Metro Richmond/Central Virginia Scanner Listeners: encryption is coming

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I know it’s the one phrase that we as hobbyist dread hearing especially if it’s coming to our area. The unfortunate thing is that I have stumbled upon evidence that the Metro Richmond/Central Virginia area is going to become encrypted with in the next few years. I was reading the 2015 Hanover County Proposed Budget Capital Improvement Program Plan. I saw this on page 242 (excerpt):

Description:

Radio Subscriber Lifecycle Replacements - Portable Radios for Public Safety Users will be replaced beginning in FY15 and continue thru FY18. The XTS 5000 radio product is the Primary portable radio in use by Hanover public safety agencies and 700 portable radios require replacement. Additionally, regional police agencies (including Hanover) have agreed to encrypt all law enforcement talk groups in FY18, which will require Hanover to replace 320 Sheriff's Office mobile radios. General government agencies will begin radio replacement in FY18-FY19

While I am big supporter of encryption for channels/talk groups that are information/officer safety sensitive such as SWAT, Vice, Narcotics, Hostage Negotiations, Executive Protection, Surveillance etc..... I am not a supporter of encryption of routine channels/talk groups such as Dispatch (Main Ops), Car to Car (Tac) Service (VCIN/NCIC) Non Emergency Traffic etc....., Animal Control etc.....

I would highly suggest hobbyists get involve with the town, city, county government that they live in and the Capital Region Communications Steering Committee and tell them that you oppose encrypting routine channels and keep how they have the channels/talk groups now when they put these new multi-million dollar digital trunked emergency radio communication systems in. Most of the localities are in the "Needs Assessment" phase of replacing aging emergency radio communication systems. I’m not going to get in why it’s a good idea not to encrypt routine channels because we all know the reasons. Enjoy listening because we might not be able to in the next few years.


Here are the Links:

Proposed Budget Fiscal Year 2015 - Hanover County, Virginia

http://www.hanovercounty.gov/FN/Proposed_Budget_CIP_Section_2015.pdf
 

swells1969

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Colonial Heights has just encrypted there dispatch channel a couple days ago. Feel ya pain, hate to see a hobby fade.
 

BlueMoon2

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Metro Richmond/Central Virginia Scanner Listeners: ENCRYPTION IS COMING

This would be unfortunate to say the least. Charlottesville/albemarle is going through the assessment now of looking through everything particularly cad and rms we shall see how it turns out
 

CPerk

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Would king William be in this picture? Since they are on hanovers system as well??

I know it’s the one phrase that we as hobbyist dread hearing especially if it’s coming to our area. The unfortunate thing is that I have stumbled upon evidence that the Metro Richmond/Central Virginia area is going to become encrypted with in the next few years. I was reading the 2015 Hanover County Proposed Budget Capital Improvement Program Plan. I saw this on page 242 (excerpt):

Description:

Radio Subscriber Lifecycle Replacements - Portable Radios for Public Safety Users will be replaced beginning in FY15 and continue thru FY18. The XTS 5000 radio product is the Primary portable radio in use by Hanover public safety agencies and 700 portable radios require replacement. Additionally, regional police agencies (including Hanover) have agreed to encrypt all law enforcement talk groups in FY18, which will require Hanover to replace 320 Sheriff's Office mobile radios. General government agencies will begin radio replacement in FY18-FY19

While I am big supporter of encryption for channels/talk groups that are information/officer safety sensitive such as SWAT, Vice, Narcotics, Hostage Negotiations, Executive Protection, Surveillance etc..... I am not a supporter of encryption of routine channels/talk groups such as Dispatch (Main Ops), Car to Car (Tac) Service (VCIN/NCIC) Non Emergency Traffic etc....., Animal Control etc.....

I would highly suggest hobbyists get involve with the town, city, county government that they live in and the Capital Region Communications Steering Committee and tell them that you oppose encrypting routine channels and keep how they have the channels/talk groups now when they put these new multi-million dollar digital trunked emergency radio communication systems in. Most of the localities are in the "Needs Assessment" phase of replacing aging emergency radio communication systems. I’m not going to get in why it’s a good idea not to encrypt routine channels because we all know the reasons. Enjoy listening because we might not be able to in the next few years.


