The LRPD kicked off their new online police dispatch log today, a website that allows citizens and the media to see the time, location and basic nature of all LRPD dispatches in the city on a 30 minute delay, with dispatches disappearing from the site eight hours after they’re made. Visitors can also search by street name and call type. The site is meant as a compromise between the police department and the public following the LRPD’s move to encrypt their radio signal on Aug. 1. Encrypting the LRPD radio signal curtailed some news-gathering in the city by silencing the radio scanners many local media outlets had relied on to collect spot news.
The eight-hour window on the dispatch site means that a call that occurs at midnight will be off the site by the time most people head out the door for work in the morning. Why only eight hours? We’ve got a call in to Lt. Sidney Allen with the LRPD to ask him about that, though we’d note it’s likely not due to any kind of storage issue. The network of 53 police surveillance cameras around the city records video 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with all the video archived for up to 10 days — and longer if it’s needed in a police investigation. We’re no technological quiz kids, but our adventures in videoland have impressed on even us the fact that video is many magnitudes more space-hungry than a spreadsheet of plain ol’ words.