Legislation in New York seeks to safeguard media’s communication access to NYPD radio transmissionsNovember 20, 2023
State Sen. Michael Gianaris talking about a bill to preserve media’s access to police radio communications, as the New York City Police Department defends its plan to upgrade and encrypt its radio frequencies. The current system is vulnerable to abuse and can be monitored by criminal groups. The Police Department’s stance met skeptical questions from city lawmakers in a recent hearing. Advocates emphasize the role of police scanner access in real-time news updates about NYPD events. A legislation called the Keep Police Radio Public Act was introduced in the Senate on Friday, requiring law enforcement to maintain press access to police scanners. Most police departments in the state have unencrypted police scanners and would only be affected if they changed their systems. The bill would enable credentialed news media to follow the police radio in real-time, while allowing the public to listen in on a 10-minute delay. The bill is expected to be passed during next year’s legislative session.