Longmont police scanners go silent for unannounced ‘pilot project’

Times-Call (Longmont): Longmont police are now dispatching through an encrypted channel, which means the public cannot listen to police communication via scanners and scanner cellphone apps.

The decision comes after concerns for officer safety and victim privacy, according to Deputy Chief Jeff Satur, though it’s not clear how much these issues have directly affected Longmont police.

The decision was made internally and did not require approval from the City Council as it is an operational change, according to city spokesman Rigo Leal.

Satur emphasized that the change is a pilot project that may be adjusted in the future, but at this time there is no scheduled end date.

While encrypting main dispatch channels is an increasing trend in law enforcement, associations representing the media oppose the idea, saying it reduces transparency and makes it more difficult for reporters to do their jobs.

There was no one thing that triggered Longmont police to pull their main dispatch line from the public, Satur said.

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