Here are the Links:

Proposed Budget Fiscal Year 2015 - Hanover County, Virginia

http://www.hanovercounty.gov/FN/Proposed_Budget_CIP_Section_2015.pdf
 

Herodog

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Hanover

Hanover just put there new system in 2010 it only 4 years old I cant get t that link for the buget fy15 and also hanover already has encrypted channels now not dispatch tac, ect so does king william on there investigation channel in kw I work for hanover and I have not heard anytthing about this but if true I guess we all wasted our money on our scanners I will ask on of the board of supervisers that a freind of mine and let you no the only thing I have heard is henrico ,city chestfeild will be getting a new p25 system and for hanover to talk to them on interup please excuse my spelling all talk group on interup would be encrypted thats all I now I will keep you posted of what I hear thanks for the info!!!!
 

CPerk

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King William, Virginia
Ok thank you very much and any ideas or something to improve the scanner signal strength for Hanover system . Where I live in king William I can't hear anything but very jumble and messed up .
Hanover just put there new system in 2010 it only 4 years old I cant get t that link for the buget fy15 and also hanover already has encrypted channels now not dispatch tac, ect so does king william on there investigation channel in kw I work for hanover and I have not heard anytthing about this but if true I guess we all wasted our money on our scanners I will ask on of the board of supervisers that a freind of mine and let you no the only thing I have heard is henrico ,city chestfeild will be getting a new p25 system and for hanover to talk to them on interup please excuse my spelling all talk group on interup would be encrypted thats all I now I will keep you posted of what I hear thanks for the info!!!!
 

PYuknis

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Some believe the only thing encryption does is to prevent the public from keeping an eye on law enforcement. I also question cost vs benefit. especially in smaller towns. Kind of like the billions spent on NSA snooping. no return on investment.

Has there ever been a honest analysis concerning the number of crimes where scanners were used effectively to assist in the criminal activity? This impacts the media responding to activities as well.

I question the true motive.
 

kc4jgc

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LIS, You may LOL all you want, remember, Virginia is NOT the "Socialist Republic of Cuomoland".

This was supposed to be kept quiet until just before encryption is to happen, I'm sure. Thanks to the eagle eyes of the OP, scannists in the area have at least a 3 year window (should they decide to accept the mission) to engage the local governments involved to hopefully LIMIT encryption to talk groups that would truly be for the safety of the law enforcement officers, such as surveillance and tactical. Those 2 types of traffic are supposed to be banned from the Broadcastify feeds anyway, per the terms of service.
 

LIScanner101

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LIS, You may LOL all you want, remember, Virginia is NOT the "Socialist Republic of Cuomoland".

This was supposed to be kept quiet until just before encryption is to happen, I'm sure. Thanks to the eagle eyes of the OP, scannists in the area have at least a 3 year window (should they decide to accept the mission) to engage the local governments involved to hopefully LIMIT encryption to talk groups that would truly be for the safety of the law enforcement officers, such as surveillance and tactical. Those 2 types of traffic are supposed to be banned from the Broadcastify feeds anyway, per the terms of service.

Has ANY gathering of scannists EVER been successful at accomplishing what you seek?
 

AZScanner

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Has ANY gathering of scannists EVER been successful at accomplishing what you seek?
Yes. Google "Billy Tauzin Scanner" and read up. We almost lost this hobby back in 1997. We probably would have too, were it not for the efforts of Bob Grove, Rich Barnett and others.

It CAN be done, but someone has to actually sit these politicians down and explain our side to them. We are a large enough group - over 100,000 members just on this site alone. We can get them to listen if we all speak in unison.

-AZ
 

pepsima1

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Like I said in other posts and forums "secure transmissions" have been around for years now. Cities and Counties have been locking down their trunked systems mostly on the LE side for years, and this was way before the internet barely existed. So to say that internet streaming is the cause for it, NO is the answer. Your cities and counties are just getting caught up to the current times that we live in and its a lost cause to try and fight it. Once the high up brass make their decision "its a done deal" no turning back the clock. Enjoy what you have for the time being.

The technology is cheap now and its almost free and its just built into the package subscriber radio now. There are several cities and counties that have been using the big "E" for at least 10 years and beyond now and they will never look back. Its just normal business now.

Wackers can't follow the cops anymore.
The media is very limited for information
The COPS are a little more safe with no nut job following them
Plus a criminal will not be-able to have one foot forward of the COPS neither.

The list goes on. Its just a normal way of life now.
 

kc4jgc

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LIScanner said:
Has ANY gathering of scannists EVER been successful at accomplishing what you seek?
Better question: Has anyone tried? My guess is "Probably not", because of the typical short or no lead time between announcement (if there was one) and implementation. This is, plain and simple, government saying, "we're doing this tomorrow; there's nothing you can do about it". Not the USA I grew up in.

