• 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.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:

The Police Scanner in the Newsroom


Premium Subscriber
Feb 21, 2012
I realize I'm late getting on this thread, apologies. I just can't help sharing my experience with this topic in general. I've been a scanner geek since I was 11. I have always monitored our local PD and years ago became a volunteer for that agency. I worked very closely with administration, patrol, investigation, prevention, etc. I did more ride-alongs than I can count in addition. I also have close friends who work for the local newspaper.
Before the PD became so dependent on MDTs for routine messaging, Dispatch would call the Watch Commander every evening around 6-7 pm & ask "Code-20?", which was their code for "do we have anything to release to the media?". Invariably the answer was "Negative". REALLY?! I'm sitting there thinking to myself, umm, we just had a drive-by with 2 trauma victims code 3 to the ER as a result, a major traffic collision, some dude jumping fences through a neighborhood, and a missing-endangered juvenile. This, mind you is any average weeknight, just wait until Saturday night! Stunned, I asked my friends at the newspaper if they even owned a scanner. One of the guys said "yeah, there's 3 in the news desk area but they always have them turned down because they're a distraction". WTH?! I guess the saying "you can't fix stupid" pretty much fits as far as that particular "newspaper" is concerned. Personally, as a citizen, I think I should be allowed to be aware of some goon hopping fences if it were my neighborhood, and the PD and City can't maintain the whole "quaint community/wholesome" BS forever when the gang violence is staring you on the face, and what if that was your 12 year-old daughter that went missing?? I know I would want everyone to be aware on the lookout. SMH! Rant over, peace.


Jul 12, 2008
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
If you didn't know already, local municipalities are not only urged by but given large incentives to encrypt by the office of Homeland Security.
Oh really? Cite an example, specific one please, where DHS providing a "large incentive" read funding line for a local municipality to encrypt radio communications. That's utter nonsense and you know it.
Not to mention, the burden on the tax payer to pay to encrypt is considerable and an unnecessary expense given more modern ways for police to communicate in a secure way - such as on Android/Zello based radios, were large talk-groups (such as SWAT and Narcotics) can be set up for tactical communications.
You do realize that modern P-25 subscriber radios from just about every vendor includes encryption now as a standard feature? Motorola includes single-key AES-256 with APX series subscribers. The cost of loading it into a console such as an MCC7500 is minimal and takes about 1 minute of labor for one to plug a KVL-4000 into a VPM on the rear keyload jack and load a key. It's really that easy. This is 2019, not 1999. There is no "burden on taxpayers to encrypt" as you purport to be.
Over 4 million dollars was spent here locally on the city's P-25 PII system - and the communications between agencies didn't become better but has become much worse. They spent millions on a system where the most common phrase heard is "Can you repeat that?" In my opinion that's $4 million that could have been better spent elsewhere like on hiring more police and first responders or on better emergency equipment.
This sounds more like a poorly engineered system and, if your claims are true, then a vendor should be held accountable and made to either correct the issues or refund the milestone payments.