Rockford police don't want you to listen to their communications anymore, but some local citizens are doing something to try to stop silence of the airwaves by Rockford's new Police Chief.

Rockford Police Department announced that as of August 1st, police communications will be encrypted. This means the public will no longer be able to listen to police radio traffic. Since the dawn of radio communication, police scanner traffic has always been available to those who own police scanners or more recently, for those who download smart phone apps such as 5-0 radio Police Scanner which allows users to dial up any police, emergency or fire communications worldwide.

Rockford's "Dream Police" are quickly becoming a nightmare to those who believe in open communications.

Rickie Traeger, who runs the very popular Rockford Scanner website, is not very happy about this at all, and has started an on-line petition to protest the switch over from analog to encrypted police communications.

The petition says:

We, the undersigned citizens do hereby request that the City of Rockford and Rockford Police Department continue to keep the police scanner open, transparent, unedited and free.


The Rockford Police Scanner has been open, transparent, unedited and free since it started many years ago. A lot of Rockford residents and Winnebago County residents depend and rely on the scanner for its unedited, open, free and transparent information. The existing unedited, open, free and transparent scanner system helps inform residents as to what is going on in our town at the present time and we want to keep it that way.

Over 400 people have signed the petition, so far.

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.

Individuals can also voice their concern by calling Rockford police Chief Daniel O'Shea (779) 500-6601 or emailing him at :

The cost to the taxpayers of the switch over in communications has not been released

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