Editorial: Keep police and fire radio communications open and transparent

The Denver Post: Denver police scanners will soon go silent and Coloradans will lose one important tool of transparency and accountability.

Most Americans probably don’t even realize that it’s occurring, but reporters across the nation doggedly listen to radio communications between first responders, searching for breaking news stories. Reporters listen for the types of emergencies big and small that the public needs to know about and often the public first learns to stay away from a gas leak or to avoid an area with an armed suspect through local media outlets.

Reporters learn about fires and shootings, injuries and deaths, arrests and rescues, all by listening to the scanner and then following up with police and fire agencies to get more details of what occurred. Reporters aren’t looking to splash lurid details on social media. News organizations have policies dictating the need to verify facts before reporting them and reporters take that responsibility seriously.

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