The Johnson City Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are now encrypting all of their radio communications. That means bad guys with police scanners can no longer hear if the good guys with badges are near. It also means concerned citizens, hobby scanner enthusiasts and we in the news business can no longer hear transmissions of breaking news. Other law enforcement agencies across the nation have adopted similar policies regarding encrypted radio transmissions. Encrypting all radio signals damages the transparency citizens have traditionally used to hold local law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions. The Press has long relied on law enforcement radio transmissions, but now we must rely on eyewitnesses or law enforcement agencies themselves to alert us to these situations. And many times these are dangerous situations that the public has a right to be informed of as quickly as possible.

The Johnson City Press

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