Longmont police pilot radio encryption

Longmont Observer: The Longmont police department (LPD), around the end of September of 2018, started testing the encryption of what was for decades an open police radio channel. LPD cites police officer safety, keeping personal information about domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and child molestation victims off publicly accessible channels. Additionally, the radio silence is used to thwart criminals who were using the police radio information on police whereabouts to elude officers and commit more crime.

The current testing period is a pilot that will be ongoing for about 6 months and will have a set of criteria that measures the effectiveness of the program against a set of ‘pre-encryption’ criteria. This will then be evaluated at the end of the pilot period to see if it makes sense to keep encrypting the police radios.

There has a been some concern about transparency from a few citizens of Longmont. Gordon Pedrow, the ex-City Manager of Longmont, got up and expressed his concerns at a recent public invited to be heard session at a Longmont City Council meeting.

The local Times-Call, owned by Alden Global Capital (A New York hedge fund) and based out of Boulder, also expressed concerns in an editorial about being able to find and track “breaking news” as it happens without access to these open channels.

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