Letter: Open law enforcement channels

By

Published:

 

I am writing on behalf of a group of citizens regarding the recent encryption of law enforcement channels. We represent people with interests ranging from radio hobbyists, neighborhood groups, and Facebook scanner groups.

Changing to encryption has prevented citizens from accessing information vital to the transparency of local law enforcement and the safety of our community. We acknowledge that encryption of certain activity is crucial to officer safety.

Keeping day-to-day radio traffic unencrypted provides transparency that maintains trust between police and citizens. We value the respect shown when local law enforcement trusts our ability to decide what is good for us as a community. We respectfully insist on remaining informed.

Many citizens participate in crime awareness through Facebook scanner groups. These groups total 40,000 members. The primary reason people join is to stay informed on a variety of topics. Encrypting dispatch channels prevents this from happening.

It’s important that dispatch channels remain unencrypted in our community. Media depends on open communications as much as private citizens do. One media outlet should not have solitary access to these channels, while their own subscribers do not. It is in the best interest of local media outlets to encourage open law enforcement channels.