UPDATE May 16, 2017 --- It appears Chief John Plasse has had a change in opinion regarding police scanner apps commonly used arouind the country. There currently are two available to the public which include Terre Haute Police Department dispatch --- after a period of time when the feed was disconnected due to a cease and desist letter written to Broadcastify by the Terre Haute city attorney in December last year.
A Terre Haute man recently felt forced to stop his scanner feed through a popular cell phone app. The 40-year-old licensed amateur radio enthusiast has enjoyed tinkering around with various scanners and radios much of his adult life.
As soon as he read a letter sent by city attorney Eddie Felling, he said he stopped his local police and fire feed " just to keep the peace."
The CEO and Founder of Broadcastify has another take on the situation, and goes as far to point out First Amendement violations involved in such a request. The communications received are as follows:
We received the following cease and desist letter from Darrell E. (Eddie) Felling II, the City of Terre Haute, city attorney. After a short phone conversation with him walking him through Broadcastify's broadcaster terms of service, he vehemently disagreed with our perspective and indicated further legal remedies would be forthcoming - citing a "changed climate in this country."
It is interesting to note that the City of Terre Haute actually encrypts all of their non-routine law enforcement communications. Their primary police dispatch channel is the only one not encrypted, and the only one included on any live broadcasts.
Lindsay C. Blanton IIl --- CEO and Founder of Broadcastify
Note that we will vigorously defend any legal action taken by the city of Terre Haute IN. Any challenge by the City of Terre Haute would not survive even a lax standard of First Amendment scrutiny, as the widespread availability of these communications, often sanctioned by the public safety departments themselves, undermines any rational basis for prohibiting their broadcasts to the general public.
Dear Sir or Ma'am:
It has recently been brought to my attention that your service provides
real-time streaming of City of Terre Haute Police Department and Fire
Department radio traffic. I am requesting that the City's agencies be
removed from your broadcasting applications immediately.
I understand for some, listening to public safety scanner traffic is a
hobby that has been around for many years. Recently several of the City's
police officers have reported that individuals listening to scanner feeds, like
those broadcast by RadioReference.com and/or Broadcastify have shown up
to emergency incident scenes.
Given the dangers our police officers face today, having our radio
traffic broadcast in real-time has created a serious threat to officer safety, the
security of incident scenes, and may hinder the officer's ability to
appropriately ascertain and respond to the emergency situation because
listeners are at the scene as well.
I appreciate your help in resolving this potential officer safety issue as
quickly as possible. Please contact my office within ten (10) days of receipt
of this letter to avoid potential legal action.
Darrell E. Felling II
cc: Chief Plasse
ICN will continue to follow this story closely. The biggest police and fire stories ICN has covered this year have come from tips in the community or just by happening to drive by the scene by chance. The plane crash in northern Vigo County can be attributed to scanner traffic.
Please call the Terre Haute Police Department at 812-238-1662, Terre Haute Fire Department at 812-234-8653, City of Terre Haute at 812-244-2305 , Or your city councilman or woman for more information.
Lucy Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalist, Terre Haute
Lucy Perry, 47, enjoys writing about issues in her hometown. She periodically expresses personal opinions in her blog, Terre Haute Times.
© Indiana Central News. All rights reserved. Terre Haute, Indiana
News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141