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#1 Durake

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 03:33 PM

I'm sure this has topic has been on here before, but hear me out.

December 26th, 2015 my city was hit by an EF4 Tornado, and guess what the first thing was to go? The Power.. Your probably wondering where the encryption part comes in right..? Let me put this in order for you.

 

I have a Motorola XTS3000 800MHz Model II that scans my cities Public Safety Trunking System,

 

So I was in my room as usual, playing games and talking to friends on Skype, when I noticed the lights flickered, at the time I didn't think much of it, then it happens 2 more times within 3 minutes, so I get up and go to the living room and see my parents and my older brother watching the news. The weatherman is stating there is a tornado watch for Dallas County, and this thing was far away from my city, I live in Northeast Dallas and he was reporting the storm in far South Dallas, so we didn't think much of it, and I go back to my room playing and talking to friends on Skype. A short 10 minutes go by and the power goes out for about 5 seconds then flips back on, I opened the door to my room and my dad and brother were opening it just as I was, and said "We're getting your bed and moving to the laundry room!" Before leaving I grabbed my Motorola XTS3000, flicked it on and then ran to the laundry room, passing by the living room I see on the TV it says "Tornado Warning for Eastern part of Dallas County" and continued my way to the laundry room, mom was already in there and my brother and dad got back with the mattress and we all sat down, power went it again and we began listening to my radio as it scans through PD and FD talkgroups, we hear:

 

"40 hold all traffic, 50, I can still see it, looks like its North of 66, still East of Dalrock"

"500 to all units, be advised we've lost power and our phones in here, we're going to try to get some off duty employees in here to help us out!"

 

then FD tones out the FD for an entrapment and the reply is

 

"Firecom from Station 3 be advised the station does not have power--" and then he literally cuts out

 

During this whole time we have NO Cell Service, nor do we have any AM/FM Radios to listen to the weather service, so here we are, stuck with my 3000 listening, trying to figure out where this thing is, and guess what.. That radio may have saved our lives, think of someone equivalent to us out there, with either a scanner, or some type of device to listen to the PD/FD.. That may have saved their life. Lots of cities came from all over to help out with the disaster.

 

Then the next few months pass and I set a schedule to meet with the city who runs the system and talk to him and his team about the new system that is coming up and ask them specifically what the backup plan was if the current system went down, great example was the tornado.

 

Anyway, the whole deal is that my city is encrypting ALL of their talkgroups, PD and FD, all of them, every single one of them.. That is what they decided. Yes I 100% understand the things these officers go through and the risk they take, I back them up 110% but to encrypt FD? Like, I submitted an FOIA Request to gather the radio audio, and heard they told all the stations of the weather situation, so when you think about it, that could save someones life, by listening to that broadcast, as the power was down, so no way to look it up on the internet or receive updates. I suppose they assume everyone has an AM/FM Radio? I mean we did at the time, lost in the garage.. Lol..

 

What do y'all think about encryption when it comes to Public Safety Communications, because think of if they were encrypted when it hit.. And don't even get me started on encryption when it comes to Interoperability, I suppose that's where the Statewide 800MHz IOP Channels come into play..


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Drake Robinson | "Motoballa"

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#2 Sasquatch

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 05:33 AM

I'm sure this has topic has been on here before, but hear me out.

December 26th, 2015 my city was hit by an EF4 Tornado, and guess what the first thing was to go? The Power.. Your probably wondering where the encryption part comes in right..? Let me put this in order for you.

 

I have a Motorola XTS3000 800MHz Model II that scans my cities Public Safety Trunking System,

 

So I was in my room as usual, playing games and talking to friends on Skype, when I noticed the lights flickered, at the time I didn't think much of it, then it happens 2 more times within 3 minutes, so I get up and go to the living room and see my parents and my older brother watching the news. The weatherman is stating there is a tornado watch for Dallas County, and this thing was far away from my city, I live in Northeast Dallas and he was reporting the storm in far South Dallas, so we didn't think much of it, and I go back to my room playing and talking to friends on Skype. A short 10 minutes go by and the power goes out for about 5 seconds then flips back on, I opened the door to my room and my dad and brother were opening it just as I was, and said "We're getting your bed and moving to the laundry room!" Before leaving I grabbed my Motorola XTS3000, flicked it on and then ran to the laundry room, passing by the living room I see on the TV it says "Tornado Warning for Eastern part of Dallas County" and continued my way to the laundry room, mom was already in there and my brother and dad got back with the mattress and we all sat down, power went it again and we began listening to my radio as it scans through PD and FD talkgroups, we hear:

 

"40 hold all traffic, 50, I can still see it, looks like its North of 66, still East of Dalrock"

"500 to all units, be advised we've lost power and our phones in here, we're going to try to get some off duty employees in here to help us out!"

