Bill with bipartisan support would increase law enforcement radio transparency

Westword (Denver): In May 2019, Noelle Phillips was sitting in the Denver Post newsroom when she and her team of reporters heard on the police scanner that something terrible was happening at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.

“I could hear the tone of the deputies voices and I heard, ‘Yes, we’ve got juveniles shot.’ I think ankle or leg or something. I knew we had to flood the zone with reporters,” Phillips recalls.

Journalists have been using police scanners for their reporting for decades. These devices, which can tune into police communications, generally don’t have access to tactical and investigative channels. But they give reporters the chance to hear calls to dispatch, which can help inform how to approach a developing story.

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