Police radio to go silent as Toronto cops move toward encrypted

They make their living listening to the night.

Screams echo from an apartment. A car smashes into a bus. A man is discovered without vital signs. Another is robbed at gunpoint.

“Any time you hear something about a gun, you take note because it could escalate,” Victor Biro says from the cab of an SUV littered with coffee cups, camera equipment, radios and clothes.

“And if someone is found with no vital signs, you always wait to hear if it’s a murder.”

Biro is a freelance photojournalist, and one of the last of his kind. After the city’s staff photographers have gone to bed, you’ll find Biro in his truck, listening to police, fire and EMS communications on radio scanners so he can chase the news as it happens.

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People call them stringers, nightcrawlers (as in Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in a movie of the same name), ambulance chasers and vultures. They used to be common; now, there are only a handful of people doing this in the GTA. But when the Toronto Police Service switches from its old analogue radio system to fully encrypted digital communications this spring, people like Biro may very well become a thing of the past.


By DANIEL OTISNews Reporter
Sun., Feb. 22, 2015

full article :
Police radio to go silent as Toronto cops move toward encrypted

Toronto police are joining some of the regional forces in doing an end run around police scanners, forever changing the way media gather news.

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