South metro area law enforcement agencies blocking radio traffic

Englewood Herald: As of the early morning hours on Dec. 2, Douglas County law enforcement radios faded from public access. Channels once available for anyone to hear now broadcast a stream of garbled talk and indistinguishable chatter that sporadically break up stretches of otherwise silent airwaves.

The agencies’ channels are officially encrypted, a move law enforcement leaders say is intended to shield citizens’ private information from public dissemination and to protect officers. It is part of a trend among first responders along the Front Range and nation — a trend that has raised alarms among media experts.

Just to the north of Douglas County, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and at least some local police departments in the county plan to encrypt by mid-January, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office confirmed. In nearby Denver and Aurora, police departments have already blocked scanner access.

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