"There is no public safety in public ignorance"
Our campaign has been the issue of open public safety radio systems versus closed radio systems. Our campaign refers to the concept of open systems as "Open Broadcasting" and is our main focus of attention today. Politically, the cause attracts those with strong Right inclinations who view access to the airwaves as a presumed right and efforts to limit that access as a form of governmental intrusion. It attracts those on the Left who view Open Broadcasting as a natural social evolution that will face the routine barrage of rejection, criticism, and institutional persecution that all such evolutions draw. Whatever your flank it is a just and worthy concern to follow. Interested? Read on!...
Why Are We Alarmed?
Across America public safety departments are moving to closed radio systems that are not easily tuneable by standard police radio scanners. Although these radio systems are technological improvements, and although we applaud them in general, they are often implemented without any technical or policy preservation for citizen access whatsoever. That just isn't right and it doesn't have to happen.
Our leading thesis is that public threats are not public safety business. They are public business. Given a fire, a high-speed police pursuit, a maniac on a shooting rampage, or any other manner and means of danger, we believe the public deserves the same opportunity to be notified of these dangers via radio that governmental public safety workers have. Many argue, after all, they are using a tax-supported radio infrastructure to begin with.
While some communication is justifiably sensitive and should be encrypted, key parts of it should remain open to the community. Thankfully some police agencies agree and have done a remarkable job in keeping their communication streams open. Others simply have not.
Elements from this site originally appeared on the "Calling All Citizens" website between 1996 - 1999. Here they are updated, tweaked, and re-presented to reflect modern developments.
There is no public safety in public ignorance.