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Burnedout

Want to Listen to Police Scanners? Cops Say No More

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Want to Listen to Police Scanners? Cops Say No More

 

A report of a suspicious person crackled from John Messner’s RadioShack police scanner, one of two he keeps at his home in Knoxville, Tenn.

When an officer was heard yelling “Shots fired!” minutes later, Mr. Messner knew it was time to go. The 52-year-old construction worker and photographer grabbed his two cameras, his portable scanner, jumped in his 1999 Plymouth Voyager minivan, and raced to the scene 3 miles away, where a suspected burglar was shot by police.

 

“When I got there, the guy was still on the ground, they hadn’t put him in the ambulance yet,” said Mr. Messner of the November incident. “It didn’t look like he was dead, but he was definitely hit.”

 

Mr. Messner snapped pictures and posted them on his Knoxville Crime Facebook group, which has 94,000 members in a city of 186,000. They come to see photos, read Mr. Messner’s live updates on police chases and burglaries that he gets from the police scanner, and discuss neighborhood crime issues. [Snipped]

https://www.wsj.com/articles/want-to-listen-to-police-scanners-cops-say-no-more-1526558400

 

 

I smell a juicy FOIA lawsuit coming from this.  B)

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In my neck of the woods when cops run people for warrants they broadcast their name, date of birth, social security number , etc right over the unencrypted airwaves and don't really give a shit that identity thieves probably are harvesting information that way. So in that case encryption would be a good thing. Otherwise I don't care that much.

 

But, if cops are doing some super secret shit, they don't use the radio system. They work it all out ahead of time off the air and/or use cell phones. Or they might call dispatch (sometimes) to let them know where they are but generally won't use the radio unless they go in pursuit or to say they are 'done.'

 

For all I know, these days they could be using Discord or some other conferencing chat app on their smart phone to avoid the radio system.

 

I can see where the public wants to keep an eye on what they are doing...but if they dont want the public to know, they won't.

 

 

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In Australia you don't even need a scanner; the cops broadcast on a frequency that you can pick up on CB radio, or at least they used to. I remember listening to them once over a CB radio as several of their cars responded to a serious RTA (Road Traffic Accident). That's why people who have CB radio listen in when they're driving in a city; it often enables them to avoid delays through accidents. I remember this incident mainly because of the cop's language over the radio. You got mention of the accident's location in between, "Fuck this, fuck such another fuckin' thing, and fuck something else," along with sundry other colourful expressions. I believe they use a scrambler when they run someone for warrants, or else they enter their details into the patrol car's PC or a laptop.

Casey

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