Westy PD just went dark

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natedawg1604

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Well folks, at 9:01 AM this morning it appears Westy PD went totally dark, quite likely for good. They already had an encrypted swat channel, but apparently that wasn't good enough...:(
 

rckydenver

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I notice this morning as well, Westy PD Ch2 is ENC and last week the SWAT Ch was ENC as well. Have not paid to much on the other channels yet. I just got back from the dentist, but do have my radio tune in.

U/D- Just as I submitted my thread I heard on the main dispatch channel 1 is also ENC and some are in the clear.
 

Kevin_N

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Well we really have a disturbing trend here in Colorado. I guess we won't know if our agencies become corrupt now. I wonder what the media plans to do. Seems like this one came out of nowhere. Wonder who made them mad. Probably the media.
 

Spitfire8520

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That's a little unfortunate timing. I was going to attempt to do some logging of the Westminster system in the next few weeks to see if I could catch and figure out any remaining Westminster unknowns prior to them encrypting.
 

Steve2003

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Yep, WPD is fully encrypted. Hearing a few stragglers in the clear then going dark after being told to switch to a different zone. At least we still have fire.
 

natedawg1604

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That's a little unfortunate timing. I was going to attempt to do some logging of the Westminster system in the next few weeks to see if I could catch and figure out any remaining Westminster unknowns prior to them encrypting.
That's exactly what I was doing when I caught it, unfortunately. They do have about 7 or 8 Unknown talkgroups, also I haven't figured out the proper labels for the three known golf course TG's.
 

mkaskavitch

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Lets all hope this trend doesn't continue around the Denver metro. As these systems become more digital and encryption becomes more economical I hope others don't follow suit.
 

Kevin_N

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They are the first for the metro area. I hope they're proud. Probably laughing at us all and how no one will know what they're up to now. Glad I don't live there. Scary.
 

mkaskavitch

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They are the first for the metro area.
I just don't understand the benefit. If something shouldn't be aired it's easy to have another system similar to DPD that uses Nextel, or just pick up the phone. Does anyone know if this was brought up during any public meetings in Westminster?
 

Spitfire8520

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They are the first for the metro area.
Probably not the last either.

I just don't understand the benefit. If something shouldn't be aired it's easy to have another system similar to DPD that uses Nextel, or just pick up the phone.
I'm sure most agencies in Colorado have access to Nextel or some type of cellular PTT service, but it really depends on who you talk to. Most will cite officer safety and privacy issues. Some will say that grabbing a cell phone takes much more time when "seconds count" or something along those lines. Others will say it's just unpredictable what might happen on their dispatch channels and would like encryption for the just in case factor. Probably one of the biggest ones they will say is that criminals have ability to monitor them freely and apparently often do (usually no examples given, just that "it happens all the time").
 

Kevin_N

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I just don't understand the benefit. If something shouldn't be aired it's easy to have another system similar to DPD that uses Nextel, or just pick up the phone. Does anyone know if this was brought up during any public meetings in Westminster?
The benefit is they can claim it's about safety. Theirs and ours - I love that one. Trust us you're safer if no one knows what we're doing. And they can claim the criminals are listening. I'm sure some are, but not many. Never examples.

The real benefit is they can't be 2nd guessed if no one knows what they're up to.
 

KD0DUJ

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Interoperability will be an issue because the other agencies in the metro area may not be able to talk them on major incidents
 

dougjgray

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I doubt it is a coincidence they started encrypting immediately after the troubles in Ferguson MO, Maybe Westminster has some bad police officers they want to protect. in fergusan they work hard to keep Media from FIlming, so probably on the same modivation for Westminster to go Encrypted
 

LMR_Dude

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I doubt it is a coincidence they started encrypting immediately after the troubles in Ferguson MO, Maybe Westminster has some bad police officers they want to protect. in fergusan they work hard to keep Media from FIlming, so probably on the same modivation for Westminster to go Encrypted
The amount of coordination it takes to make a move like this is tremendous and Ill lay odds the events in MO and Westminster are totally unrelated.
 

jvan253

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About two weeks ago, Westy PD and several other agencies were working a bank robbery. The announcement was made that the suspects had a scanner, and the radio was "compromised". That may have been the triggering incident.

Having said that, I'm a retired police officer who trained recruit officers for 13 years. It was part of my training as a recruit, that we should always ASSUME that EVERY radio transmission was heard by citizens at large. I trained each and every one of my recruits accordingly. If the traffic had to be secure, we used land lines or cell phones, coordinated through dispatch. Other agencies had the ability to turn on encryption as needed.

I have always believed that the citizens we, as peace officers serve, have the right to monitor our operations. I think that there are circumstances that merit radio encryption, but non-encrypted radio traffic should resume after the critical incident.
 

Kevin_N

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About two weeks ago, Westy PD and several other agencies were working a bank robbery. The announcement was made that the suspects had a scanner, and the radio was "compromised". That may have been the triggering incident.

Having said that, I'm a retired police officer who trained recruit officers for 13 years. It was part of my training as a recruit, that we should always ASSUME that EVERY radio transmission was heard by citizens at large. I trained each and every one of my recruits accordingly. If the traffic had to be secure, we used land lines or cell phones, coordinated through dispatch. Other agencies had the ability to turn on encryption as needed.

I have always believed that the citizens we, as peace officers serve, have the right to monitor our operations. I think that there are circumstances that merit radio encryption, but non-encrypted radio traffic should resume after the critical incident.
Thanks for bringing that up. I heard that bank robbery as well and thought I heard the comment about the scanner but I wasn't sure. I think they switched to Blue Northwest then.

I wonder if they knew that the suspects had a scanner or just thought so. I still think those kinds of things are rare compared to all the crimes that go on and that full time encryption is an extreme reaction. That's a case where they could have a channel to go to that is encrypted if they think they are compromised.

I wish Westminster would reconsider having a more balanced policy.
 

dw2872

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When they said "compromised" I believe they meant every channel they switched to could be heard over the Westminster online feed by the dispatcher and she kept saying that each time they switched channels.

Little did they know, the Blue Network First talk groups are also on an online feed.
 
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Kevin_N

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So were they just assuming that because they heard it the suspects were? I mean did they think that someone was monitoring the online feed for the robbers? Or did they think the robbers were sophisticated enough to have all channels they might switch to ready to go?

Possible I guess, but I'd be surprised.
 
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