- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says the department has begun encrypting its radio transmissions to improve officer safety.

St. John tells The Billings Gazette (https://bit.ly/1kaN4Ta) that beginning Friday, people with police scanners will be able to hear what dispatchers say to officers, but won’t be able to hear the officers talk with dispatchers or each other.

St. John notes that during a recent traffic stop, an officer saw a suspect using a smartphone app that allowed him to monitor scanner chatter, while City Administrator Tina Volek says the friends of a man who was killed in a shootout with police in 2012 listened to a police radio as officers chased the suspect.

The department spent over $830,000 on more than 450 new radios for police and firefighters.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com


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