asking ?'s of law enforcement

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millerfour

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First off I am new to the world of scanners and feel as if I know 0.1 % of all there is to know, so please be gentle with me. My question is what is the guide line (spoken or non) for getting advice or asking questions of law enforcement. There are a couple of close family members who are in law enforcement and I don't want to over step any bounds.

A few months ago when I started listening to the scanner I did call and ask them some things but didn't give any thought to "is it right to ask this?" Both of the people I know would give me as much info as they could but I don't want to "use" them.

Then a follow up would be what is proper to share here about any information I may get from them? It could be things such as frequencies to facts about actual events over heard.....

I am looking forward to being able to have guide line to go on...... if this has already been discused just point me to the thread.
 

DickH

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...
Then a follow up would be what is proper to share here about any information I may get from them? It could be things such as frequencies to facts about actual events over heard.....
Technical things like frequencies, car numbers, etc. are OK to ask and to share. If anything is sensitive, they will tell you.
I would NEVER discuss ANYTHING you hear on the scanner - unless they bring it up first.
 

SAR923

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You are technically violating federal law by retransmitting anything you heard over a scanner. Posting actual event details that you could have only gotten from a scanner meets the definition of retransmitting. Check the database here for the area you're in. If you know of a frequency that's not in the database, you can submit it. Frequency information is generally in the public domain except for for some of the secret squirrel federal agencies. Keep any information about actual events to yourself though - you would be violating both the law and the trust the officers placed in you.
 

millerfour

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I would NEVER discuss ANYTHING you hear on the scanner - unless they bring it up first.
Neither are in my area, I would need a very amazing machine to hear them or anything they are involved in, so I'm safe there.

What about this....... the first thing I ask one of them was after an accident why do they say the tires are all 10-4 when they call for a wrecker, what about those types of questions ?
 

K4DHR

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You are technically violating federal law by retransmitting anything you heard over a scanner. Posting actual event details that you could have only gotten from a scanner meets the definition of retransmitting. Check the database here for the area you're in. If you know of a frequency that's not in the database, you can submit it. Frequency information is generally in the public domain except for for some of the secret squirrel federal agencies. Keep any information about actual events to yourself though - you would be violating both the law and the trust the officers placed in you.
Huh??

There is absolutely nothing illegal about posting something you heard on a scanner on an open forum. If that were the case, the authorities would have come down on sites like this one and thousands others by now. Unless the transmission or the event is somehow copyrighted or requires prior permission to report the details of the event, or was illegally decrypted, there is really nothing anyone can do if I decide to share some of the general details about something I heard while listening to my scanner or other radios.

Re-transmitting is exactly what it means, taking the radio transmission and sending it out over another radio service.

As far as information that is given to you by word of mouth, yes, I'd probably keep that to myself because that person only told you because they thought they could trust you. There's all kinds of crazy stuff my brother-in-law sees as a firefighter that doesn't need to end up in the public eye, mainly to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and/or the safety/liability of the department or individual firefighters. They're often good stories to be sure, but I'm not going to start posting them on some internet forum. If he gave me some general info on their P25 system (not that he really knows much about it to begin with), I'd probably share that with some folks, but its not something he can exactly get fired or disciplined for either.
 

E-Man

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Re-transmitting is exactly what it means, taking the radio transmission and sending it out over another radio service.
I do not understand, but I am glad this does not apply to Streaming?
 

k8tmk

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Actually, K4DHR, you are wrong. Go back and read the so-called "Secrecy Act" in the Rules and Regs. I think was Section 605 when I was studying for my Radiotelephone license.

Divulging the content of any message (by any means) that is not meant for the general public is totally against the law. Things heard on the regular broadcast bands and amateur radio are okay to repeat because they ARE meant for the general public. Why you don't hear of any violations is probably because at least one of the people involved in the transmission would have to complain. The chances of them knowing someone repeated their message is probably slim to none.

In my opinion, steaming audio is also against the law because it is a type of repeating. I have recently brought this up before the FCC, but have not gotten anything back yet.

Randy
 

DickH

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Huh?? ... There is absolutely nothing illegal about posting something you heard on a scanner on an open forum. ...

I suggest you read the Communications Act of 1934. Although rarely, if ever, enforced, that Act makes it illegal to:
1) Repeat what you hear to a third party (not the 2 parties involved in the original radio communication)
2) Use that information for your own personal gain.

Of course, that may not apply to persons living in Powder Springs, Georgia. :)
 

rdale

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the first thing I ask one of them was after an accident why do they say the tires are all 10-4 when they call for a wrecker, what about those types of questions ?
While the usual suspects debate "retransmission" - your question is legal to ask.

It tells the tow truck that they don't need a flatbed to carry the car, the tires are fine so it can be towed.
 

