Listening to police communications on a police scanner will soon be a bit more difficult for those who like to listen to Rockord Police Communications.

 

WREX-TV is reporting that the Rockford Police Department will soon be getting encrypted radios. Asst. Deputy Chief Pat Hoey said the move is to be more strategic in fighting crime.

Scanner traffic is available to those who own police scanners or smart phone apps such as 5-0 radio Police Scanner which allows users to dial up any police, emergency or fire communications worldwide.

The Rockford PD doesn't want criminals listening to police chatter. Police say "would be" law breakers use police scanners to track movement and position of police.

But, this also means that the public would not be able listen to police traffic either. The change will take place as of August 1st

Rickie Traeger who runs the very popular Rockford Scanner website is not very happy about this at all.

Traeger told me:

There is nothing wrong with the system they have now. It does NOT affect public safety. Full blown censorship is what it boils down to.

They already have all their system encrypted, except for 2 channels. They use their cell phones and the encrypted channels daily. Encrypting their whole system is going to affect the public in many ways. The main one is the public is censored and will be clueless to what is going on in their neighborhoods and will have to wait until 5,6,10 pm to find out, IF THEY EVEN FIND OUT. We ask the public to stand up and take action and to call the police chief and let their voices be heard and how it is a bad idea for the public safety, to encrypt their last 2 channels. We need to stand up and let our voices be heard, because if we don't, then the public will never know what goes on. Chief Daniel O'Shea (779) 500-6601

Rockford Scanner Facebook page is very popular with the the public, to the tune on over 102,000 likes.

Radio, TV and newspapers throughout the years have used scanner communications to break local news stories. The encryption methods employed by the Rockford Police will make news gathering more difficult in Rockford.

Media outlets will have to rely on the honesty of police press releases and will get information on a delayed basis as of August 1st.