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Estes Park Police to encrypt 800 MHz radio channels

Beginning the week of August 18, the Estes Park Police Department 800MHz radio channels used to conduct public safety operations will be encrypted. At this time, they will become inaccessible for members of the public who follow police operations using scanners. This change is in line with a county-wide effort of law enforcement agencies to protect public and officer safety and to protect the privacy rights of the individuals with whom law enforcement officials come into contact. Radio encryption is considered a best practice among law enforcement agencies nationwide. The Estes Park Police Department’s 800 MHz radio encryption will not affect its ability to communicate with other emergency services agencies.

The purpose of radio encryption is twofold. First, the Estes Park Police Department has a responsibility to protect citizens’ rights to privacy. Personal information shared over radio frequencies by officers and dispatchers would not be available to the general public under any other circumstances, and can even result in identity theft. Second, when police operations information, such as the officer’s location in pursuit of a crime suspect, is available to everyone, both officer and public safety can be at risk. In addition, the officers’ ability to apprehend a suspect may be jeopardized.

Public information on police operations will continue to be available in weekly police reports in local papers, through records available at the Police Department, and on the Town’s website and social media channels www.estes.org, www.facebook.com/townofestesparkco and www.twitter.com/townofestespark. It is also available on the Police Department’s social media channels www.facebook.com/estesparkpolicedepartment and www.twitter.com/estesparkpolice. To receive Town and Police Department news in your email inbox, please subscribe at www.estes.org.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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