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Police Radio Issue Grows

FOI Alert Volume 6 Issue 1 (2000-2001)

Across the country, the use of new technologies and radio frequencies for emergency service dispatch and communications is getting attention. Of special concern to journalists are systems known as "digital trunking" that use frequencies in the 800 megahertz range and can be "encrypted" so that most police radio scanners cannot receive transmissions. These systems also can be programmed to "lock out" scanners with the capability to receive 800 MHz transmissions.

SPJ’s national office and its Queen City (Cincinnati) SPJ Pro Chapter have raised concerns over one Ohio county’s switch to a digital system. One of our members in Fort Wayne, Ind., also has been vocal in opposing a similar plan there.

SPJ encourages local journalists to research and report on this issue in their communities.

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