Victoria Police rural communications have now successfully migrated to encrypted communications on the Regional Mobile Radio (RMR) Network as of Tuesday 20th November, 2018.
For those still not aware the RMR Network is a VHF P25 trunk system interlaced with some direct mode operation (DMO) functionality with DMO meaning conventional (non-trunking) operation.
Victoria Police assigned to rural and regional areas of the state now enjoy secure communications, the same level that their counterparts in Melbourne’s metropolitan and greater Geelong areas have enjoyed since around 2005/06 when they commenced migration from their legacy UHF analogue system to the then new UHF P25 Trunk Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) Network with encryption on their allocation of talkgroups and selected DMO channels.
The RMR and MMR Networks are technically interoperable.
With an election looming in Victoria the push had been on to deliver this aspect of the project prior to the November, 24th election date. There had been plans to migrate to the encrypted talkgroups on Monday 12th November, 2018 at 0300hrs however due to some planned radios not being installed in some areas on time this had to be revised to Monday 19th November, 2018, giving hobbyists (and unfortunately some undesirables) a weeks grace to continue enjoying listening.
Unfortunately another issue arose on Sunday 18th November, 2018 at one of the project partner’s locations that meant the Monday 19th November deadline would not be met. Police members operating temporarily on un-encrypted talkgroups on the RMR Network on Monday 19th November were being reminded to remain on the temporary transitional pool of talkgroups for now (TG 4001 through to 4011). The patch running between the RMR Network and the legacy StateNet Mobile Radio (SMR) Network that Victoria Police were vacating would also remain in place, for the moment.
Throughout Monday 19th November rectification of the issue that arose on Sunday 18th November took place and this had now permitted a further revision date to move Policing operations in rural and regional areas to their new talkgroups. It would happen Tuesday 20th November, 2018.
Turning on your scanner first thing Tuesday morning you would still be able to listen Victoria Police in rural and regional areas go about their business. Periodic broadcasts were made across the temporary transitional talkgroups reminding members of the upcoming ‘switch over’ along with the announcement of what talkgroups Police Service Areas (PSA) were to switch to.
Then, shortly after 1000Hrs it happened, a thank you broadcast message to the SMR Network, a reminder to switch over, a reminder that the SMR to RMR patch was about to be removed and that Police members in rural and regional areas would now enjoy the same level of secure encrypted communications that their metropolitan counterparts enjoyed.
Farewell to VKC from those who monitored, quite a few familiar voices won’t be heard by the general public anymore. After some 30 years of listening and some incredible events it’s been many things. It’s been a real pleasure, an honour, an eye opener, created a level of understanding some clearly need as well as insightful and educational listening of the calm and professional management of levels of fear and craziness sometimes thrust upon the world. Stay Safe folks.