FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orleans Parish Communication District
Announces Date for Encryption of Law Enforcement Radio Frequencies
NEW ORLEANS (November 13, 2019) – The Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) has announced that it will begin to encrypt all broadcasts of law enforcement radio frequencies starting at 7:00 a.m. on December 1, 2019.
Implementing a plan set forth in October 2018, OPCD will be following a national trend to enhance communication device security and aligning with industry best practices by encrypting law enforcement frequencies.
Once the encryption is activated, only devices which contain the required security permissions and programming will be able to receive and transmit messages across the Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN).
OPCD and all public safety agencies within Orleans Parish operate on LWIN, which is regulated by the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC). The SIEC operates under the direction of the state Unified Command Group, composed of members established by executive order of the governor.
“OPCD treats the safety of the emergency responders and citizens of Orleans Parish as our highest priority,” stated OCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “Encrypting law enforcement frequencies is just one more step in that direction.”
“Just to be clear, the use of this technology will in no way impede on our compliance with the Louisiana Public Records Act, as OPCD and the City of New Orleans are firmly committed to transparency in government,” continued Morris. “Instead, we are implementing the strategies necessary to limit the dangers that emergency responders face out in the field by ensuring criminals can no longer track the movements of our first responders by simply picking up a radio and listening in on transmissions.”
Similar to neighboring parishes, including Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines, OPCD and their partner agencies are taking this step to enhance officer safety by keeping sensitive information out of the hands of criminals.
About Orleans Parish Communications District (www.911nola.org)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the public safety answering point (PSAP) for all emergency communications via 9-1-1 within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 140 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
Marcus W. Creel, MS
OPCD Public Engagement Manager