Media No Longer Be Able to Monitor Pasadena PD
The Pasadena Police Department has implemented the UHF Digital Trunked APCO Project 25 Standard Radio System. By spring 2012 the $7-million project will completely replace the city’s entire antiquated municipal radio communications system. This will streamline radio communications among city departments and other local governments, reaching as far as San Bernardino County to the Pacific Coast.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated the radio spectrum be available Nationwide, including Pasadena be reduced by January 1, 2013. The original decision was made, and the plan was put in place, under then Chief Bernard Melekian in 1999. By implementing the new communications infrastructure a year ahead of the deadline, Pasadena is realizing the advantages of the system. The radio system provides additional capacity which allows city departments to co-exist on the same network. In the old system, departments other than public safety were unable to communicate effectively. Issues resulting from poor interdepartmental communications provided lower levels of effective response of services to the community.
An unintended consequence to the upgrade will make it difficult to monitor the department’s radio transmissions. “It is not our intention to reduce the level of transparency of the Pasadena Police Department’s operations. There has been absolutely no restriction made on the public or the media from filing Public Records Requests. While the transmissions made on our primary channels (frequencies 1 through 4) are the only ones that are recorded, anyone is allowed to request that data. We are required to provide copies of requested transmissions in as timely faction, but we ask the public to understand that there are no laws that require public safety to make transmissions available in real time. Transparency is a primary mission of the City of Pasadena. The police department has a history of responding in a timely manner to ensure transparency”, said Chief Phillip Sanchez