Defunct Encrypted Rochester PD Channels?

Homer_LCPDFR

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
9
Location
Caledonia, NY
A little while ago, I was reading Rochester PD's Special Investigation Section Procedure Manual, and in Chapter XII (also labeled as XIII, depending on where you look) it states:

"All personnel, upon being assigned to the SIS will have their personally issued portable radio reprogrammed. Reprogramming to SIS standards will provide secure channels in addition to the standard channels available to all officers. ... Upon transfer, all members are required to assure that their radios are reprogrammed, removing the secure frequencies."

The Manual was written in 2005, and was last updated three years ago. What channels could they be referring to? I would imagine whatever channels they were using are now defunct, but I'm really just guessing.

This was written long before P25, so SWAT/GRANET Tac is out of the question. As a side note, only RPD TACT and SWAT have decryption keys from what I understand, seeing as they refuse to move to "Channel 9" until all units operating on a scene are SWAT or TACT. SIS having access to encrypted channels would be unexpected, given that fact.

Moreover, it's quite clear Tac East and Tac West (and Tac County if RPD and MCSO are working together) have quite a bit of traffic that would be unique to investigators. These channels aren't secure, are often used for details, and wouldn't need to be programmed into radios.

Anyone have any ideas?

Also, if you're interested in the document, it can be found here: Special Investigations Section Manual

As previously stated, take note of the mislabeled chapters.

I also took a look through GO 540, which mentions dispatch channels, admin channels, RPD Tac, "the scene channel" (which explicitly warns, "They can be monitored with private scanners."), RPD Records, and the various tac channels (which states they're meant for county units, but that seems fairly inaccurate). There's no mention of encrypted channels, "Channel 9" (despite the other channel numbers being listed), or any SIS channels.
 

Citywide173

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,871
Location
Attleboro, MA
There's a reason that document is redacted. FOIA only applies to what actually exists in records. There is mention of the frequencies, but nowhere on paper is there a listing of the actual frequencies, so these frequencies would never come up in a FOIA request. I'd start with an FCC license search for frequencies that were in band when the document was written, then, check the frequencies that you can't match up. Even though the department has moved to a different system, these frequencies are probably still very much in use. If you know when SIS is conducting an operation, you might be close enough to catch one of thte frequencies on close call, but with encryption, you would not really be able to confirm it.
 

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
756
Location
Rochester, NY
You usually will not see that type of frequencies on an FCC license search. The are used per FCC Rule 90.20(f)(5).
They should be low power and only could be received "on scene".
 

Citywide173

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,871
Location
Attleboro, MA
You usually will not see that type of frequencies on an FCC license search. The are used per FCC Rule 90.20(f)(5).
They should be low power and only could be received "on scene".
Not always true, I licensed and installed several UHF splinter frequency repeaters in the 90's with encryption for police departments.
 

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
756
Location
Rochester, NY
Not always true, I licensed and installed several UHF splinter frequency repeaters in the 90's with encryption for police departments.
That is why I said "usually". Common practice that I believe applies to the situation here is 90.20(f)(5). I am not familiar with "SIS" but similar activities in this area are unlicensed.

Repeaters generally do have to be licensed but most agencies prefer short range surveillance or incident scene channels such a SWAT to take advantage of 90.20(f)(5) so the frequencies are not a matter of public record. Even with encryption, just the presence of activity on a known police frequency can alert the "bad guys" that something is going on and may jeopardize the operation.
 
Top