State bill could guarantee police scanner access for media

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- - A bill is making its way through the state legislature that could force police agencies to allow news media access to police scanner traffic. 

San Diego Assemblyman Todd Gloria introduced AB 1555 in February, the bill would require law enforcement agencies and joint powers authorities that control encrypted police radios to "provide access to the encrypted communications to a duly authorized representative of any news media upon request. 

This comes on the heels of the local ERICA system which controls radio broadcasts in 5 valley cities shutting off scanners to local media last year.  ERICA includes Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Indio, Desert Hot Springs and Beaumont.

Local media losing access to police scanners

News Channel 3 has been fighting this move in conjunction with other local media since it first came to light last year.  Representatives from ERICA have stated they were concerned that private and sensitive information that is broadcast over the radios could put them at risk of losing their rights to the CLETS system, a DOJ database that relays confidential information to police agencies.  

Palm Springs Mayor asking for review of decision to silence police scanners for media

A meeting scheduled for Thursday, where the media access was set to be re-discussed was canceled by the ERICA Committee due to a scheduling conflict.  That meeting has been rescheduled for April 24th.

Follow the bill's progess here. 


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