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Old 05-07-2008, 09:01 AM
Aussie Shooter Aussie Shooter is offline
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Default Hints for "news-relevant" contacts?

Hi all,

This week we have lost our ability to monitor Police radio frequencies due to the police going encrypted. No doubt this has the potential to severely cut down my workload/income as we will no longer catch the breaking news story as effectively as we could three days ago. Now it comes down to contacts (although most of the news-related contacts are in the same boat as us) and networking.

Do any of you have any hints as to how to approach this? We have the usual contact network such as radio stations and tow-truck operators, but, as I said, they used to monitor Police for their work and now they can't.

Perhaps you have some techniques in situations like this, that build networks/contacts (that I wouldn't have normally thought of) so we don't have rely on the scanners as much and still get breaking stories.

Thanks and regards,

AS
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:25 PM
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I assume that the Police won't share the basic encrypted channels with you? When our city went encrypted a few years back they offered to sell us radios that they programmed that allowed us to hear all dispatch and open communications. Only the cross-talk and tact channels we do not hear. There were many months of negotiation between the city and local news operations on this issue they made the above available.

I am not sure what your "Aussie" Laws are about monitoring Police and Fire radios. Maybe they do not have to work with you on this manner. Is there an open course of discussion on this issue? (again I am guessing no)

That being said one thing you can do is have every news operation call the PIO of the agency you no longer can hear asking "IF anything is going on news worthy?" Maybe you can set up a system working with other news operations where they get the call every 5-10 minutes every hour of the day. Constantly having them to field calls on this. Sure it might upset them but maybe they will work with you on some system.
Good luck.

thru-the-lens.
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Old 05-10-2008, 02:11 AM
Aussie Shooter Aussie Shooter is offline
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That's right. The Police will not share frequencies with us.

The compromise was for them to allow the major media organisations a limited number of user names and passwords in order to access a web site set up by the Police that streams information on jobs to the office computer in the form of headline-like reports.

Problems:

  • Only people in the office are allowed access
  • Freelancers (journos/camerapersons) are not allowed access
  • Once out on the road on a story, information is only available to you via your office, coming from that computer
  • You have to READ the information, NOT LISTEN TO IT in the background whilst doing other stuff
  • Each user name and password has a dongle key that plugs into the computer, which means I cannot log on somewhere using someone else's user name and password, unless I also have the dongle.
  • Stories can be delayed or not displayed at all if the Police wish
  • Changing details of the current job, whilst on the job, are not available
How stupid is this? it is truly a logistical nightmare.

The thing is, with this system, whilst we have been sent out to cover a story, we are unable to learn - unless the police on scene tell us - if anything changes about the job. Even worse if details change ON THE WAY to the job. The initial details on the computer only tell you that the job has happened, time and the location. That's it. No more details after that. You are on your own.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:57 AM
jeremycohn jeremycohn is offline
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I agree. Setup a system where all of the stations call the police often! Who cares if it bothers them. We have some police folks here who hate having media call, and others love it. Truth is, it's their job. Indeed, the ultimate resolution in this case is to get radios from the police department. Otherwise, if possible, listen to the (perhaps unencrypted) fire or EMS services.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thru-the-lens View Post
I assume that the Police won't share the basic encrypted channels with you? When our city went encrypted a few years back they offered to sell us radios that they programmed that allowed us to hear all dispatch and open communications. Only the cross-talk and tact channels we do not hear. There were many months of negotiation between the city and local news operations on this issue they made the above available.

I am not sure what your "Aussie" Laws are about monitoring Police and Fire radios. Maybe they do not have to work with you on this manner. Is there an open course of discussion on this issue? (again I am guessing no)

That being said one thing you can do is have every news operation call the PIO of the agency you no longer can hear asking "IF anything is going on news worthy?" Maybe you can set up a system working with other news operations where they get the call every 5-10 minutes every hour of the day. Constantly having them to field calls on this. Sure it might upset them but maybe they will work with you on some system.
Good luck.

thru-the-lens.

Same thing happened here when they switched over. There were a few sticky months where we had to push the PD to get them to us and the chief was resistant...but it all worked out in the end.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:52 AM
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Default Call often!

I must agree with an earlier post here. Keep the PIO's number(s) on speed dial. Check in every 15 minutes just to find out if anything is going on. Every time you hear a siren, call. Every time you see smoke, call. If there's nothing good on tv, call. Eventually the cops will realize that it's a huge pain to field all those phone calls and maybe they'll give/sell/lease you a receive only radio. Are they using Motorola Astro?
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:28 PM
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Move your assignment desk to their 911 dispatch center. Or at least have someone sit in dispatch listening to their high priority calls.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:25 AM
ria12 ria12 is offline
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Hey guys I really do appreciate all the help. Helping me become a better guitarist. Thanks
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