DENVER (AP) – The Denver Police Department is considering encrypting its radio traffic, blocking the public from listening in on the officers’ and dispatchers’ communications.

The Denver Post reports the radios would go silent to the public in the next six months if the department moves forward.

Denver Police Officers (credit: CBS)

Representatives for news media and advocates for public access to governmental records say encryption would hinder reporters’ ability to monitor police activity and would reduce organizations’ ability to serve as watchdogs.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says a final decision about encryption has not been made.

He says encryption is needed to keep private personal information about victims or people who call 911. He says people have also used scanners to commit crime and avoid arrest.

At least 28 agencies in the state encrypt their radios.

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