Kankakee County Shuts the Door on Public Listening, Shifts to Encrypted Radio System

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Kankakee, Illinois — The Kankakee County Communication Center (KANCOMM) revealed plans on Tuesday to transition in the coming months to an encrypted radio system, limiting public access to certain radio communications. 

The decision is reportedly aimed at bolstering officer safety and safeguarding citizen privacy. Chief James Phelps stated in a press release that enhancing officer safety, ensuring citizen privacy, maintaining reporting accuracy, and upholding operational integrity are the primary reasons behind this transition. Encrypting radio communications will shield sensitive information from unauthorized access and interception.

This shift will indeed mark the end of an era for scanner enthusiasts and those accustomed to monitoring police scanners. However, it’s crucial to understand the reasoning behind the decision, as articulated by Chief Phelps. The move prioritizes the security and effectiveness of first responders, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential.

While public access to certain radio communications will be restricted, the agency emphasizes that transparency will be maintained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. 

With KANCOMM’s decision to transition to an encrypted radio system, the era of the independent public scanner enthusiast in Kankakee County has essentially come to a close. While this transition limits public access to certain radio communications, it underscores the evolving landscape of public safety and the imperative to prioritize the security of sensitive information.

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