On Oct. 1, the York Regional Police plan to implement a new radio system, that in turn, will stop the media and other citizens from being able to access public police scanners.
The old analog radios used by the York Regional Police allowed for limited encryption. This meant that the public could access police scanners for information on emergency situations, and keep updated on police activity. All information, including locations of crime scenes, has been fair game up until now.
In order to ensure people’s privacy, the new radios will be digital, and encrypted. The public, as well as the media will no longer hear the transmissions of the York Regional Police on public scanners.
According to a media release by the York Regional Police, all York Regional police cars and officers will carry the new radios. Const. Andy Pattenden assures the public that they will still be able to follow emergencies and accidents on the York Regional Police website.
“Those who have relied on scanners as a means of gathering information on what is happening in York Region are now asked to contact Media Relations Officers or the Duty Inspectors Office after hours,” Const. Pattenden said in the media release. “Officers will be available to answer questions on what’s happening throughout the region.”
The media release also says that there will be frequent updates posted to the York Regional Police website, and social media accounts for those who want to follow emergencies.
I’m afraid that this is another chip away at our freedoms and liberties. Another step back from openness and transparency and a huge step forward to a militarized police state where no one but government officials know what’s really going on.