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Is There An App For Police Scanner

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How Do You Listen To Encrypted Police Channels

Android App Review – Police Scanner

As we have covered above, that in order to have access to encrypted police channels, you will need to have a radio thats programmed with the encryption key.

The encryption key is necessary to decrypt the transmission and allow you to listen in.

If you are one of those radio enthusiasts this can be a bummer. With all that said, you can still listen into to the fire service, Utility departments, air crafts and towers which can be interesting as well

So you cant listen to police encrypted radio unless your radio can de-encrypt it.

What Is Radio Encryption

Encryption is simply scrambling the radio transmission so that it cannot be heard, the transmission is then encoded with an encryption key, encryption keys are programmed on radios, matching encryption keys will encrypt the message and the audio will be put back together if the encryption is correct.

The concept of radio encryption is similar to house keys.

Radios that dont have the correct encryptions keys will hear the transmission as garbled up.

Did you know that you can use RTL SDR dongle to listen to police radio conversations? Learn RTL SDR here

Best Analog: Uniden Bearcat Bc75xlt Handheld Scanner

  • Has close call RF technology

  • Simplistic design

  • Weaker reception in some areas

Featuring the ability to connect to public safety, military aircraft, and racing scanner channels, Unidens BC75XLT is a terrific choice for analog scanner fans. The built-in search functionality is second-to-none, and it quickly identifies channels for police, fire, marine, air, weather, and more, which makes the BC75XLT a very much pickup-and-go analog scanner.

You can save 300 channels into the scanners memory or 30 channels total in 10 separate banks. This makes it easy to scan for current transmissions on each stored channel. Additionally, the inclusion of Close Call RF capture technology assists the BC75XLT in identifying and detecting nearby transmissions, even if they arent pre-programmed into a channel. Powered by two AA batteries, the BC75XLT is both lightweight and designed to fit in the hand. Overall, it has good reception as long as youre in a strong signal area.

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Listen To Police Scanner Live Over The Internet

If you are looking for a place to listen to live police scanners for your area then youve landed on the right web page. Right here on this webpage we are going to give you the best method of listening to police scanners online for your area absolutely free.

Dont get misled by gimmicky websites out there who are tryng to profit off a service that is available for free over the internet. The great thing about online police scanners is that you can listen in on any police agency anywhere in the country. You dont even have to be in the same city or state to listen to police scanners across the country.

For instance, you can be in miami and still be able to listen to police traffic live over the internet from agencies far away as Arizona or New York. This is only made possible by online police scanners.

A Great Way To Stay Informed And Up To Date

10 Best Police Scanner app for free on Android
  • University of Maryland
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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The best police scanners are easy to set up and use, providing clear audio quality on a broad range of frequencies.

For most people, we think our best budget pick, the Uniden BC365CRS is the one you should just buy.

Police scanners let you stay on top of local events and ahead of the curve in several potentially dangerous situations. You can also use a police scanner to stay abreast of local news before it’s reported on television, you can get weather alerts and find out about an impending natural disaster, or you can tune into amateur radio channels. The best police scanners can also serve as an alternative to a standalone CB radio or radar detector, so read on to see your options.

  • Hybrid CB radio and trunk-tracking scanner

  • Has GPS

  • Expensive

Although its one of the pricier options on this list, the Uniden Beartracker 885 is a full-featured CB radio and digital trunk tracking police scanner. It has GPS included, so it can automatically select nearby channels from its database . You dont have to do any sort of complex programming while you drive, as the scanner does the work for you. It provides weather alerts, PA functionality, and more, and you can easily read the LCD.

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New Apps Provide Free Easy Access To Police Scanners

Posted December 4, 2017 7:23 a.m. ESTUpdated December 4, 2017 7:27 a.m. EST

Raleigh, N.C. There’s a new way to listen to police broadcasts, and it’s a lot easier than buying an expensive radio.

While first responders rely on their radios to stay connected, the public can now access the same channels using a smartphone application.

One of the most popular scanner apps is Broadcastify, which features almost 6,000 police, fire and EMS channels as well as two-way aviation, railroad and marine broadcasts. Users can search by name and location, create a list of favorites and get a notification for major incidents.

It’s free for iOS and Android, but premium features are available for purchase.

Multi-taskers might want to check out the 5-O Radio app, which has a lot of the same features as Broadcastify but runs in the background users can listen while they use other apps. 5-O Radio is free in the Apple App Store, and, like Broadcastify, premium features will cost a few bucks.

