Jefferson and Orleans Police Won't Encrypt Radios

Dec 31, 2012

Authorities in Orleans and Jefferson parishes say they'll keep some radio channels open to outside listeners after they encrypt more sensitive information on Jan. 1.

Police agencies had said earlier they might encrypt all radio channels, drawing protests from news media and a group that monitors police activity.

The change was spurred by concern that criminals could listen to police scanners. New Orleans Police Superintendent Serpas tells The Times-Picayune that the city's 10 dispatch channels will remain open. Other channels where officers discuss responses to ongoing incidents will be encoded, he says.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says its dispatch channels will remain open.

Plaquemines Parish says it will encrypt all channels, while a spokesman for the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office says he's not yet aware of a decision.