NYPD Radio Broadcasts May Soon be Encrypted in Boro Park

NYPD Radio Broadcasts May Soon be Encrypted in Boro Park

M.C. Millman

In the debate over safety versus transparency of NYPD Radio broadcasts, is privacy the best policy?

The NYPD thinks so. There is an ongoing debate among the NYPD, New York City Council, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Much to the disappointment of those who make a pastime of listening to police radios, the NYPD has already started restricting public access to radio broadcasts. ABC7 reports that six NYPD precincts in northern Brooklyn went silent without warning two weeks ago. 

Ruben Beltran, Chief of Information Technology at NYPD, spoke at a press conference on Friday about how radios have been used against the NYPD and how frequency hijacking of the channel contributes to a significant public safety concern. 

He spoke of plans to upgrade scanners to precincts throughout the City.

"The plan is for the digital upgrade to be citywide and for the encryption capabilities under that digital upgrade to be deployed citywide."

"Other cities have gone encrypted and have dealt with these issues also," Beltran said during the press conference. "That is what we are exploring, to see what is the best option to strike that balance between keeping police officers safe, keeping the community safe, and making sure there is appropriate media access and information for transparency."

According to Mayor Eric Adams, "Bad guys are looking at this," and can see when NYPD responds to a crime. Adams says there's a need to find "proper balance."

NYC Council speaker Adrienne E. Adams disagrees that radios should be private. "These frequencies are used by journalists to respond to spot news. It's important that New Yorkers are kept informed, to ensure safety, through that medium."

New York City Council released a statement from spokesperson Rendy Desamours after the NYPD confirmed that it has begun to encrypt radio transmissions that have been available to the media and volunteer first responders for decades. 

"Transparency is key to achieving and maintaining public safety," said Desamours. "It is troubling that the NYPD began encrypting its radio system without an adequate transparency plan implemented first, which can jeopardize the safety of New Yorkers. Journalists, volunteer first responders, and other key stakeholders across diverse neighborhoods rely on the system to help keep people safe and deliver important information. There should have been a comprehensive plan to maintain access and transparency rather than it being an afterthought when making any changes. This rollout raises serious public safety and policy concerns that need to be further examined."

Monticello Woman Arrested for Robbery and Assault of Woman Outside Bank
  • Aug 9 2023
  • |
  • 7:43 AM

Birdseye View: Overhead Footage From the Kossover Shul Under Construction
  • Aug 9 2023
  • |
  • 10:32 AM

Be in the know

receive BoroPark24’s news & updates on whatsapp

 Start Now