Police Scanner Question

This is a discussion on Police Scanner Question within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My brother and I live in Florida and he found where he can download a App. to his cell phones that would allow us to ...

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Thread: Police Scanner Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array puncho's Avatar
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    Police Scanner Question

    My brother and I live in Florida and he found where he can download a App. to his cell phones that would allow us to listen to LEO communications on a cell phone. I think it would illegal to drive around, our sit at lunch listening to communications between LEOS. I believe that he would be legal as long as he was listening inside his house. Please point us in the right direction.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    Police scanners are pretty common, I can get our local PD streamed over the web. I am not aware that it is illegal, but I am pretty sure that bad guys sometimes take advantage of it as well.
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    Senior Member Array InspectorGadget's Avatar
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    Here is the Law on Obstructing Justice (Scanners) in FL.
    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    843.16 Unlawful to install or transport radio equipment using assigned frequency of state or law enforcement officers; definitions; exceptions; penalties.--

    (1) A person, firm, or corporation may not install or transport in any motor vehicle or business establishment, except an emergency vehicle or crime watch vehicle as herein defined or a place established by municipal, county, state, or federal authority for governmental purposes, any frequency modulation radio receiving equipment so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to police or law enforcement officers or fire rescue personnel of any city or county of the state or to the state or any of its agencies. Provided, nothing herein shall be construed to affect any radio station licensed by the Federal Communications System or to affect any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis or any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to part II of chapter 489, operating a central monitoring system.

    (2) As used in this section, the term:

    (a) "Emergency vehicle" shall specifically mean:

    1. Any motor vehicle used by any law enforcement officer or employee of any city, any county, the state, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Armed Forces of the United States while on official business;

    2. Any fire department vehicle of any city or county of the state or any state fire department vehicle;

    3. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the state;

    4. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the sheriff or fire chief of any county in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said county;

    5. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the chief of police or fire chief of any city in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said city.

    (b) "Crime watch vehicle" means any motor vehicle used by any person participating in a citizen crime watch or neighborhood watch program when such program and use are approved in writing by the appropriate sheriff or chief of police where the vehicle will be used and the vehicle is assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the county or city. Such approval shall be renewed annually.

    (3) This section does not apply to the following:

    (a) Any holder of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

    (b) Any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis.

    (c) Any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to part II of chapter 489, operating a central monitoring system.

    (d) Any sworn law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10 or emergency service employee as defined in s. 496.404 while using personal transportation to and from work.

    (e) An employee of a government agency that holds a valid Federal Communications Commission station license or that has a valid agreement or contract allowing access to another agency's radio station.

    (4) Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    With a Ham Radio License you are good to go, without you can get in a lot of trouble in you vehicle or in public in general. I have both scanners and transmitters installed in my Jeep, but as in the case with weapons I am licensed.

    At your home in private you are good to go. It would be easier to just go to Radio Shack and buy a scanner.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I'm waiting for a special where you get a cape and mask with the scanner,that way you can roar up to a crime scene and ask the cops if they need any help.Most scanner traffic is BORING,the good stuff is usually encrypted,like the channels set aside for clearing buildings or SWAT
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Most scanner traffic is BORING,the good stuff is usually encrypted,like the channels set aside for clearing buildings or SWAT
    Those frequencies are readily available also. With the proper scanner and freqs, you can get everything.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Here is an online source for some agencies live radio traffic. Check it out
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    Those frequencies are readily available also. With the proper scanner and freqs, you can get everything.
    not everything Most agencies if they are in the current century, have several secured channels that will not be picked up with scanners. I'm sure if somebody has a lot of knowledge and equipment they could get bits and pieces, but thats about it.
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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    not everything Most agencies if they are in the current century, have several secured channels that will not be picked up with scanners. I'm sure if somebody has a lot of knowledge and equipment they could get bits and pieces, but thats about it.
    And we can get it ALL to include wireless phones.
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  10. #9
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    normal wireless phones are easy.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    not everything Most agencies if they are in the current century, have several secured channels that will not be picked up with scanners. I'm sure if somebody has a lot of knowledge and equipment they could get bits and pieces, but thats about it.
    No, I meant EVERYTHING. I can pick up any frequency you talk on. Encrypted or not. Its not rocket surgery either. If you talk on it, it can be received

  12. #11
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    OK.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I will on occasion listen the the local and county frequencies on my bearcat. I am not sure whether or not they have "extra" secured channels or not, don't really care, since when listening you can get a pretty clear picture of what is going on from the normal channels they use.

    The times I really listen are when we have had severe power outages, ie hurricanes, or other storms come through, the rare ice storm or other uncommon occurance. It never cease to be amazed at why some folks think that when there is an event of this type the laws for decent behavior cease to apply to them.

    I don't think it is illegal to monitor the frequencies, although there is probably something in the law about doing it while commiting a crime or interfering with the frequencies.

    One final note. For those of you who wish to encourage someone else in your family to start carrying more often, a weekend listening to a scanner can go a long way to convince them.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  14. #13
    Member Array Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    We have freqs set aside for different things but they are not secret like some believe. If they sound garbled or encrypted, you don't have the proper scanner or its not set up properly. A lot of departments are switching over to digital which can't be received with a typical analog scanner. The freq licenses are also public info available on the FCC website....no security clearance needed

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    I have a program on my blackberry that links to online streams of police scanners. Tuscaloosa has disappeared from the list as of late though...I found it kinda interesting sometimes.
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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    normal wireless phones are easy.
    Actually I meant ALL wireless (non-wired) phones [CDMA, GSM, trunked, encrypted, etc], radios etc and with a little special equipment even the wired stuff can be gotten without the traditional wiretap.
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