RCMP moving to digital encryption for communication

Williams Lake RCMP will be joining other detachments across Canada and switching from un-encrypted analog communications to digital.

Williams Lake RCMP will be joining other detachments across Canada and switching from un-encrypted analog communications to digital with encryption.

It’s a change that means the public will no longer be able to listen in on police activity by a scanner.

“I cannot wait for this new system,” said RCMP Insp. Warren Brown Thursday. “It will allow the police to talk and share information that cannot be intercepted.”

“We find that at most drug houses and active criminal safe houses they utilize scanners for their own benefit. They want to know where police are, staging fake calls at fake locations, etc. They utilize the interception of our communications for their benefit.”

The modernization has already take place in the Lower Mainland, the Capital Regional District (Victoria area) and about 20 per cent of the rest of the province.

Brown said he hopes the move will not compromise media coverage of police news in the city.

“While there are no plans to provide the operational encrypted tactical police radios to media, we — like the other police departments that have adopted this technology —remain committed to providing the media with as much information as possible on those matters that involve public safety and security and emergencies.”

There is a very significant cost to the new system, so depending on budgets, it will be phased in most likely not until 2014, Brown added.