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Hennepin County Sheriffs Announce Switch To Encrypted Radio System

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A new police call system is coming to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to give 911 callers more privacy, the office announced Friday. The decision comes after four years of advisory board discussions.

The new system, the office said, will protect personal information callers provide to police such as domestic abuse information, addresses, or keypad codes. Existing technology has allowed non-emergency personnel to listen in to first responders' radio systems, the office said. This includes mobile scanner apps, helping criminals monitor police response activity in real time.

The office noted recorded 911 calls -- with sensitive data redacted -- will still be available to the public via data practice requests.

"We also recognize the interest of media in having access to police communications to ensure police transparency and accountability," the office said. "We are working on a solution to provide needed access to police communications."

The office said it welcomes public comment.


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