Listen And Record Police Scanner Transmissions With ‘5-0 Radio’ App
Police Beat: Police Scanners
The 5-0 Radio app allows users to listen to emergency dispatches for Police, EMS, Fire, and others. Journalists can record emergency radio broadcasts and send the audio file via email.
The 5-0 Radio Pro Police Scanner app includes a comprehensive list of emergency dispatch scanner broadcasts including police, fire, EMS (emergency medical services), and others. Journalists can record transmissions and listen to them on their smartphones or tablets, or email the audio file.
Journalists will want to spend a few bucks for this app because the pro version has 50,000 more feeds, the ability to record, and it’s ad-free. (Ask your news director if you can expense this one!)
Listen to a Scanner:
- Open the app and tap “Browse Scanner Feeds”
- Pick your country.
- Pick your state or region.
- If you tapped on a US State, you’ll then tap on the county of that state. (Other countries will include counties, cities, or regions)
- Scroll through the list of scanners and tap on the one you want to listen to.
- Wait for the app to finish buffering (this usually takes a few seconds).
- Realize that not all emergency dispatches are broadcasting all the time, so it’s possible you won’t hear anything.
- If this is a scanner you’ll listen to often, mark it as a favorite by tapping on the “+” icon in the upper right corner of the app and tap “Add to Favorites.”
- Once you’ve opened the scanner and can hear the feed, tap on “more.”
- Tap on the grey icon that includes a circle (see picture in Features for a visual aide).
- Name your recording (If it is not named, the filename will be the date and time).
- Tap “Done.” Now your recording will have a name.
- Tap “REC” to record. There may be a lag. (I’m not sure how long it can record, but I have made recordings more than 10 minutes long).
- When you’re finished, tap “Save” (the file will save as an MP3).
- Click on the name of the recording (which will appear right below the bar) to hear it or email the audio file.
- Swipe the file to the left and tap “delete” to remove the audio file from the app.
- Slider bar: Adjusts volume.
- Time: Current time (not necessarily the local time of the emergency dispatch).
- Faves: Access a list of your saved scanners.
- Chat: To chat with other listeners, tap the “chat” button and then tap the blue icon in the lower right. This will take you to a web-based discussion board.
- Map: See a pin in a map of city of the emergency dispatch.
- More: Includes local codes, alarm clock, recording option, and siren sound.
- Pause or Play
Legal or Illegal?
We’re not attorneys here at Journalist Apps, so we can’t give legal advice. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. You’ll want to find out whether it’s legal to listen, record, and/or rebroadcast.
- Many journalists in the news business know the information heard on emergency radio (aka police scanners) is often incorrect. Always verify the information before reporting it to the public.
- You can only listen to one scanner at a time.
- You can listen to the scanner in the background while working in other apps.
- This app includes a list of codes (often “10” codes) which helps journalists determine the type of emergency call.
- You can also listen to music radio stations (try tapping on the “Bonus Feeds by Genre” button in the Menu.
Some emergency scanners are available from other countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, United Kingdom, United States.