January 24, 2013

What You Can Expect to Hear on Your Scanner

Officer Involved Shooting Crime Scene
What can you expect to hear when monitoring your scanner?

In short, everything! In my 29+ years of monitoring public safety communications, I’ve heard everything you could possible imagine and things you could not imagine.

Everything from a routine call like a neighbor dispute to a life-saving rescue to officer involved shootings - all live and in color!

What you will hear can be basically broken down to two types of events; Small-Scale Events and Large-Scale Events such as those listed below.

Small-Scale Events

First there is what I consider “Small Scale Events”. Small scale events are events that affect a localized area. These types of events occur thousands of times a day across America and include, but are not limited to; 

Dangerous Police Activity

Dangerous Police Activity includes, but are not limited to:

  • High-Speed Vehicle Pursuits
  • Suspect Foot Pursuits
  • Armed Robberies
  • Assaults with Weapons 
  • Neighborhood lock-downs for suspect containment searches
  • Barricaded suspect situations
  • Rampaging suspects
  • Gang-Violence
  • Shooting Victims
  • and much more! 

Dangerous Fire-Rescue Activity

Dangerous Fire-Rescue Activity includes, but are not limited to:

  • Emergency Rescue Operations
  • Residential Structure Fires
  • Large commercial building fires
  • Out of Control Brush Fires
  • Major Traffic Accidents
  • and much more!

Low-Impact Events

Low Impact Events include, but are not limited to:

  • Power Outages
  • Rolling Blackouts
  • Dangerous Roadway Debris
  • And more!     

See related links below for more information on small-scale events. Hear actual incident calls on our Recorded Police Scanner Audio Page

Large Scale Events

Then there is what I consider “Large-Scale Events”. Large scale events are events that have the potential to affect a wide-area and produce heavy damage and casualties. 

Large-Scale Events include the following, but are not limited to:

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters include, but are not limited to:

  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Severe Thunderstorms
  • Flash Floods
  • Tsunamis
  • Destructive Landslides
  • Winter Storms/Blizzard Conditions
  • and even Avalanches

Major Incidents

 Major Incidents include, but are not limited to:

  • Toxic Chemical Spills/Emergencies
  • Natural Gas Main Ruptures/Explosions
  • Air Disasters
  • Railroad Derailments
  • And much more!

Terrorist Attacks

Terrorist Attacks include, but are not limited to:

  • Attacks using explosives
  • Chemical & Biological Weapons
  • Radio-logical "Dirty Bombs"
  • and even the possibility of a “low-yield” nuclear device

As you can see, emergency situations and disasters can strike at anytime with little or no warning and put you in immediate danger. So be sure to have your scanner ready at a moments notice if you don’t always have it on.

Related Links

That’s it for this post. Got a comment on this post? Use the comment link below and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time, stay safe and happy scanning!


P.S. – Don’t forget to check out Police-Scanner.info on Facebook or better yet, join our email list and never miss a blog post or website update! Sign-up here.  

December 31, 2012

LAPD Citywide "Hotshots" Live Scanner Feed

Staying home for New Year's Eve? Check out LAPD's "Hotshots" channel for continuous non-stop action in the City of Los Angeles!

LAPD's "Hotshots' channel is a citywide hailing channel for LAPD Air Support and K-9 units for priority/in-progress crimes in all LAPD divisions!

What You Will Hear

Hotshots channel broadcasts pursuits as well as all the stabbings, shootings, 211's (robbery), hot prowls (in progress burglary), etc.

Although every night this channel is buzzing with activity, New Year's Eve is always the busiest time to listen in. If you are staying home tonight, check it out!

Non-Stop Action 24/7, 365!

You will be blown you away by the almost continuous stream of activity on this channel, with alert tones for new calls coming in seconds after the last dispatcher finished in many cases. It's quite an eye opening insight into just how busy LAPD is, especially on New Year's Eve!

+ LAPD Hotshots/Air/K9 on LAPD Channel 26*

* Scanner feed provided by RadioReference.com For residents in the greater Los Angeles Area, LAPD Hotshots/Air/K9 on LAPD Channel 26 Frequency is 484.7125 (Digital P25 - Digital-capable Scanner required). See our Scanner Frequency Resources page for a link to an LAPD frequency resource page.

That's it for now, till next time stay safe, happy scanning, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Webmaster, Police-Scanner.info

November 22, 2012

Right Way to Program Your Scanner - Pt.2

Programming Trunking Talkgroups & Banks

In a trunk radio system (TRS), users share a group of frequencies. Users are assigned one or more numerical group id’s called “talkgroups.” Field radios are programmed to only pick-up transmissions for that group. 

In a large TRS, you may find that there are a large number of users including police, fire-EMS, public works, street maintenance, animal control, city engineers, etc., etc. Since each user could have one or more talkgroup ID’s, a TRS could have dozen’s and dozen’s of talkgroups ID depending on the number of users.

 Talkgroup ID Banks

Trunking scanners allow you to program talkgroups ID’s into “talkgroup banks”, usually 5-10 banks, each with room for 5 talkgroup ID’s as shown below. 

This is VERY useful as it eliminate having to listen to every user and talkgroup on a TRS, especially if there are dozen’s of talkgroups.

The key to monitoring a trunk radio system is to strategically program talkgroups within talkgroup banks that can be used to your advantage. Talkgroups for a particular use or agency should be stored together in one talkgroup bank. 

Police in one, fire in another bank and so on. Talkgroups banks can then be turned on & off and/or individual talkgroups can be locked out.

Bank 1 – Trunk Radio System Name

·         Talkgroup ID Bank 1 (Police)
·         Talkgroup ID 1 (Dispatch)
·         Talkgroup ID 2 (Tactical)
·         Talkgroup ID 3 (Detectives)
·         Talkgroup ID 4 (SWAT)
·         Talkgroup ID 5 ()
·         Talkgroup ID Bank 2 (Fire)
·         Talkgroup ID 1 (Dispatch)
·         Talkgroup ID 2 (Response)
·         Talkgroup ID 3 (Fireground)
·         Talkgroup ID 4 (Rescue)
·         Talkgroup ID 5
·         Talkgroup Bank 3
·         Talkgroup Bank 4
·         Talkgroup Bank 5

In the example above, if you just wanted to monitor police you, you would turn of Talkgroup bank 2 and any other banks you have programmed and just have the scanner monitor bank one.

Note: Some trunking scanners may have “sub-bank” within each main bank allowing for more talkgroup storage such as shown below:

·         Talkgroup ID Bank 1
·         Talkgroup ID Sub-bank 1
·         Talkgroup ID 1
·         Talkgroup ID 2
·         Talkgroup ID 3
·         Talkgroup ID 4
·         Talkgroup ID 5
·         Talkgroup ID Sub-bank 2
·         Talkgroup ID 1
·         Talkgroup ID 2
·         Talkgroup ID 3
·         Talkgroup ID 4
·         Talkgroup ID 5
·         Talkgroup ID Sub-bank 3
·         Talkgroup ID Sub-bank 4
·         Talkgroup ID Sub-bank 5
·         Talkgroup ID Bank 2
·         Talkgroup ID Bank 3
·         Talkgroup ID Bank 4
·         Talkgroup ID Bank 5       

And that is pretty much it on programming talkgroups into your scanner for optimal monitoring. Refer to your scanner's manual for specifics on programming frequencies for your trunking system. 

If you are looking for scanner frequencies, check out out Scanner Frequency Resources page or our Custom Frequency Search Service.