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How to turn your phone or tablet into a live police and emergency scanner

How to turn your phone or tablet into a live police and emergency scanner
© Lisa F. Young | Dreamstime.com

Police radio communication has come a long way since the high jinks of Officers Toody and Muldoon in "Car 54, Where are You?" became a black and white TV classic. What stays the same is that you, too, can listen in on this exciting real-time communication.

In the past, listening to police and emergency services required expensive specialized radios and detailed knowledge of the radio channels used in each community. Now, like so many other things, the Internet is making a difference.

These days, you just need a smartphone and police scanner apps. With an old-fashioned radio and antenna, you were limited to hearing just the police departments nearby. By listening through a police scanner app, you can now hear police calls from around the country.

Listening to police radio chatter can be very interesting. From mundane parking violations to the heart-pounding high-speed pursuits, you never know what you might hear come over the police channels.

Before you use any of these apps, I encourage you to know your local laws regarding their use. While police scanners are legal in most states, some states restrict their use under certain conditions. If you're in doubt about the legality of using these police scanner apps, consult with a professional lawyer.

Next page: See the three easy ways to start listening to police and emergency services now
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