It used to be that you could listen to radio calls of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department on your own scanner. Or you could tune in through your computer at www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?action=wp&feedId=4946
However, on January 16, 2013, at 2:00PM CST, the MCSD radio went to the dark side.
Now you won't be able to know whose dog got loose or which deputy is hanging out at McDonald's. Or where the latest crash is. Or anything else.
It's not like thousands are driving around McHenry County with scanners or with their SmartPhones tuned to the MCSD radio. How many "ambulance chasers" are there these days?
And what about reporters? How will they learn where to show up for stories and crash photos?
Deputies will still be calling certain reporters from their personal cell phones, just as they "discuss" calls for service off the air.
All official communications should be on the MCSD radio frequency, where they are recorded and where times are noted, not on cell phones. They may be now, but we'll never know. Until we figure out how to break the encryption ...
If there is a hostage situation at Dunkin' Donuts ("Gimme those donuts with the chocolate sprinkles, or else!"), OK, take it to Channel 2. The other stuff? Leave it out for the public to hear.
What do you suppose this move cost the taxpayers?