Scanners won’t pick up FWPD starting in early February

Scanner (Provided Photo/ WANE)
Scanner (Provided Photo/ WANE)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Your home scanner will soon no longer pick up Fort Wayne police traffic.  The Fort Wayne Police Department will switch to an encrypted radio broadcast on Tuesday, February 4.

According to FWPD spokesperson, Michael Joyner the department has been working on the change for quite some time, and is being done to protect public safety.

“We’re living in a world now where terrorists are looking for that weak link, that ability to strike,” Joyner said.  “One of those weak links is to be able to monitor where our resources are.  We take that away from them or from anybody for that matter, it doesn’t have to be a terrorist, and it keeps them a little confused.  It gives us an advantage.”

The change also means no more listening to communications from the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, our sister station WANE reports.

Joyner said the scanners should still be able to pick up frequencies that fire departments use, and possibly some other frequencies.  He added that only media will be able to purchase the scanners, and will not be made available to the general public.

“It’s kind of disappointed that they’re getting rid of it,” Clayton DeLong, who bought a scanner at a yard sale a few years ago, said.  “It lets you know what’s going on in your neighborhood and know who you’re living by, if you need that.   Ever since 9/11 I can understand why the bad people would listen to it, but I also feel like it’s our right to know what is going on.”

Joyner said now was the time to make the change, because the current system is obsolete.

“Recommendations have been made by Homeland Security for a number of years,” Joyner said.  “At that time of the recommendations, we had a system that was working that could be maintained.”

Joyner said the equipment being used now can no longer be repaired because parts are no longer made.

The change also affects cellphone scanner applications.

“Ever since 9/11 I can understand why the bad people would listen to it, but I also feel like it’s our right to know what is going on,” DeLong said.

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