Spokane Police Chief: 'We are not going to be encrypting our sca - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Police Chief: 'We are not going to be encrypting our scanner traffic'

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Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told KHQ there are no plans of encrypting their channels. Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told KHQ there are no plans of encrypting their channels.
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told KHQ Thursday morning that there are no plans to encrypt the department's scanner traffic. 

"We are not going to be encrypting our scanners. So you can put that out," Straub said in a meeting with local media.  

Last month, Spokane Police Spokeswoman Monique Cotton said the department was "looking at encryption, which would provide a slight delay in information for safety reasons." At the time, Cotton did not say how much of a delay was being considered, but explained that the idea was on the table in the first place as an officer safety issue, so criminals couldn't listen in on police communication. On Thursday, Chief Straub said the delay would have been about five minutes. 

The Spokane Police Department has "5 to 6" channels already encrypted, but its two main channels are open to the public, and while the idea of encrypting the those two channels is not wholly off of the table, there are no plans to do so at this time. 

When the idea was being floated around last month, KHQ spoke with other local law enforcement organizations who all thought it was a bad idea. 

"The first thought in people's minds are, what are they trying to hide?" Cheney Police Chief John Hensley said. Hensley was previously the Chief of police in Cypress, California when region wide law enforcement moved towards encryption.

"This only causes those that doubt our ethics to believe this is one more step to closing our ranks," Chief Hensley told KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus. 

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich echoed those statements, saying it was a "bad idea" in the name of being transparent. 


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