Live Audio leads Police to consider encryption

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Dec 16, 2007
Morrisville NC
Speaking with a Police Chief this week, I learned of their distaste for internet Live Audio feeds of Police radio traffic. They had no issues with scanning hobbyists per se, but seemed to have serious concerns about mobile smart phone reception of Live Audio feeds and its impact on Police safety (perceived or real). I gathered from our conversation that other Police Chiefs share that concern. They support encryption as a reasonable response to protect Police officers.

I was a Police officer many years ago and have enjoyed hobby scanning ever since. As a hobbyist, I have always respected privacy and operated with decorum. From my experience there was good upside for Public Safety from public awareness, without even mentioning accountability and transparency. I understood the Chief's position especially as it was punctuated with emotion and stories. It reminded me when I was a cop about a few ugly situations worsened by criminally motivated people with scanners.

I know that some of the audio feeds are set up in support of Police and Fire Departments and that many members of are public safety professionals. But if this sentiment among Police Chiefs grows and the number of encrypted sites grows, will there be pressure applied (from inside and outside) to stop live audio feeds? Is there reason to anticipate this growing trend and consider making changes to the live audio feed environment that would allay some police concerns.

Please jump in with your opinions. I like you, support this hobby and would like to far into the future.
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