Letter: New scanners shut out public

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There are reasonable answers to most problems. Which is why, when law enforcement says encryption is for officer safety, I take their word for it. There must be evidence to back that claim. Yet after researching, the evidence isn’t there.

Crime reports containing the word “scanner” were obtained dating back to 2007. Fourteen reports were produced. Only one stated a scanner was used in an attempt to evade capture. The rest only mention a scanner as evidence, or speculated that a scanner was used.

The Law Enforcement Council of Clark/Skamania Counties made the decision to encrypt. Meeting minutes show discussions about encryption and that officer safety was a factor. It also shows that restricting media was a factor. What’s not evident is the debate the LEC claimed to have.

Encryption didn’t shut out media entirely. Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency offers access to media at a cost of $5,000 for a compatible radio and a $40 monthly fee to access dispatch channels only.

How’s encryption working? Depends who you ask. From CRESA, it’s working great. From the chiefs, it’s working great. From officers in the field — maybe the media should ask them. They’re the only reasonable people left.