Oak Ridge emergency-service workers switched to a new, encrypted radio system last week. Because access is restricted to public-safety employees, members of the public who could previously listen to Oak Ridge police, fire and other radio transmissions on scanners or scanner apps may no longer do so.
A city spokeswoman said the police department has no plans to permit access beyond public-safety employees, for safety reasons.
However, the department indicated it will continue to use its public-information office to share information about “significant events.”
The Oak Ridge police and fire departments are the primary users of the new dispatch system, but other departments – including public works and parks and recreation – will also use it.
The new equipment will allow the city to join the Tennessee Valley Regional Communications System, or TVRCS.
Several other area public-safety agencies have joined TVRCS, including Roane, Knox, Loudon and Blount counties. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is also a member and uses TVRCS for some of its public-safety communications.