• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

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    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Los Angeles County

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rananthony04

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Hello!

I was just wondering if anyone knows of any other LAPD/LASO undercover/surveillance operations frequencies besides the ones that are already in the radioreference.com database. I get a kick on just how dumb some of these criminals can be, and the fact that they are being watched and don't even know it. It also helps pass the time on a slow night.
Any help would be appreciated, thanks!


-Robert
 

HBdigital1

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altho it would be interesting to listen in on these ops, a question such as this may very well give your local PD's more incentive to encrypt their communications full time! Look what happened to us in Orange County!! I would be happy as a lark to be able to monitor just routine traffic on the Pd frequencies/talk groups, and surveillance/other activities I would have no interest in, nor would I want to, as confidentiality in those siutations would be of the utmost importance. Something to consider.................
 

Radio_Lady

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Ah yes, one of the perennial hot-button scanning topics. Guaranteed to bring out two "camps,"

- the "anyone can find them if they try hard enough" / "if it's that secret the police should encrypt it" people who feel the urge to publish everything they know

- and those who feel as you do, HBdigital1

And nobody ever changes anyone's mind about it no matter how long the threads run.

HBdigital1 said:
...confidentiality in those siutations would be of the utmost importance.
I happen to agree with that. Many surveillances involve very high-risk people. Both the suspects and the officers attempting to surveil them are often very much "on edge," knowing of the potential for danger. While infrequent, there have been a couple high-profile incidents of people, presumably with scanners, driving right into a situation and screwing it up.

A kidnap/hostage situation in Long Beach some years ago is an example, where several people with antennas sprouting from their cars paraded through the parking lot where the ransom & release were supposed to take place. It fell through, and the victim was later found dead.

Did scanner listeners contribute to that outcome? It was never proven, but generally believed to have possibly been the case. A pretty high price. My opinion is that these frequencies needn't be publicised more than they already are.

Even otherwise responsible scanner listeners can find it almost TOO tempting to "just kinda cruise by once" when they hear an interesting stake-out or moving surveillance right in their own neighborhood. Almost as many as those who will "accidentally" drive past a fire or other incident they overhear. I'll admit that I've BTDT, but not in a very long time.

As far as the "dumb" criminals, that's probably the case a lot of the time, otherwise they'd be in another line of work. Some LEAs, though, have very well-trained and experienced surveillance specialists, with very creative procedures and equipment, and vehicles that nobody in a thousand years would "make" as a cop car. Or truck. Or taxi. Or motorcycle. Even sharp-eyed and paranoid crooks are totally surprised when they suddenly find guns and badges in their face.
 
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rananthony04

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In response, I would like to add that I am aware of the "danger" that might lurk, and/or the importance of the criminal(s) that are being watched. I know better to STAY AWAY from a Code 5 location. I work with the Orange County Sheriff, Coroner division. I transport the dead, and although we do have radios in our vans, I am not allowed to use it UNLESS in an extreme emergency. I could care less, at least I am able to hear law enforcment on these radios:)....12 hours of happpiness.
Thanks for your responses

-Robert
 

hotdjdave

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Much of the "local" surveillance of suspects and vice activity is done on "simplex" channels. The channels can either be a simplex channel of the Area (police division, e.g. Devonshire Area), a Bureau Tac, or a City Tac.

Sometimes larger surveillances are on a Tac, but in semi-duplex mode (repeater).

Occasionally, the most of the officers are on simplex, but one of them, unintentionally, has their radio in semi-duplex mode (for the rest of the city to hear).

There are a couple encrypted channels for heavy duty serveillances. I have known officers to use their own "private" communications for some surveillances (modified HAM radios, radios tuned to the old LAPD VHF frequencies, other coms) - but you didn't hear that from me.

There is also the "Eyes and Ears" surveillances that go on. These are volunteers (many times, retired folks) that work with an LAPD officer (or officers) to do light weight surveillances on things such as graffiti, truancy, vandalism, TFMV/BFMV, etc. The volunteers work in pairs/teams and are given ROVERs (LAPD radios), work out of a vehicle or sometimes on or in a building, and communicate to the officer(s) what they observe. The volunteers' call sign is usually OP # (OP 1, OP 2, etc.). OP stands for Observation Post. The LAPD officer is normally a “Zebra” unit. I usually hear these surveillances on the Bureau Tac channels (e.g. Valley Bureau TAC 2, ROVER channel 43).
 