 

then FD tones out the FD for an entrapment and the reply is

 

"Firecom from Station 3 be advised the station does not have power--" and then he literally cuts out

 

During this whole time we have NO Cell Service, nor do we have any AM/FM Radios to listen to the weather service, so here we are, stuck with my 3000 listening, trying to figure out where this thing is, and guess what.. That radio may have saved our lives, think of someone equivalent to us out there, with either a scanner, or some type of device to listen to the PD/FD.. That may have saved their life. Lots of cities came from all over to help out with the disaster.

 

Then the next few months pass and I set a schedule to meet with the city who runs the system and talk to him and his team about the new system that is coming up and ask them specifically what the backup plan was if the current system went down, great example was the tornado.

 

Anyway, the whole deal is that my city is encrypting ALL of their talkgroups, PD and FD, all of them, every single one of them.. That is what they decided. Yes I 100% understand the things these officers go through and the risk they take, I back them up 110% but to encrypt FD? Like, I submitted an FOIA Request to gather the radio audio, and heard they told all the stations of the weather situation, so when you think about it, that could save someones life, by listening to that broadcast, as the power was down, so no way to look it up on the internet or receive updates. I suppose they assume everyone has an AM/FM Radio? I mean we did at the time, lost in the garage.. Lol..

 

What do y'all think about encryption when it comes to Public Safety Communications, because think of if they were encrypted when it hit.. And don't even get me started on encryption when it comes to Interoperability, I suppose that's where the Statewide 800MHz IOP Channels come into play..

 

Now imagine an EMP and 10-15 years without power and your neighbors eating you.


De Oppresso Liber


#3 Sasquatch

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 05:35 AM

Now imagine an EMP and 10-15 years without power and your neighbors eating you.


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De Oppresso Liber


#4 Durake

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 10:09 AM

Now imagine an EMP and 10-15 years without power and your neighbors eating you.

 

AHHHHHHH  :lol: I was talking to my dad about the EMP and CME thing yesterday.. Quite crazy..


Drake Robinson | "Motoballa"

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#5 chiefeis

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 11:20 AM

Naw, EMP/CME is just tin foil hat stuff. :lol:


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#6 quarterwave

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:42 PM

They use a somewhat legitimate concern to hide the fact they just want to "hide" all traffic. Most sensible agencies use a secondary talkgroup, which can be encrypted when needed. 

 

Where I am, there is a large P25 Digital system, works great, and not that much is encrypted...and if they need to sometimes, that's fine. However, what cracks me up is that the State Police, Local agencies that are on it, and other much more secure-oriented agencies don't use encryption much at all....but the State Forestry Division does - full time! That is stupid...are they trying to protect the identities of innocent trees and animals? Give me a break. 


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#7 Sasquatch

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:47 PM

They use a somewhat legitimate concern to hide the fact they just want to "hide" all traffic. Most sensible agencies use a secondary talkgroup, which can be encrypted when needed. 

 

Where I am, there is a large P25 Digital system, works great, and not that much is encrypted...and if they need to sometimes, that's fine. However, what cracks me up is that the State Police, Local agencies that are on it, and other much more secure-oriented agencies don't use encryption much at all....but the State Forestry Division does - full time! That is stupid...are they trying to protect the identities of innocent trees and animals? Give me a break. 

 

That's because the State Forestry Division is trying to conceal all the Bigfoot sightings! :ph34r:


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#8 chiefeis

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 06:46 AM

I think that the person to talk to is the local (or even state) interoperability coordinator. 


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#9 Durake

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 01:02 PM

I love how with almost every thread there is some kind of humor.. Like the "State Forestry Division" encrypting due to "Bigfoot sightings" lol. Thanks y'all. Hopefully I'll get to meet with them again once the system is complete. 


