- Nov 24, 2005
The New York Police Department is spending $500 million on a new radio system it calls more reliable and secure. But the public will no longer be able to monitor what officers are doing minute to minute.
”John Roca cruised through Midtown Manhattan on a recent night just as the streetlights flicked on, his camera in the back seat of his sedan.
It had been a slow day for Mr. Roca, a photojournalist who has chased breaking news in New York City for a half-century. He knows what fewer and fewer reporters do: how to decipher the codes that come over a police scanner, a device that broadcasts radio communications between 911 dispatchers and officers who respond to emergencies.
There is an art to monitoring the radios, Mr. Roca said, and he has a knack for knowing what mayhem might “make ink.”
A local SoNH detective mentioned this week that, before their radios were encrypted, they had issues with people following them around with scanners. Now it’s all smartphone and stationary cams - nowhere for us to hide, nowhere for them to hide. But they keep trying…