Media can’t listen in on Pasadena police chatter

Before switching to a digitally encrypted radio signal, Pasadena officials said they’d look into giving media outlets a scanner capable of picking up the police department’s secure signal. One month later, reporters still can’t hear police calls. “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of,” says Pasadena Star-News senior editor. “I am continually amazed by the Pasadena Police Department’s disregard for the right of the public to be aware of what they are doing.”
* Pasadena continues to deny access to police radio traffic



  1. Bode said:

    Best line of the story, bar none:

    “None of the outlets employ known criminals or bank robbers”

    Thanks for clarifying!

  2. Bill said:

    “On Friday, Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said the department was unsure whether it could accommodate the media with digital scanners… In a mid-January press release, Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez said no media agency in Southern California has ever received a digital scanner capable of listening in on an encrypted police signal.”

    How about having somebody write about radio who actually understands radio communications?

    There are NO digital scanners from Radio Shack or any other vendor capable of receiving digitally encrypted P25 Smartnet trunking radio traffic as used by Pasadena PD (and Santa Monica PD). P25 digital scanners can receive the radio traffic of other ISIS system subscribers such as Glendale and Burbank PD/FD which are digitally truncked, but not encrypted.

    Other departments have found a way around this technology issue by either leasing or programming media outlet-owned compatible two way radios (with the transmit function disabled). LAPD did this years ago when they converted from analog to P25 digital and there truly were no P25 capable scanners available.

    By providing the programming service, the Pasadena PD can control which channels the media can monitor. Modern radios also have the capability of being remotely killed if they fall into the hands of non-media “criminals.”

  3. Charles said:

    It isn’t just places like Pasadena.

    Milwaukee has prevented the media from having any access to either police or fire following their transition to Open Sky digital radios. The media only gets access the same access as the general public to a 30 minute delayed website with a brief description of the incident — about 20 characters and even that is gone in an hour and a half. After 90 minutes, getting info requires a formal open records request. It’s too bad that they don’t seem to care.

    As long as the PIO sends out press releases for big events they seem to be happy.