Oak Ridge dispatchers and emergency workers switched to a new radio system last week that uses encrypted communications, and access is restricted to public safety employees.
That means that people who have listened to Oak Ridge police and fire communications, among other radio transmissions, on scanners and scanner apps but aren’t public safety employees such as police officers or firefighters will no longer be able to listen. That includes reporters.
“For the safety of our officers, the Police Department does not have any plans at this time to allow access to the radio system beyond public safety employees,” City of Oak Ridge spokesperson Sarah Self said in a brief statement Tuesday, January 29.
The switch was apparently made at about 1 p.m. Monday, January 28. Oak Ridge Today has not heard Oak Ridge dispatchers on the radio since then.
Oak Ridge Today asked what steps the city will take to ensure that people continue to stay informed at least about major police and fire incidents since reporters and the public will no longer be able to listen to emergency communications. [Read more…]