Android users can check out the Police Scanner app. Like the 5-O app, this one lets users listen in the background, and it also includes the ability to listen over a slower internet connection.

Police Scanner is free, but the pro version is $4.99 in the Google Play Store.

All of this is legal — but how do law enforcement officers feel about it? Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says listening and learning about police work is fine, but don’t join in.

Police Scanner Apps Are Surging In Popularity One Developer Is Donating His Proceeds

As thousands of people across the U.S. protest against police brutality, police-scanner apps have surged in popularity.

One such app, 5-0 Radio Police Scanner, shot up the charts to become the most popular paid app in the Apple App store over the weekend, in both paid and free categories. Some half a million people downloaded the app in the past several days, its developer, Allen Wong, told CBS News.

Rival apps like Police Scanner Radio & Fire and Citizen also rose to be in the top-10 list on both Google Play and the Apple App store. They have since fallen but remain in the top 30.

Police scanners, which tap into particular frequencies used by law enforcement and emergency response services, cost several hundred dollars, making them inaccessible to many people. Scanner apps and websites like Broadcastify, use public feeds connected to such apps. Many are free or cost a few dollars.

Wong, who created 5-0 Radio Police Scanner more than 10 years ago, initially started listening to police scanners because he wanted to be a cop as a kid and was curious about their work. He told CBS MoneyWatch that he hoped the app would grow the community of people who listen to police, as well as increase understanding between police and the public.

Wong also donated proceeds after the Boston Marathon bombing, he told CBS News.

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Chicago Police Scanner Radio

Last but not least you have the Chicago Police Scanner Radio. Listen to thousands of conversation in the Chicago area that nothing short of entertaining. The police scanner radio app does launch in the background but you dont need to worry as it doesnt take so many resources that it will slow down your phone.

Make sure you get the latest version of the app since its that version that features such as battery saving mode and buffering acceleration. You will also need at least 3G or above to use the police scanner app but you can always use WiFi as well.

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Buying Guide For Best Police Scanners

Police scanner apps

During the CB radio craze of the 1970s, another electronic gadget also gained significant popularity: the police radio scanner.

Private citizens could now use a tabletop receiver with special tuning crystals to pick up local police, fire, and ambulance calls. Users could also eavesdrop on the chatter at air traffic control centres and emergency weather channels.

Modern digital police scanners no longer require tuning crystals to pick up these remote conversations. Today, you can use a police scanner to listen in on thousands of different channels, any of which could be broadcasting action at any time.

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Police Scanner Radio & Fire: Best For Customizable Interface

This attractive and functional orange-toned app offers all of its radio listening free, but paying $2.99 per month for the Pro version removes ads, lets you apply themes and dark mode, and gets you widget functionality. You can sort channels by listener popularity or nearness, or filter by genre, area, source, and newest. The app lets you designate favorites for quick access. Theres a News tab, and the app can send you news alerts, but they’re not filtered by area, which means they come from all over the country. It would be more useful if you could set some criteria for your news view. Speaking of Alerts, you can also set these up for events from individual, nearby, or favorited scanners, or for when a specified number of users are listening to a channel. Police Scanner Radio & Fire also has a page of police 10- codes, but its map feature just shows the area covered by the department you’re listening to.

Platforms:iOS, Android

What Are Police Scanner Apps

Police scanner apps are specific police radio apps built to help you listen to police radio broadcasts. Years ago, the police departments used to broadcast the city crime happening and daily reports of their work. Police scanners have been a tool for journalists and people who are the enthusiast in knowing the crime report and whats happening in their city.

Now things have changed and very few police departments still broadcast in the classical fashion like earlier. However, still many people are using police scanner apps on Android for fun and entertainment.

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What Are The Advantages Of Using A Police Scanner Online Over A Police Scanner

We have already mentioned a benefit of going this route earlier: police scanners can be expensive. Sure, there is a police scanner for every budget, some even going below $100, but you may think that you are not the type to settle. In such a case, using your smart device is great because this is no added cost to you. Most people have access to the Internet anyway, and the purpose is not exclusive to scanning public frequencies alone.

Another advantage is that it is easier. There are no new skills to learn unless the Internet is a foreign concept to you. Owning a police scanner requires you to know how to fine-tune the device just so you can access your desired channel. You also have to know how to program police scanners, like this example. For police scanners online, the websites and the apps you use will automatically do this step for you.

