"Anyone in Linn and Johnson County need to contact their city or county officials to oppose the encryption of all law enforcement channels. My scanner feed being used as an excuse is suspect because the person in the Radio Reference Forum I heard this from was at a Johnson Emergency Communication Center Board Meeting.
It was brought up at that board meeting that all Linn and Johnson County Law Enforcement Channels would be encrypted at the end of July and they cited my scanner feed as a reason. This is despite the fact I am restricted to broadcast Law Dispatch and Routine Event Channels. I am not able to broadcast sensitive police tactical channels, car to car channels, narcotics channels, investigative channels as well as the channels used by tactical teams.
There is also a broadcast delay on all Broadcastify Feeds like mine to prevent criminals from obtaining real time access to these channels.
Also, I feel there would be negative impacts in general. There is a lot of distrust between certain demographics and law enforcement. By implementing a change like this, it deepen that rift.
Also, there are people that listen to scanners and feeds who could be of help to law enforcement when information comes out. It may prevent crimes if they receive that information and By cutting those people out, there are missed opportunities.
There are alternative practices for keeping sensitive information out of the wrong hands as well. Law enforcement in both counties already have access to encrypted channels they can switch to in order to share sensitive information with their dispatchers and other officers. In a situation like this, most dispatchers assign a channel and can assign one that is encrypted for any given incident.
They can also use methods like cell phones as well to relay information to their dispatch and other officers as well.
Dispatch channels are merely for putting out calls for service. For both counties to encrypt them makes absolutely no sense. By using methods I have mentioned, law enforcement needs to be smarter.
I am not anti law enforcement. I worked private security on a college campus for more than 2 years. Safety was always a concern since my radio transmissions could be monitored by anyone within range of my signal. I am also an amateur radio operator and have been since age 13 (I recieved my license in 1992).
I am aware of best practices for the passing of radio traffic. I also have researched the issue of interoperability for my senior thesis in 2006 at Mount Mercy. From a policy standpoint, having some encryption of channels makes sense to give law enforcement that option. However, total encryption defeats the purpose and spirit of interoperability and is actually contrary to those who make policy and best practices for public safety communications (For instance, APCO's Project 25 Committee).
APCO is an organization made up of public safety officials, so even the peers of agencies and policy boards in both counties have fundamental disagreements with them.
I hope that you act in the coming weeks and contact the police chiefs or county sheriffs in either Linn or Johnson County as well as communications board member and elected officals to put a stop to this conversion to total encryption."
That "Dispatch is being streamed live online so we need to encrypt because people will hear us making a stop on them before we stop them" is garbage. There's a few second lag with apps like Scanner Radio (Android). By the time you hear what they're doing, it's already too late for the criminals. They can listen all they want but when the traffic is bouncing off computers all over the country (or world) to get from point A to point B, it'll take a while thus mooting the issue entirely. When policymakers don't understand their own policies, the technical aspects, and no one in a position of authority (or an "expert") is willing to tell them "You're wrong" then it's a problem.
They'll likely reverse that policy just like they've done in several areas of Illinois (that I'm aware of). Especially when they realize that there's no way for them to talk to law enforcement agencies in adjacent jurisdictions, or for those same LEAs to speak with them. The benefit of not using encryption (interoperability and whatnot) far outweighs the downside of criminals possibly hearing something and using that knowledge to further a crime. This is especially acute with Sheriff's Offices as they have the run of the whole county.