Following in the footsteps of the Rockford Police Department, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department will start scrambling it's radio traffic starting this week.

If you recently purchased a scanner to listen to police radio calls in Winnebago County, you will soon be out of luck. WREX-TV is reporting that Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana has announced that  the department will begin transitioning to encrypted scanners on Thursday.

The department will use Starcom radio systems, which makes it so the public can not hear radio traffic over the scanners.

This change occurs on the heels of the transition over to encrypted radios by the city of Rockford in 2016.

Critics say the new system will not allow the law abiding public to listen in to police broadcasts. Police say that encryption of radio traffic keeps the criminals from listening in.

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