The switch from an analog system was made this morning. It means that criminals can no longer listen to Allentown Police Department radio traffic on commercially available scanners or by using Smartphone apps. With the new system the voice signal goes over the air as a stream of bits and then reassembles it into high-quality audio. Communications are only heard by listeners with the proper encryption key.
“Our top priority is the safety of our officers out on the street,” said Pawlowski. “This new system will not allow the average criminal to listen to police communications and know about response plans and the position of our officers. The current system is just simply out of date.”
The city purchased 244 portable radios and 60 mobile radios for the department. Selected fire department radios have been upgraded and 25 handsets for the EMS Bureau were purchased to maintain interoperability. The consoles at the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center were also upgraded for the encrypted system. The 911 Center can patch-in the city’s mutual aid partners to maintain interoperability with the Allentown Police Department.