Want to Listen to Police Scanners? Cops Say No More

Social-media groups like Knoxville Crime are one reason that Knoxville police officials say they will begin encrypting police radio communications beginning in August, making it impossible for the public—and Mr. Messner—to listen in live. The move comes as more police departments around the country are seeking to shield their live radio communications, now easily accessible via smartphone apps. Police say the effort will keep officers safe and bad guys from finding out what they’re doing.

“When you’re putting out information that only a suspect and a victim and an officer knows, then all of the sudden you have someone put that on social media, that takes your advantage away,” said Darrell DeBusk, a Knoxville police spokesman.

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9 Responses to Want to Listen to Police Scanners? Cops Say No More

  1. Jeff says:

    That will be the same as with fuzz busters ( radar dectors) the same people who make the encryption for the cops will also produce a scanner that can de-encryption it for scanners, and it will be internet uploadable for a small fee.

  2. Ragnar says:

    They spy on our cell communications, use license plate readers on everyone. Without reasonable, articulable suspicion – let alone probable cause – in all but a few cases.

    Turnabout is fair play.

    Shiny badges do not grant special rights.

    • lineman says:

      Shiny badges do not grant special rights…
      Well I would say at this point in time they do grant special rights or a lot more law enforcement officers would be in jail…

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Interesting. Just north of there, the county and certain city popos no longer even use the 10 codes. They broadcast “in the clear” so that there is no misunderstanding of info. Hell, the chimps and beaners have trouble operating and understanding a scanner anyway so it mostly doesn’t matter.

  4. Padawan says:

    Our police chief did this about a year or so back. He did it without seeking the approval of the city government or telling anyone. When a local news reporter found out (I don’t remember how) she went around asking officers what they thought of the chief encrypting the police channels just about every last one she asked gave her a blank stare and told her they were unaware that the scanner channels had been encrypted. So she went to the mayor and asked the same thing. And got the same answer.

    • Larry says:

      That’s kind of weird because it would generally involve new radios for everyone, plus making sure everyone’s got the right settings otherwise they wouldn’t understand anyone else on the force, either. That would be kind of hard to hide or keep quiet. Just saying.

  5. Andrew says:

    Meh. Most real criminals, from certain sections of any city, have family members in the local comm center. And that is 10 times worse than having a scanner.

    City I live in, the crooks know a search warrant is coming at least an hour before it’s served, thanks to the shitty comm center.

  6. High Ground says:

    Vegas was one of the 1st to do this. Making sure no one documents the next false flag. I heard scanner reports from multiple sites other than MB w gun fire in the background.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Modesto CA PD and Stanislaus County SO encrypted their shit a few years back, maybe a year or two before I left. I always had a scanner next to my chair turned down low – one night I was getting regular cop traffic, the next night I was getting traffic from the Greyhound bus station.

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