Drake Robinson | "Motoballa"

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#10 mainehazmt

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:57 AM

encryption is the in thing  kinda hard to get FOI requests .....  In 29 years of Emergency service maybe twice encryption would have been nice. Once was for body bags for a major aircraft  explosion.   Though at the end of my career the military commanders had DES in saber portables and that was just a pain in the butt



#11 jwilkers

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:11 PM

Forestry services sometimes include game wardens. In my state such traffic is encrypted also, to avoid tipping off poachers.

AntiSquid Disclaimer: All comments made are personal opinion only and may not indicate actual fact.
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#12 jimndfw

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 03:29 PM

The great debate, there is a time and place for encryption’s of public safety radio traffic. I think most people will agree with what I think when it should be used.

 

 

 

IMHO, here is how, when Public safety should be encrypted in the following conditions:

 

 

 

EMS-Medical calls:

 

 

 

Primary tone out should be in the clear when they dispatch and on a separate channel, (I.E. Unit 1 you have a Delta response for a code 10 at 123 main street)

 

However, any and all traffic from the EMS unit should be on separate channel (if possible) and encrypted.

 

 

 

Fire departments:

 

 

 

Anything to do with investigation of arson or similar crimes.

 

 

 

LEO:

 

 

 

When an officer makes a Routine traffic stops, it should be in the clear when he makes a traffic stop, however the requested information and returns of the Tag, Driver license, or check wants and warrant check should be encrypted.

 

Selected calls (such as Suicides, or Sexual assault are the main two that come to mind should be encrypted.

 

SWAT/Tactical operations should be full time encrypted. (warrant round-up, standoff etc.).

 

Stings, (IE Prostitution, drug buys, DUI Check points etc.) should be encrypted.

 

All Detective, investigate operations should be full time encrypted.

 

Jail operations.

 

 

 

However, if the department has good MDT / Data system in place, there is a good work around with that. I know DPD dispatcher years ago will sometimes tell the officers check your MDT, or unit 364 you got the signal 60 (Special assignment) I just send to your MDT in the #### block of any street, they kept the details off the off the air, however other unit in the area knew that I was on something, and they, we could look a call sheets MDT to see what it was.



#13 mainehazmt

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:24 PM

I really am backwards with encription but when I used it we had to take the radio in once a week to get it "Keyed"  I thought it was a PIA as like I said not much was said really needed it  this was a saber portable with DES  thats all I know



#14 Durake

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:28 PM

I agree with you 100% Jim. I don't believe there is any reason to encrypt all the PD and FD talkgroups full time. In fact I think it would be harder for interoperability, I know we don't have any portable repeaters or anything of that type if something does happen though. So think of all the departments with the talkgroups in it, and depending on how often they rekey them using otar can get annoying, I can think of a few work arounds I mentioned, like the 7/800 IOP channels or have a dedicated ICS talkgroup, or even have encryption as a selectable feature. I wish they'd see our side. I know the world has changed quite a bit these past few months in regards to Law Enforcement, but at least leave FD open.. I mean I get the BIOTEL, Arson, etc. But I mean I used to help with the local scanner page and ride around and report calls, now their shutting down because of it.. How do we keep the citizens informed if the traffic is encrypted? They gave us no options.. And the relationship we have with them is incredible. 


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#15 WQQL573

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 08:16 PM

I like the idea of keeping all routine dispatching and traffic unencrypted with the option of having their tac or secondary frequencies encrypted for obvious reasons.  Oregon State Police does this in Southern Oregon.   They are still using analog FM VHF through their repeater system,  but utilize their simplex tac frequencies in P25 Encrypted so that they can maintain officer safety when necessary.   Southern Oregon has recently become a scanner fest with "scanner" based Facebook pages and people aren't very intelligent about what they share or who they accept into these groups,  so again I'm 100% for LE and even Fire having the option to go to a secure talk group or frequency when necessary.  



#16 wwhitby

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 03:12 PM

There is nothing wrong with encrypting sensative frequencies or talkgroups, such as vice or active dangerous operations.  But, I believe that most traffic should be unencrypted.  Encryption should be selective, not used as a blanket.

 

In 2008, my hometown was hit by an EF-3 tornado.  None of the local news media knew what was happening when the tornado was on the ground.  None of the ham Skywarn or storm spotters knew a tornado was on the ground.  It was the local police and fire departments that knew it and were relaying to the second status updates on their unencrypted frequencies.  By mentally calculating the path of the storm, I realized it was heading directly for my elderly parent's house.  I was able to call them and have them take cover.  Fortunately, the hills by their house deflected the tornado to an unpopulated area.

