Valdosta Police Chief defends scanner encryption -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta Police Chief defends scanner encryption

Brian Childress Brian Childress

Valdosta's Police Chief said he doesn't believe encrypting law enforcement scanner traffic in the county is putting the public at risk.

As of Thursday, law enforcement, EMS, and fire departments in the county had been using a new scanner system for about a month that is not able to be picked up by public scanners.

$6.5 million of SPLOST money was used to buy the new system.

Chief Brian Childress, who was on the research committee that helped determine what scanning system to upgrade to, said letting citizens know law enforcement's every move is dangerous, especially with the recent attacks on officers across the country.

"I understand the concern, but I've got a bigger concern. My deeper concern is, I start opening up those frequencies and letting everybody and their brother have them, that endangers police officers," Chief Childress explained.

He said there have been cases in the past where members of the department have conducted raids on drug houses in the city and have found scanners inside. "Honestly, that scares the death out of me," said Chief Childress. 

Continued Chief Childress, "What it boils down to is this: you're going to have the Valdosta Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office and Remerton Police Department and so on. You're going to have to trust your local public safety."

Chief Childress added that if residents have questions about police activity in their area, they should call the department and ask what's going on.

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