And finally, by using online police scanners, you are not limited by your location. The frequencies picked up by a police scanner can only be so far. With the Internet, the channels listed are from different countries all around the globe. It would not be affected as much by physical barriers like walls, mountains and others as much as a police scanner would. However, if your Internet connection is not as fast as you would like, then that is a different concern.

What are the downsides, then?

Ready to listen online through a browser or an app?

How To Turn Your Android Phone Into A Police Radio Scanner

Best Police Scanner Radio Apps

Curious about police activity in your area, but don’t want to invest in a dedicated police scanner? Try using your Android phone instead.

Ed Rhee

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at

With an Android app called Scanner Radio, you can turn your Android phone into a portable police scanner. Volunteers with scanners provide over 3,100 audio streams from police and fire departments, weather radios, and amateur radio operators.

You can let Scanner Radio search for scanners near your current location, or manually search for scanners based on area, genre, or source.

Once you find your favorite audio feeds, you can add them as favorites for quick access. You can also listen to archives of certain feeds, but that feature requires the Pro version .

That’s it. Just a little warning: listening in on police scanners can be addictive and scary, all at the same time.

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When Did Police Radio Encryption Begin

Police radio encryption began after the 9/11 incident, as police around the states felt that the officers safety was being compromised on open radio, so they encrypted their radios to hide senstive information from tom dick and harry.

Different states have different laws regarding police radio encryptions.

Back in the days, the police used to have analogue radios, and if you wanted to listen in, you had to go buy a radio that can tune into the frequency, that is how you can listen to police radio.

But now, they have changed the system from analogue to digital and you can tap into it with an app and an internet connection, you can tune in from anywhere around the world.

With ease of access to police radio transmissions, came problems that came from misinformation which spread rumors and also put officers lives at risk, hence the need for encryptions

However, some channels are left open as these are backups, tactical, car-to car use or for communicating with the general public.

Why Do I Need A Police Scanner

Short answer: apps and streams won’t get you nearly as far as a scanner.

Depending on your area, there may not be anything related to your local emergency response agencies available to monitor on an app or stream.

With streams and apps, you are listening to a feed of a scanner, just someone else’s. So, in turn, you’re relying on someone else to keep their feed up and running smoothly.

Apps and streams are obviously more cost-effective, yes, but you’re missing out on worlds of information without a physical scanner.

Apps and streams may seem more convenient, but the feeds are delayed and often unreliable in tactical situations.

What is the Best Police Scanner App?

5-0 Radio Police Scanner is still the number one app in the Utilities category on the iOS App Store, and its number six overall.

It bills itself as the largest collection of live police, firefighter, aircraft, railroad, emergency, news, and ham radios”

We cant verify their claim, but it does have a slick interface, and feeds from countries across the globe.

You dont need to pay to download or use the app, but theres an in-app payment if you want to remove ads, add more feeds, or use any features you cant see on first use.

What is the Best Police Scanner…Scanner?

All around digital and analog – We recommend the Uniden SDS100.

Analog only – We recommend the Uniden SR30C.

Is Citizen a Scanner App?

Technically no, it’s more of an incident tracker than it is a scanner app.

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Police Scanner+: Best For Cool Interface Recording And Internet Radio

There are multiple apps in the store sharing this name: The one were talking about is by Rego Apps and has the most high ratings in the store, with over 49 thousand and an average of 4.6. The app not only lets you search for scanners around the world and find local ones, but also lets you see Broadcastify events, play internet music radio, and record anything youre listening toeven in the free app. You can fave streams and set a shutdown timer. If you know the URL of a broadcast, you can enter it manually. The app has one of the more appealing interfaces among the genre, with a big Stop button in the middle surrounded by other options. You can customize the nifty space-themed background with your own picture. The paid Pro version costs $4.99 one time it removes ads, adds weather and railroad feeds, adds background choices, and lets you access archived recordings. On the downside, the app has no search feature.

Platforms: iOS

Ontario Pd Live Scanner Radio

Android App of the Week – Police Scanner App!

The Ontario PV Live Scanner Radio app is another app that will satisfy your scanner listening needs. Though its not so popular police scanner app, its quite useful. A useful feature that youre going to find on this police scanner radio app is that you can record the feed youre listening to so you can listen to it later.

If you prefer, you can also share what youve recorded with others with the options that app has. Keep in mind that the Ontario PD Live Scanner Radio app will not work with your Bluetooth receiver, but overall its a great police scanner app. If you want you can also make a donation to help improve the app even more.

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