Encryption of police radio

Deltek Analyst Luke Harris reports.

Police departments are more and more looking into encrypting their radio communications now that cheaper and user-friendly scanner equipment is readily available. From the view of police departments, this move increases officer and public safety because it shields their communications from criminals. From the perspective of news media and government watchdogs, radio encryption represents a step back in government transparency. Law enforcement agencies in Washington, D.C., and around the country have encountered problems where criminals have easily escaped because they were listening to police radio communications. Some police departments (Pasadena, Calif.) have recently switched to encrypted radios for its benefits. Fully-encrypted systems are rare because they cost more and can be difficult to manage. A number of agencies have opted to encrypt on a case-by-case basis, or only encrypt their tactical and operational communications.

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