NYPD to spend $390M on encrypted radio system
The network will switch from analog to digital, making it inaccessible to the public and press
By Joanna Putman
NEW YORK — The NYPD is set to encrypt all its police scanner broadcasts by the end of 2024, the New York Post reported.
The new radio system will cost an estimated $390 million, according to the report. The massive network will switch from analog to digital, Chief of Information Technology Robert Beltran told the Post.
Beltran said the change was necessary to protect the personal data of crime victims, as well as the officers themselves.
The City Council Public Safety Committee held an oversight hearing with regard to the measure on Nov. 20. Local politicians and journalists strongly opposed the measure, according to the report.
“We are the media capital of the world, if we just cut off the media to any interest encryption, completely, it would be really counterproductive,” New York City Councilman Robert Holden said during the hearing.
Beltran responded that the way information is disseminated will adapt to accommodate the new system.
“The department provides information to reporters many times a day, every day. We also have hundreds of digital media officers assigned to precincts that are also updating information on social media in real-time,” he said.