Sirens wailing, red or blue lights flashing: what is happening? Now the general public can check for themselves thanks to an upgrade on the county’s website, the first since 2009.
“The idea was developed as several departments in the region prepared for radio encryption,” said Elizabeth Caroon, spokesman for Chesterfield County Police Department. “We saw this as a good way to keep the public informed about real-time police activities once radio traffic was encrypted. Some other area agencies have similar sites.”
Fire and EMS incidents are also available.
“With the new radio system, the police department went to encryption for the radio traffic. The county decided to put their active calls on the website, so we decided to follow suit. Our EMS calls will only be listed as that. No specifics,” Lt. Jason Elmore of Chesterfield Fire and EMS said.
According to Caroon, the active police calls site was created to help keep residents and members of the media informed of real-time police activity after police radios were encrypted throughout much of the region this summer. A few call types do not appear on the site; among those are some alarm-related calls, desk report calls, some vice and narcotics-related calls, some sex offense-related calls, dead-on-arrival calls, suicide calls, overdose calls, and some traffic-related calls.
“We believe the page benefits the public, because it is accessible to anyone with internet access and our media partners, who no longer have to be right next to a radio to get real-time information about police incidents.” Caroon said.
To access the calls, go online at chesterfield.gov and type in “active police calls” or “active fire calls” and click on the first link that comes up.