Now hear this: Emergency agencies turn off radio encryption

HARTFORD, Conn. - Some police and fire departments are bucking a trend to conceal dispatch communications from the public, acknowledging that radio encryption has the potential to backfire and put first responders in danger.

Agencies with digital radio systems have turned off the encryption to their main dispatching channels and others have decided not to turn it on. They say their officers and firefighters may not be heard during emergencies by responders at neighbouring departments with radio systems that either don't have access to their encrypted channels or aren't advanced enough to have encryption capability.

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