Senseable Police Dept?

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brey1234

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PORTSMOUTH — When police arrested Christopher Wuelper last June on charges of soliciting a 14-year-old girl for sex, he was found with a police scanner in his car, said Chief Lou Ferland.

Wuelper, police believe, was using the scanner to listen to police chatter related to his own capture. To prevent that from happening again, the city Police Department is launching a radio encryption program that will allow officers to communicate during undercover operations without being heard by others with police scanners, said Ferland.

The police chief discussed the radio encryption at a meeting of the Police Commission on Wednesday night at the Gosling Meadows community room. He announced that the grant-funded technology is in the "purchasing phase" and the Police Department is developing a strict policy of when it will be used.

In an effort to run a "transparent" Police Department, the chief said the encryption will be activated only by direction of a ranking officer and to exchange information during undercover operations.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100121/NEWS/1210416/-1/NEWSMAP
 

jmarcel66

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While I'm very much opposed to encrypting normal operations of any agency, there are times where if not totally warranted, it is at least a good idea for law enforcement to go "off grid" w/their communications.

Surveillance, undercover ops and similar operations need to be conducted away from the normal law enforcement channels and encrypted. While most would agree that first a criminal would want to drop $500+ on a scanner instead of buying more product for more profit; and second, is smart enough to know how to program it (most aren't). There is still a chance they could monitor the operation.

An important note, quoting the article, "When police arrested Christopher Wuelper last June on charges of soliciting a 14-year-old girl for sex, he was found with a police scanner in his car". So obviously, having the scanner didn't help him. Otherwise he would've gotten away.

An important question is whether they were using their normal patrol frequencies or well known/documented secondary frequencies for their undercover ops. Many Law Enforcement agencies utilize separate frequencies for their sensitive operations. These are usually unlicensed/unpublished frequencies. This is good practice. They may add the extra layer of encryption as well.

As far as encrypting regular day-to-day patrol traffic in an attempt to prevent crime. It simply doesn't work. A more accurate perception by the public is that encrypted standard traffic is government hiding from those they serve.
 

reedeb

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I worked several years in Portsmouth in Security. Many a nights I monitored the PD on my scanner [ at that time they had a few unknown frequencies that they chatted on and was able to find them and kept the freqs to myself] It was very rewarding to be able to listen to them and know the BG probably wasn't [also made it nice to know if anything important was going on in my area I was working].

I feel as if undercover etc needs encryption they should. The lives and safety of the officers is a priority.
 

nhscannerman

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Your so right

I worked several years in Portsmouth in Security. Many a nights I monitored the PD on my scanner [ at that time they had a few unknown frequencies that they chatted on and was able to find them and kept the freqs to myself] It was very rewarding to be able to listen to them and know the BG probably wasn't [also made it nice to know if anything important was going on in my area I was working].

I feel as if undercover etc needs encryption they should. The lives and safety of the officers is a priority.

I have to agree on that. The idea of encryption is like a slap in the face because of the violation of the 1970 free information act. As it goes for Nashua, Police, they use the same channels encrypted and they take like 10 minutes to finish their transmission where it forces me to lock em out. Hudson police does some what the same thing but its the dispatch. As for me I think the encryption on main channels is just plain stupid.
 
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