What Kind Of Walkie-Talkies Do Police Officers Use?

Police Officer Using Radio

Back in the 1930’s walkie-talkies were first developed for use by field pilots, however, it was during World War II that they began to be used with more regularity as a staple of communication for military troops.

As time has gone on, walkie-talkies have advanced to being much more portable and powerful than they were in their early years.

One essential modern use of the walkie-talkie is in the field of public safety. By providing public safety officials, such as police officers, with a quick and effective means of communication, walkie-talkies and two-way radios play a big role in keeping our communities safe.
So, what kind of walkie-talkies do police officers use? Can you own official police radios? Can the average person listen in on police transmissions with personal walkie-talkies?

The answer to these questions varies by state, and you should always check local and federal laws that govern the public’s involvement with official radio communications.

Police Walkie-Talkies

As technology has continued to develop, so has the type of walkie-talkie used in the police force.

While police officers may use many of the same brands available to the public, such as Motorola, Kenwood, and Maxon, the main difference of police radios is the type of frequency that they operate on.

When walkie-talkies first started being used, each officer and patrol car were assigned a single frequency or channel that connected them to the headquarters. This had several drawbacks, however, as this style of communication prevented information from being sent out simultaneously to multiple units.

Technology has come a long way in the world of two-way radio communication, and these days police officers can be linked to the police headquarters while also having the ability to stay in communication with fellow officers. This allows officers to respond quickly and efficiently as calls come in.

Police radio transmissions are often encrypted and highly secured, which helps to keep the community safe by preventing criminals from listening in on official police communications.

Cutting-edge advances in police communication are continuing to evolve, and some areas are even beginning to use devices that have additional high-tech capabilities and can function in similar ways to tablets and cell phones.

Listening in on Police Radio

The answer as to whether it is ok to listen in on police radio calls is not always simple and can vary by state based on laws and regulations.

Police radios operate on specific frequencies that are often encrypted and reserved solely for official use. While there are police scanners available for purchase to the general public, they are often unreliable and difficult to use.

It is also possible to purchase frequency guides for emergency public services such as police and fire departments, however, it is important to note that it is against the law to purchase police-specific equipment without a proper badge number and licensing.

In order to ensure the integrity of the public safety departments, it is against both local and federal laws to listen in or communicate on unpublished police frequencies.

Technology continues to develop for both personal and professional uses, and walkie-talkies are no exception to this. While the idea of listening in on police transmissions can be tempting, it is often not possible due to the encryption and security measures put in place to ensure the integrity of the police department communication.

Several laws are in place to prevent police equipment and internal communication from being accessed by the public on personal two-way radio devices, but in some states, it is legal to have a basic police scanner for personal use as long as it is not used to commit any crimes.

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About the Author

Brian Wallace decided to put his fascination with radio devices to good use and started WalkieTalkieCentral.com, hoping that his knowledge on the topic will be helpful to others.