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rananthony04

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Thank you Dave for a better insight regarding the surveillance freqs. Just recently did I get back into the radio monitoring, I was a bit rusty, but it's all coming back to me now:)

Thanks again.

Robert
 

hotdjdave

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Simplex

Oh yeah, just a note. LAPD's simplex channels now have their own frequencies, so they will not interfere with the base channel. It is technically still capable to go into simplex mode on a base channel, but this is not done anymore.

In the database and in some frequency books, simplex is called "Fallback," "Enhanced," or "Talkaround." Also note that the LAPD talkaround channels are actually dedicated frequencies capable of semi-duplex mode (repeater). So many times, when an LAPD unit requests to meet another unit on simplex, they are actually going to a channel in semi-duplex mode (repeater).

I have a system (bank) in my scanner set up just for surveillances and I have put in LAPD (simplex, TAC, and detective channels), LASO, LA-IMPACT, State, and Fed for my particular area of Los Angeles (SFV). I also have done the same thing for Mutal Aid.

I have also noticed that the helicopter pilots are much more technically knowledgeable about radio communications and often times direct the patrol units to the proper channel and even proper radio usage. Helicopters have much more highly advanced communications equipment. LAPD helicopters have such radios as Wulfsberg, probably the RT-5000 FLEXCOMM™ System 29.7 - 960.0 MHz Transceiver P-25 Model with the C-5000 Flexcomm™ System Control Head P-25 Model.

 
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rananthony04

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Looks as if I am gonna need more catching up than I realized. The thing about the simplex channels is new to me. I didnt realize a change was made. If you do not mind, would you mind emailing me your system setup, or at least giving me some suggestions, please? I have 2 banks(pro-96) dedicated to ALL LAPD, 1 bank ALL sheriff and so on. Any help of course, would be appreciated. Thanks again Dave.

rananthony04@aol.com


Robert-San Gabriel Valley
 

hotdjdave

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rananthony04 said:
If you do not mind, would you mind emailing me your system setup, or at least giving me some suggestions, please? Thanks again Dave.
You've got mail! :p

Check your in-box...I sent you an e-mail.



FYI - Radio_Lady is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about LAPD communications and SoCal communications. I will let her tell you why she is, if she so desires.
 
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Uplink

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Radio_Lady

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Uplink said:
Also check out these guys "advanced" form of radio in this LAPD A-Star. They call it their "auxillary" radio...:eek:
;)
They've always carried at least one handheld radio aboard. They became "critical" when LAPD switched to digital in 2001 and they had access to (or there were) no digital-capable UHF radios for helicopter use for a while. Air-ground comms was a mess, even with the Astro Sabers. That was probably the main reason they VERY quickly prohibited use of "simplex" on the dispatch frequencies, which had always worked just fine with analog.

"Each tactical flight officer has a multi-mode wideband transceiver, covering a frequency range from 29 to 960 MHz, ensuring the aircrew the ability to communicate with nearly every agency that operates in Southern California. Two APCO-25 digital department radios allow the crew to communicate with ground units. An interface for a handheld radio gives the crew another radio for backup and allows the radios from other agencies to be easily incorporated." http://www.alea.org/public/airbeat/back_issues/jan_feb_2005/LAPD_Maintenance.htm
 
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rananthony04

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It's all Analog. The only problem with their comms is the "busy" tone that occurs when only the deputy is talking to the dispatcher. The only time we hear a deputy talking on the dispatch channel("on the patch") is during an emergency APB, or where quick/critical coordination is needed, from there they can go to their designated L-Tac channel.(That's when they request to "drop the patch and send the units to L-Tac..." .) Sorry for the lengthy explaination.
As for LASD radios, I would imagine their radios are P-25 friendly as they can also communicate with LAPD, Alhambra, Santa Monica and the like that use P-25 radios.
I hope that helps.
:)
-Robert
 

Radio_Lady

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rananthony04 said:
As for LASD radios, I would imagine their radios are P-25 friendly as they can also communicate with LAPD, Alhambra, Santa Monica and the like that use P-25 radios.
I hope that helps.
:)
-Robert
Unless they've gotten new radios very recently, LASD deputies don't have P25-capable radios. When they want to contact LAPD, for instance, they'll use LAPD's analog "access" channel, 484.4375 (LAPD Channel 51), or else they'll have LAPD talk to them on LASD Access ( 483.5625) or one of the five Mutual Aid frequencies. Those mutual aid channels are the most common way LASD and other agencies communicate.