 

If my city had fully encrypted like the big city just to the south of us, I would have never been able to learn what was going on until it was over.

 

I also listen to my scanner in the car to find out where accidents are located, so that I can take an alternate route to work or to home.  I have also called in vehicles or persons for which the police are looking for that I happened to spot while driving.  With encrypted communications, the capability for assistance from the public will be severely curtailed.

 

I once talked to a former State Trooper and pilot for the local medivac helicopter.  He told me that "old head" Troopers and Comm folks didn't favor blanket encryption.  According to him, it was the younger members of law enforcement in leadership positions and in comm positions that want to encrypt everything.  FWIW, he had actually asked me for advice on what to do to get better comms with the local encrypted agency for their helicopter!



#17 Durake

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 03:38 PM

I spoke with my PD Chief of my city and its all going to be 100% encrypted, but when I got to take a look at the new radios, none of the new talkgroups had encryption loaded on them, noted we're still quite a few months away from switching over. I suppose I could've put it into service mode and that would for sure tell me, I've been speaking with some of the Radio System Managers and they have been updating me on whats being added and stuff, I saw on RR the new system has been added to the database.

 

New System:

http://www.radiorefe...ps/db/?sid=8559

 

Current System:

http://www.radiorefe...apps/db/?sid=36


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#18 jimndfw

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:21 PM

More than likely, they will turn it on when the system is completed.



#19 zap

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 01:16 PM

I was sitting in Saginaw when that tornado hit. I remember driving down I35 to Austin and it was just a wall of north bound utility trucks. Fort Worth's setup is very similar, most of the talk groups are encrypted.

Down here in the Austin area, GATTRS is a mix. Some are encrypted, others not. Sometimes it's dictated by the department (Round Rock PD for example) other times it's not. Sometimes it's dictated by other systems. One of the talk groups I utilize is tied to TxWARN and therefore has to be strapped secure.

Now there are also interoperability talk groups (which number in the 30's which are clear). Theoretically once dispatched, traffic can move to an OPs TG but doesn't always happen so many departments choose to encrypt everything.

In 800 MHz there are a handful of interoperability channels which are analog only (info is published in NIFOG). There are also some semi-new channels in 700 MHz which are Phase 1 only (clear).

You might write your city management about the importance of disaster talk groups which can be tied in to in case of emergency which are clear. Make a stink about it. News agencies generally don't like being cut out of operations due to encryption either.


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#20 Durake

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:13 PM

I was sitting in Saginaw when that tornado hit. I remember driving down I35 to Austin and it was just a wall of north bound utility trucks. Fort Worth's setup is very similar, most of the talk groups are encrypted.

Down here in the Austin area, GATTRS is a mix. Some are encrypted, others not. Sometimes it's dictated by the department (Round Rock PD for example) other times it's not. Sometimes it's dictated by other systems. One of the talk groups I utilize is tied to TxWARN and therefore has to be strapped secure.

Now there are also interoperability talk groups (which number in the 30's which are clear). Theoretically once dispatched, traffic can move to an OPs TG but doesn't always happen so many departments choose to encrypt everything.

In 800 MHz there are a handful of interoperability channels which are analog only (info is published in NIFOG). There are also some semi-new channels in 700 MHz which are Phase 1 only (clear).

You might write your city management about the importance of disaster talk groups which can be tied in to in case of emergency which are clear. Make a stink about it. News agencies generally don't like being cut out of operations due to encryption either.


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I appreciate the reply, I actually took a look at the new APX6000's we got in, no encryption loaded as far as talkgroups go, didn't get to put it into Service Mode to see whats loaded. Dallas has a dedicated system for IOP, those talkgroups were loaded in and they are in the clear. Although, it was so heckitc, no one was on the same channel, lol, some accidentally switched when moving stuff around and bumping into things, others just stayed where they are. So confusing.. I run my cities Scanner page and oml the amount of "Thank you"s and hugs I get are crazy, I've had people tell me "Without you, I wouldn't have lived through that tornado" and it just amazes me.. And the departments wants to shut that bond off? Geez..


Drake Robinson | "Motoballa"

EMS Dispatcher @ Mount Hope, WV

Dallas County REACT183

 

 

 




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