IMPD, MCSO. APD, SPD, LPD etc... Separation is by Zones for each agency. Along with an Tactical Zone which has the S1-Tacs (Including the new encrytped ones!), an multiple zones that have SAFE-T in them for interaction with Hancock, Johnson, Shelby, Morgan, Boone, and used to be able to talk to Hendricks (Wahhwahhhwahhhhh.) There is also the zones for Hamilton, and Madison Counties. An Marion County Interop Zone that has the main dispatches for IFD, IEMS, IDPW etc. As well as the Conventional Zone with all the 7Call/Tacs, 7Laws etc, and the 8Call/8Tacs, and the MEC-TA freq. Also, ALL radios have the SAFE-T SWMA's. RMA's, and Zone Events.
 
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INDY72

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But to keep this fully on topic as far as how Marion County Law Enforcement could go with this.. Is to properly use the current line up the way it SHOULD be used. Each IMPD district indeed has an 3, that is fully E. But mostly it used to be where main dispatch goes when the District 1's, and 2's are busy in an event. Seriously stupid. During the "Peaceful Protests", someone in charge finally turned his/her brain on. Took the District Dispatches to the 3's for security, NOT just because the other 2 were busy. they absolutely could, and SHOULD make the 3's the info TG's for each district. At least they do take SWAT/ERT activities to the SO's and CO's, once everyone is on scene. Though again, if it were me once a SWAT callout is done, they should be told to go immediately to an SO, or CO TG. Maybe they will keep getting smarter up in the tower of power.. Those folks with the suites and ties on. or expand the use of the MDT's/Laptops. You already send messages through them, and updates to the CAD. Just friggin use them for sensitive data.
 

RTmed519

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But to keep this fully on topic as far as how Marion County Law Enforcement could go with this.. Is to properly use the current line up the way it SHOULD be used. Each IMPD district indeed has an 3, that is fully E. But mostly it used to be where main dispatch goes when the District 1's, and 2's are busy in an event. Seriously stupid. During the "Peaceful Protests", someone in charge finally turned his/her brain on. Took the District Dispatches to the 3's for security, NOT just because the other 2 were busy. they absolutely could, and SHOULD make the 3's the info TG's for each district. At least they do take SWAT/ERT activities to the SO's and CO's, once everyone is on scene. Though again, if it were me once a SWAT callout is done, they should be told to go immediately to an SO, or CO TG. Maybe they will keep getting smarter up in the tower of power.. Those folks with the suites and ties on. or expand the use of the MDT's/Laptops. You already send messages through them, and updates to the CAD. Just friggin use them for sensitive data.
This entire post very well summarizes what I was getting at. I wish more people with the suit and tie thought this way.
 

WRQS621

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I am a strong supporter of the constitution and our laws in this country. I often scratch my head when it comes local municipalities loose interpretation of the freedom of information act. I often felt they should allow hobbyists and others interested in municipal traffic a permit to listen or own equipment to monitor traffic. Basically a subscription service.
 

AK9R

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I often felt they should allow hobbyists and others interested in municipal traffic a permit to listen or own equipment to monitor traffic.
Entertaining hobbyists is not the mission of public safety agencies. You gotta come up with a better argument than that. And, by just mentioning "entertainment" or "hobbyists" as a reason to not encrypt, you reveal that you have no good reason.

As for FOIA, I don't believe that requires real-time access to information that the agency might hold. As long as the public can make requests for information and the agency honors that request, I believe they are following the law.

I think it comes down to trust and respect. The public needs to trust the police and the police need to respect the public that they are paid to serve. The police will say "we deal with bad guys all the time and our safety is compromised if those bad guys can listen to our radio traffic". First off, I think the police exaggerate just how much they deal with bad guys. It isn't "all the time" and it isn't every police officer. Having encrypted talkgroups available that police can move to when handling sensitive traffic while leaving most traffic in the clear seems like the best approach.

My county recently decided to encrypt all law enforcement traffic. The public was not asked about this beforehand. There was no public hearing. There was no ballot measure. Officer safety was the excuse and everyone in a position to say "no" just nodded their head and went along with it. A couple weeks ago, one law enforcement agency asked for the public's help in solving a crime. My initial reaction was "Gee, you encrypted all of your radio traffic and then ask us for help? It's a two-way street, baby."
 

AK9R

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I think you and I have the same opinion about encryption of public safety frequencies.

Unfortunately, scanner listeners generally don't have good arguments against encryption. You have to go beyond "I just want to listen to my local police" in order to find a good reason against encryption. This mayoral candidate is using the "right to know", "transparency", and "trust and accountability" arguments which I think are valid.
 

Ensnared

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The mental health crisis assistance team concept is not a new thing for Indianapolis. It was one of the steps that the current mayor and police chief took to address the high number of mental health incidents that resulted in shootings.

In Texas, MCOT workers work directly with LE specific to mental health calls. I personally trained Bell County LE to recognize the signs/symptoms of mental illness, including the negative and positive symptoms of psychosis/schizophrenia. I attempted to teach the officers how to recognize ID, but when there is co-morbid psychosis, it is very difficult to recognize.

Bell County employs mental health officers to assist MCOT.

Unfortunately, most of the MCOT workers are unlicensed. They have never attended graduate school.

So, hopefully, Indianapolis hires licensed mental health professionals.

Kerrville, Texas uses encryption because it is a rather small city. Although I was rather annoyed when I learned of this during a trip to a forensic workshop, I understood why it would not be appropriate to put patient's names on the airwaves.

Kerrville State Hospital deals with some hardcore patients, unlike other state hospitals in Texas.

In Wacko, I am lucky to have limited encryption. Waco PD helped me fill out the Freedom of Information letter for the fleet maps.

I might add that there was a shootout at the former Twin Peaks restaurant several years ago. This was when the Bandidos & Cossacks flocked to this crazy city. During the shootout, 7 bikers died. No officers were killed or hurt. Most, if not all of the radio traffic was in the clear.

The former Waco PD PIO who helped with the Freedom of Information request stated he wanted the public to listen to their transmissions. He indicated that the public needed to hear what officers deal with on a daily basis. WPD kept their word regarding encryption. They said limited use of encryption would be used. At present, the only "E" is narcotics. I can live with that.
 

KC9NEG

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Good thoughts being shared here. 99.9% of us are good people who support and respect law enforcement and would take personal risks to help law enforcement officers if and when we can. We shouldn't be treated like the other .1%. Transparency, trust, and accountability don't compute with that .1%--it's way beyond that... but they do with the rest of us. I lump this right in with the gun control argument... taking things away from the good, law-abiding majority because of the actions of a few bad apples is a slippery slope.
 
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