Speaking as an Asst. Police Chief during the Nextel era, we had several issues that caused us to prohibit their use.
- As mentioned, they were not recorded.
- We found officers were communicating with them when they were intentionally trying to avoid dispatch, usually for
some “unofficial” purpose that could cause a problem.
- I do think that at one point, you could do a Nextel Group transmission, but I’m not positive.
- We were able to get ID numbers and see who communicated with who after a dispatch transmission, then we tried to
figure out why it was being done. No audio, just the connected ID’s. We did this on our own walkie’s also, as some officers were using a talk around channel to intentionally bypass dispatch, then we decided to record it.
- Legitimate media is allowed to monitor police transmissions to the point where they can request and will get a radio
with encryption, that they can listed to. Transmitter is disabled.
- In an emergency, other than the direct contact, nobody else could offer back-up or assistance with Nextel, until
someone informed Dispatch.
- Under the new FCC guidelines, other than the common 10 codes such as 10-4, agencies that have not gone to plain English
will not receive certain types of Federal funding because 10 codes and “Sinal Codes” are not universal, and in a national or even statewide emergency, radios can be linked together but then the officers would not be able to understand one another’s transmissions..
- It would seem to me, that because of #7 above, encryption might prohibit funding for the same reason as the 10 codes.
- It all comes down to officer safety, litigation, officer liability and departmental liability.