NYPD Eyeing Encrypted Radios to Protect Criminal Investigations – Officer

NEW YORK -- The NYPD wants to encrypt its radios to prevent criminals from following their every move not hide from the media, police officials insisted Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner John Miller noted the department already has several channels that allow law enforcement agencies, like the FBI and Secret Service, to communicate without worrying about crooks listening in.

When you have sophisticated criminal organizations that are listening to your communications about them, that would only make sense, Miller, head of the NYPDs Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau, said Thursday.

Using a kidnapping investigation as an example, he added: How do you conduct one of those over the radio when the whole world is listening for entertainment value?

The NYPDs plan to silence radio transmissions was first reported Wednesday by amNewYork.

A police source said the NYPD may start a pilot program next year to test a department-wide encryption program.

The 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which a gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 400 victims after listening to police and hotel security radio dispatches, was a wake-up call for the NYPD, the source said.

We cant have criminals with better technology and tools available than police, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Miller said the entire department is at least three years away from being fully encrypted, and noted that other police departments have made similar moves with "arrangements with the news media that made sense.

Las Vegas police now use encrypted radios but allow the press to buy their own radios. In Knoxville, Tenn., police radio traffic is posted after a one-hour delay.

Reactions in different cities have varied, however, with police being accused of limiting journalists access and cutting the public off to information.

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NYPD Eyeing Encrypted Radios to Protect Criminal Investigations - Officer

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