Colonial Heights, a member of the capital region system decided to encrypt, with no announcement at all, from what I understand. A test to see whether anyone cares or will we roll over?

Would I like to see a movement of scannists? You bet! Do I expect to hear of a grass roots campaign? Unfortunately, no. I'm a realist in that regard. We are too busy in our everyday lives to spend much time defending against one of the most basic of liberties; monitoring the most visible part of our local governments: our police departments and being informed on what's going on in our communities.

Remember the AOSC motto? "In God we trust, all others we monitor."

I'm not a resident of central VA; I have no say in the matter.

With 3 years before implementation, if anyone in the area is willing to light the torch, it's the sooner, the better. Having this long a lead time is unprecidented.
 
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AZScanner

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And yet there are still some mouth breathers amongst use who keep crying foul and “WHAAA WHAAA WHAAA I WANNA LISTEN TO THE COPS”. With the last thing I quoted above it’s a no brainer, perfect reason to encrypt.
It goes deeper than that.

Some of us just like listening to the cops. If that went away tomorrow, those people would be bummed, but otherwise fine.

Some of us make our living by listening to the cops. Losing that tomorrow is a real concern for those folks as that hinders their ability to put food on the table.

Some of us like to assist the police by phoning in tips or passing along outstanding suspect information to our followers on Twitter. I did this just yesterday as a matter of fact. If all PD comm's went encrypted, so would our ability to help the understaffed police departments we monitor. Phoenix has not hired a new cop in 5 years. Those extra eyes and ears count now more than ever.

Some of us have real concerns for officer safety. P25 encryption is far from perfect. Even unencrypted P25 radios fail at times. In a life or death situation, that radio is the officer's literal lifeline. If it fails, that failure can cost him his life. Adding encryption to the mix only increases the odds (albeit small) that his radio will fail. Add in Murphy's law and you've got the makings of a real disaster

Some of us also question why the police agencies lobbied their respective jursidictions for P25 in the name of interoperability, only to now insist on encrypting, which negates the interoperability we were told they needed. Is streaming to blame? Maybe. I think the reasons for encrypting are as old as police radio itself: "The bad guys can hear us and the media keeps showing up and making our job more difficult." And yes, the streaming is mentioned at times as well. I don't think it's the full reason, but it makes for a convenient scapegoat.

Count a little of me in each of these camps. I understand that it can be scary if a criminal is listening in, and it can be annoying to an officer if I show up at a scene with my camera. When I do show up (which is rare these days) I try to give them their space so they can work as if I wasn't even there. But that officer should also be GLAD I can hear him - that measn his lifeline is working. You never know, he might need help someday and maybe it's a guy like me with a scanner who gets to him first and helps relay critical information to his dispatcher about what his condition is and where he is. I will likely go my whole life without encountering such a scenario, but if I do, I'm ready to help however and whenever I can.

That is, as long as I'm able to HEAR the police. Once that goes away, so does my ability to be an additional FREE resource for the department.

I may not be a "somebody" in most circles, but I'm a fairly decent wordsmith. I'll be happy to write an open letter that can be passed along to any officials considering full time police encryption. If we present a united front and a logical, rational and reasoned viewpoint, perhaps someone will listen.

Otherwise, as hobbies go, I like bowling. It's less expensive than scanning, easier to enjoy, no politicians are looking to take it away, you can do it while you drink and the equipment is meant to be thrown at things. What's not to like? ;)

-AZ
 

APX7500X2

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Some believe the only thing encryption does is to prevent the public from keeping an eye on law enforcement. I also question cost vs benefit. especially in smaller towns. Kind of like the billions spent on NSA snooping. no return on investment.

Has there ever been a honest analysis concerning the number of crimes where scanners were used effectively to assist in the criminal activity? This impacts the media responding to activities as well.

I question the true motive.
Well Motorola APX radios come with free encryption ADP so no cost there.

It does not matter the Motive, You, me, we have no right to listen to LIVE police or any public safety channels. They have to make it available and if you really have an interest in what's happening you can get a CD of all the comms the next business day and list to your hearts content!

So encryption doesn't prevent the public from keeping an eye on law enforcement, you can listen to the tapes the next day if you REALLY want to keep and eye on them.
 
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