Local law enforcement makes a case for ending public access to scanner traffic

Local News

Local authorities are moving forward with a plan to limit the amount of police scanner traffic available to the public.

Representatives of the Sioux City Police Department  and Woodbury County Sheriff”s Office sat down with local media representatives Wednesday to discuss the details of a proposal to encrypt law enforcement radio traffic. The move would make radio communication used by local law enforcement not available to the general public. While both agencies say keeping criminals from listening in is important, officer safety is the main reason for the change.  

“That really from my perspective is very important with the number of officers killed throughout the United States and a number of them have been ambushed. So that becomes an important issue, but also over the past couple years we’ve noticed that a lot of criminals are using scanners, apps on their phone to listen to our officers and deputies being dispatched to a crime in progress” said Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff.

Officials said the changes likely won’t be in effect until 2018 and will coincide with scheduled upgrades to police radios.
 

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