Some may ask what are the police trying to hide from the public, while others think it is in the best interest of safety for police personnel. Following the lead of the City of Rockford, Winnebago County Sheriff's police will begin encrypting their communications in 2017.

The reason for the move is that this technology stops criminals from listening in and knowing the locations of police. On the other hand, it means that media outlets can no longer report news unless police are willing to turn over the information voluntarily.  Information is often delayed substantially and the public often won't have access to this information until hours or days later and will have to rely on police officials to disseminate accurate information. Rockford police have promised to do so.

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana told WIFR-TV:

We're saying people's names over the air and we run into fraudulent situations where people are writing down these peoples names when we're running them. If we're going to run any detail we need that privacy as we move forward to the next generation of policing.

 

The sheriff has not released the cost of the upgraded radios that the taxpayers will have to fund.

Police radios in Rockford went encrypted this past Monday.