City police want to encrypt radio channels

May 8, 2018 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia’s largest city plan to encrypt their radio channels, putting an end to the public’s ability to listen in.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that the encryption will be contingent on approval from Virginia Beach’s City Council later this month.

Virginia Beach police believe encryption will prevent criminals from listening to police communications. They said officer safety would increase and citizens would be better protected. However, it could affect media coverage of public safety.


The implementation costs are about $5 million.

City documents described situations in which public police channels impeded police. For instance, a suspect wanted for multiple burglaries was able to evade capture one night in 2011. That’s because he was listening to police scanner app on his phone.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,