Harry Marnell has a basic list of those frequencies on his page, http://harrymarnell.com/lapd-freqs.htm that he keeps pretty current.
 

scankid2591

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rananthony04 said:
It's all Analog. The only problem with their comms is the "busy" tone that occurs when only the deputy is talking to the dispatcher. The only time we hear a deputy talking on the dispatch channel("on the patch")
Hmm... So I can't hear any audio from officers in the field?
 

Radio_Lady

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scankid2591 said:
Hmm... So I can't hear any audio from officers in the field?
Yes, you're exactly right. Except when they switch to a tactical frequency, or when the the comms operator "opens the patch" (turns on the repeater) for a pursuit or other emergency or a crime broadcast you - and all the deputies - only hear the dispatch side.

Over the years there have been a number of different reasons given for their doing this, but it started back in their semi-duplex 39 MHz days before repeaters were in use, and it made sense then - kept units from stepping on each other. My sense has always been that when they moved up to 482/483 MHz and got repeaters they simply kept it the old way, kind of the old "because we've always done it that way."

Some people have said it's a privacy deal, that since the deputies often transmit personally identifiable info (names, addresses, DOB's etc), this keeps a lot of that essentially off the air.

A couple months ago, a gentleman who ID'd himself as a Radio Technician for LASD gave yet another version on the SoCalScan yahoogroup:

"The LASD radio system basically operates in "half-duplex" mode where-in the mobiles can not hear each other over the "downlink" transmitter. This system has been utilized for about as long as I can remember (a very long time) and is very traditional for the Sheriff's Dept. The reason is that it is thought that the dispatchers can maintain better control over situations as they unfold, especially those of an emergent or high adreneline nature. If ANY Deputy requests, the dispatcher can activate the system into full duplex repeat mode at their console with the push of a button. During normal operations, the dispatcher basically "parrots" what the transmitting unit says so the other units know what and where things are happening. The dispatchers are highly trained and experienced in this proceedure and it generally works very well.

"The "beep" tone is used, as has been noted previously, by the dispatcher to indicate that A: there is a unit transmitting on one of the input channels the dispatcher has up on the console ( often up to 3 or more different station districts at the same time) and therefore ALL other units must not transmit unless it's emergent....). B: The dispatcher is busy with something (running a plate, telephone to a station desk, etc) and is not listening critically at that moment. C: the "busy" tone can be activated to come on automatically whenever there is a unit transmitting on an input channel."


I've seen/heard other versions of it expressed by a couple of their radio operators and by other higher-ranking LASD folks, so it's really anybody's guess. May be a combination of all the above. Or maybe it's "just because." But it seems to work for them, so I suppose their opinion is the only one that counts!

- - - - - - - - Edit:
I've read that Radio Tech's post probably a dozen times, and part of it just sunk into my thick head. As a long-time dispatcher for another large agency, I really hope that either he didn't phrase it correctly, or that he simply didn't know what he was talking about with that "B" reason, "the dispatcher is busy with something (running a plate, telephone to a station desk, etc) and is not listening critically at that moment.".

ESPECIALLY since they don't run repeaters normally, the dispatcher is the only person on earth at the other end of a deputy's radio, should he/she need help right now. If the dispatcher isn't "listening critically," the deputy's one and only chance to call for help could be missed while the dispatcher's on the phone and letting the "busy" beep tell them that "now's not the time to bother me." I really have to hope he didn't mean that the way it looks.
 
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scankid2591

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Radio_Lady said:
Yes, you're exactly right. Except when they switch to a tactical frequency, or when the the comms operator "opens the patch" (turns on the repeater) for a pursuit or other emergency or a crime broadcast you - and all the deputies - only hear the dispatch side.

Some people have said it's a privacy deal, that since the deputies often transmit personally identifiable info (names, addresses, DOB's etc), this keeps a lot of that essentially off the air.
Hmm...

Well, the original reason why I asked if they were using an P25 system is because an undecoded transmission from a P25 radio sounds like that "busy" or "beep" tone that LASD uses...

I only have a BR330T (which I do love)... Meaning no digital decoding. Hmph...

That "half-duplex" is a little bit strange I must say...
 
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