A series of recent public safety concerns including bomb threats and stand-offs have shown how essential police scanners are for getting urgent, up-to-date information to the public. With little-to-no notifications from law enforcement during the situations, getting the scanners back to better inform the public is still a top priority.
“These issues are always difficult because there’s a balance between the legal aspects of it, the public safety aspects of it, the transparency aspects of it, the public’s right to know,” Robert Moon, Mayor of Palm Springs, said. “It’s a very, very difficult balance.”
Moon proposed the Eastern Riverside County Interoperable Communications Authority (ERICA), the same group that originally took the scanners away, review their decision at an upcoming meeting in January. Moon is the standing deputy of the committee.
“There’s the technical group which is the police chiefs and city managers but the executive committee is the elected officials. Ultimately, we’re responsible,” Moon said.
The ERICA board needs to fill two positions for Indio and Cathedral City due to the recent election. The meeting would come after those representatives are appointed.
“We need to review the bidding on this and make sure we feel comfortable that the executive board of ERICA is going in the right direction,” Moon said.
According to Moon, it was mostly attorneys who recommended all police scanners be silenced by early December, not the council.
“Our council’s guidance to me, which I’ve always followed, was if at all possible we wanted it to remain open,” Moon said about the scanners.
The ERICA meeting would be open to the public.
“Public who is there can make statements then observe our discussion,” Moon said.
The purpose of ERICA is to have continuity of communication between the five cities across the valley and their police officers, Moon said.
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