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..