In about a month’s time, police and fire channels will be nothing but white noise to the public.
“There’s going to be the issue of less transparency. A lot of people are going to trip about not being able to actively listen,” said Cecil Caraway, one of the moderators of a facebook group called “Original Pueblo Scanner Alert.”
The types of posts vary, but the majority of them are sharing what people have heard over the scanners.
“On almost every comment thread, there’s a good two or three people who say they have scanners or are listening to them. They’re also posting,” said Caraway.
The priority for this group has always been public safety and awareness–by helping people steer clear of dangerous areas.
But police say it was also helping criminals steer clear of officers, citing several examples during high speed chases with violent felons–who knew which areas to avoid.
“That increased the danger to the public and increased the danger to the officers,” said Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport.
“And it wasn’t as if it was a question–their use of the scanner app was confirmed. And there’s been other cases like that,” he added.
Even without access to those scanners, Caraway says there is still a need for groups like this in the Pueblo community.
“We’re going to try and keep people up to date with ‘most wanted,’ recent arrests, and crime and theft prevention tips in the future.”
He posted a poll Thursday, asking for feedback from the group on how to move forward–with most people opting to transition into a neighborhood/community watch group.
He says they’re now working on a new set of rules, which he hopes will discourage vigilante-type justice, and instead encourage a the community to work together.
“Even if it’s property damage or a stolen or suspicious vehicle–post it, and we’ll keep an eye on it and do our part to help you find it and get it back.”