Support Privacy and Safety. Approve Encryption.

This petition made change with 51 supporters!

The encryption of Lapeer County E911 Central Dispatch radio transmissions is desperately needed for the safety of law enforcement, first responders and the general public. Encryption of scanner communication will also serve to protect the privacy of county residents.

Current technology such as phone applications, have provided quick and easy access to scanner traffic. Not only does this provide the perfect opportunity for criminals to listen to police activity and evade arrest but with the addition of social media delivers many other issues. Not only is tactical information widely shared but so is private medical and personal information, and many times misinformation is quickly spread.

Information that is heard over the police scanner is rapidly posted online and in moments seen by thousands of people. This poses a risk to officer safety due to criminals becoming quickly aware of officer activity and could potentially draw a crowd of by-standers at an already stressful situation. Many police stations from all over the nation have reported incidents of subjects fleeing before police arrival because they were able to listen to police scanners on their mobile phones. There have been other reports of social media hindering emergency response.

Often times the information that is being heard on the scanner and then shared via social media continues to victimize those seeking help. A victim of crime should not have to worry about their information being heard, read and discussed by neighbors, teachers, coworkers, and strangers when reaching out for assistance. Statistically survivors of sexual assault, abuse and other similar crimes already have low reporting rates. When personal and identifying information is shared with thousands of local community members and discussed on social media, it makes this choice even more difficult. As an example; A parent calls 911 to report their child was sexually assaulted by an Uncle living with them. A social media account such as ‘LPO Night Poster’ shares this call as 100 block of 10th street, mother states their 9-year-old son was sexually assaulted by an uncle living at the residence. Although the neither the child’s name nor the exact address are stated, there is only one 9-year-old boy living on 10th street. Does this child not have a right to privacy? Has he not suffered enough without the whole county knowing his private information?

At other times the information being given during a 911 call and then heard on the scanner can be inaccurate or misunderstood. This misinformation causes innocent people to be criticized and harassed. Calls about swerving vehicles, drunk drivers, pets left in cars, theft, and other reported possible crimes are not always the crime they appear to be to the 911 caller. Calls are then shared via Facebook providing details of car makes and models, many times full license plate numbers, and descriptions of subjects. Readers quickly begin bashing the supposed criminals before having the facts. Identifying information that has been shared can very likely put innocent people in danger of retaliation due to the misinformation and inaccuracies.

It should be an expectation that when individuals contact 911 for assistance, their private information is only shared with those in need of it and that the response time to their emergency will not be affected by the hobbyists that listen to and share private information. It should be an expectation that family and friends of victims will receive proper notification of emergency situations before reading the remarks and judgements of strangers on Facebook. It should be an expectation without a doubt that law enforcement officers are given the tools they need to effectively and safely protect and serve our community.

These expectations can all be met with the encryption of Lapeer County E911 Central Dispatch radio transmissions.

Lapeer County Commissioners, Approve the encryption of Lapeer County E911 Central Dispatch radio transmissions.

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