BPD to implement timed encryption while providing public streaming of radio transmission

Media Relations

Baltimore, Md. (June 30, 2023) – To ensure continued transparency, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is offering a timed encryption of its emergency communications channels to modernize the management of its radio communications, improve interoperability and enhance officer safety.

The 15-minute delay of the radio broadcast follows national best practice recommendations. It is of the utmost importance to the BPD to consider privacy concerns as we provide access to our communications, while also striking a delicate balance between transparency and the safety of our officers.

“Broadcastify presents us with the opportunity to focus on officer safety,” said Deputy Commissioner Eric Melancon. “It also assists with interagency operability since many neighboring agencies are already under encryption.”

BPD will be able to improve operational integrity and enhanced interoperability -- meaning we can easily communicate with other agencies and public safety partners over our radios. However, critical communications will still be protected from being compromised.

Feeds will be available free of charge, but there will be a charge for access to past archives. The Broadcastify transmission will go live on July 6, 2023.

This timed encryption will help law enforcement agencies manage the many risks to sensitive information and personnel safety.

Additionally, the BPD will continue to provide timely and transparent information on Baltimore City incidents via social media, Media Advisories and our revamped Newsroom at baltimorepolice.org/news. Our channels will also continue to be recorded and available through MPIA Requests.      

Learn more about broadcastify.com.


                                                                Radio Encryption FAQ

What is encryption?

Encryption in radio communications enables secure communication between parties and is achieved by loading the same encryption key into all radios in a group. In two-way radios, encryption modifies a voice signal using a coding algorithm. This algorithm is controlled by an encryption key. The encryption key is used by the transmitting and receiving radios to enable the voice signal to be coded and decoded for both radios.

Why is BPD now encrypting its radio communications?

Similar to other law enforcement agencies in the state of Maryland and across the country, BPD will move to full encryption that will increase interoperability and officer safety. This is a national best practice for police communications.

Moving to encrypt our emergency communication will allow the department to take one step towards recommendations (or compliance) from the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications (FPIC). The department has communicated with the Department of Justice and the Consent Decree Monitoring Team about encryption of our emergency communications.

Will BPD’s radio communications be accessible to the media and general public?

Yes. The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is offering a timed encryption of its emergency communications channels. There will be a 15-minute delay of the radio broadcast available for free to the media and public via Broadcastify.

Does it cost money to encrypt radio communications?

No. Encryption was included in the cost of the new radios.

Will the department be able to hide radio communications?

All radio communications will still be available publicly on a 15-minute delay, with the except of tactical radio communications. The Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit’s tactical communications has been fully encrypted since 2021. Tactical communications will continue to be full encrypted and not available via Broadcastify.

How will encryption effect interoperability with surrounding jurisdictions?

The Baltimore Police Department had some of the oldest radios in the state. Our previous radios did not allow for interoperability with other law enforcement partners in the city due to the aging technology. The new radios will increase interoperability with our local and state public safety partners, to improve operational integrity and enhanced interoperability.



Media Relations
Email: mediarelations@baltimorepolice.org Phone: 410-396-2012