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Police in Richmond area to encrypt radio channels

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police in Richmond and two neighboring counties are planning to encrypt their police radio channels, ending public access to their communications.

Police chiefs in the city of Richmond, and Chesterfield and Henrico counties said their radio frequencies will be encrypted beginning July 2. Then, only public safety personnel will be able to monitor radio transmissions.

The chiefs said the move is aimed at ensuring that the dissemination of tactics and activities during high-risk events is limited to law enforcement. They also said they want to ensure that the communication of sensitive personal information does not violate legal rights or privacy.

The chiefs acknowledged that the encryption could affect news outlets, which routinely use police scanners to track criminal activity.

Virginia Beach police also plan to encrypt their radio channels.

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