AK9R

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What about this....... the first thing I ask one of them was after an accident why do they say the tires are all 10-4 when they call for a wrecker, what about those types of questions ?
A typical hook wrecker can only pick up one end of the car at a time. The other end of the car has to be on the ground. That means that the tires on that end have to be in good enough condition so the car can be moved by the wrecker. If the wrecked car doesn't have two good tires on one end of the car, the car will have to be moved by a flat-bed ("tilt-bed", "rollback") wrecker, not a hook wrecker.
 

millerfour

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right, I now know about the wrecker. My husband tells me that sometimes I do not word questions clear enough for people to understand what I am asking, and I believe it may have happened here, so I'll try again and be a bit more clear.....

While looking at a thread here I saw someone ask a question I knew my brother would know the answer to - my borther is in law enforcement in that area, almost 300 miles from me - so I ask him and posted it to the thread. While it was a question about analog to digital conversion in an area (which I believe to be allowed here) after the fact I remembered that there may have been something he said about they were still testing it and different encryptions (I'm still new to this, so my wording may be wrong) so now I wonder if I should have even ask him, let alone post it on the internet for the world to see.
 

SAR923

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I agree. As long as your not posting, verbatim, actual radio traffic that your brother relayed to you or information that could interfere with an investigation, anything else is fair game. If your brother felt that some frequency information was not for public consumption, I'm sure he'd either let you know or not tell you about it at all.
 

hippieman556

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imo i would not post something that was told to me by police or anyone else in public safety unless they said it was ok to do so with the way people want to sure evreyone else i would be careful
 

n8emr

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First off I am new to the world of scanners and feel as if I know 0.1 % of all there is to know, so please be gentle with me. My question is what is the guide line (spoken or non) for getting advice or asking questions of law enforcement. There are a couple of close family members who are in law enforcement and I don't want to over step any bounds.
I think its how you approach it, If you show up in your tin foil hat demanding all the car numbers and routes and frequencies then your going to get booted out. You should be able to ask a public servant any question. Now they may not answer you or may not know the answer but I see no reason to fear asking. I doubt many people who use radio as part of there job know anythign about the radio, frequency. They know channel 1 is used for this and channel 2 is used for that.
 

reconrider8

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lol around here they give out phone #'s and stuff over the radios ive always wanted to call one of the #'s but i know i want
 

millerfour

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lol around here they give out phone #'s and stuff over the radios ive always wanted to call one of the #'s but i know i want
A couple of years ago I took a citizen academy at the law enforcement center here (we have a slightly unique set up here, the city and county work together on everything, the city owns the station, the county owns the jail and they share staff - front desk staff is city, dispatchers are county and so on....) and found out some "neat" information. When an officer comes on duty they pick car keys off the board and get a laptop out of the cupboard, it's kind of first come first serve and from what I can gather on what I hear the phone either goes with the car or the computer. Dispatch is always asking what line they should give out for each officer.
 

firebus29

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A typical hook wrecker can only pick up one end of the car at a time. The other end of the car has to be on the ground. That means that the tires on that end have to be in good enough condition so the car can be moved by the wrecker. If the wrecked car doesn't have two good tires on one end of the car, the car will have to be moved by a flat-bed ("tilt-bed", "rollback") wrecker, not a hook wrecker.
This is incorrect information. How did vehicles with damaged wheels get towed for the many decades prior to roll-backs?

Most all wreckers are equipped with dollys which "scoop up" the wrecked vehicle's wheels when there is a problem with them (flat tires, bent wheel, etc.). It is the dolly wheels which make contact with the road, not the damaged vehicles. Roll-back wreckers have their uses but they are not the only solution to towing damaged vehicles.

Beware the tow company which charges additional fees for using a roll-back because "your vehicle had flat tires". This is a common scam utilized by unscroupulous operators. Unfortunately, the average police officer does not realize this and one frequently hears on the scanner an officer requesting a roll-back.

The agency requesting the wrecker should get as much information as possible and pass that on to the tow operator and not place an order for costly services and equipment which is not neccessarily needed.
 

swstow

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yea a wheel lift or sling wrecker can get some but not all
fletbed wreckers are more common now because of the cars
front whl drive can not be towed from the rear
all wheel drive , some 4 wheel drive without lock out hubs
lower vehs, spoilers ect

the old dolly system was good for a quick short tow but not good for a long tow

flatbeds do less damage, makes long tows easy and keeps safe and secure,

over 10 years towing ( police ) rotation
 

AK9R

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Most all wreckers are equipped with dollys which "scoop up" the wrecked vehicle's wheels when there is a problem with them (flat tires, bent wheel, etc.).
Yes, I'm aware of dollys and have seen hook wreckers use them to move vehicles that were damaged at both ends. I don't see them used much around my local area anymore except by really low-budget wrecker companies that don't have a tilt-bed available.
 
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