Grande Prairie RCMP switched to the Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System on Monday, July 15, 2019. The public will not be able to monitor this encrypted radio system. Above, a radio scanner.
John Watson / Daily Herald-Tribune
Radio scanners will no longer pick up local police chatter as Grande Prairie RCMP switched to a closed radio system July 15.Const. Candace Hrdlicka with the detachment explained that RCMP across the province aim to fully adopt this encrypted radio system by the year’s end. She noted that the system would help ensure officer safety.“If we’re trying to locate a dangerous suspect, when we had insecure communications, it allowed suspects or other people to hear what we were doing and then they could evade capture or act unpredictably,” Hrdlicka said.The Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System first went into operation in 2016. First responders have since been steadily moving to this centralized radio system.Hrdlicka highlighted how the new system also serves to ensure the privacy of Albertans.“We’re routinely requesting private information of Albertans,” Hrdlicka said.“We’re talking about addresses and phone numbers and people’s names when we’re responding to calls.”She described the transition as “smooth” with local officers already trained on the new system.“It definitely increases the safety for our responding members,” Hrdlicka added.