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Bowser Administration Announces New Radio Encryption Protocol for First Responders

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Administration announced new protocols for the use of encrypted channels as the default communications protocol for DC FEMS (DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services). Following the Navy Yard Shooting, the District changed protocols for first responders to use only encrypted channels. That protocol has been changed to ease day-to-day communications between first responders from regional jurisdictions.

“After a thorough review that began in December, Mayor Bowser has decided that it is in the best interest of the District and its residents to change encryption protocols for DC FEMS first responders. Starting in March, unencrypted channels will be used for all standard operations, while still maintaining encryption capabilities for events that contained sensitive communication,” said City Administrator Rashad Young. “These new protocols will ensure that DC FEMS can seamlessly communicate with their counterpart agencies from other jurisdictions while embracing encryption technology that will ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors during incidents deemed sensitive.”