Ever call one in?

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radiowave15

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So while listening to police when mobile, has anyone ever happened to be near something going down and helped out by calling in a tag or description? What was the LE reaction? Appreciative or not?

Dan
 

W2PMX

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Years ago, I heard a dispatch to my friend's auto repair shoip, but the directions to the shop were so wrong they'd never have found it. I called the 911 center, spoke to the sergeant in charge and they corrected the information to the responding officer. I have no idea whether they appreciated it or not - I didn't care.

From "the other side of the call" - I always appreciated more valid information on a call. Sometimes you get a very vague caller and you just know that even though someone is sent, they're not going to find anything, because the call is so vague. An additional call, from someone hearing the call on a scanner, can be a big help.
 

radiowave15

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Thanks for your thoughts. We live in a very large development (4000+ homes and lots). Many of the roads are not paved and the homesites are often wooded. I've been living and working in this area for 30 years. When I listen to the chatter I am very familiar with the streets they are often on. It is very conceivable that I would be in the car near areas where they could be when they are trying to follow leads or calls from dispatch. Just wondering, perhaps from an officer's point of view, if a call from a civilian would be helpful or would just be a distraction.

Dan
 

de784

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

I have called in a few my job has me on the road a lot the times I have called in has always lead to an arrest at no time have I ever gotten involved I just called 911 said that I heard your looking for whatever they were looking for and I have seen them on this road they say thank you and follow up
 

N5TWB

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A reverse/twisted version on your request:

While driving to work one morning, I was participating in the local 2-meter roundtable conversation but also had my scanner going. While I was on the mike making a comment, a police call went out about an overnight burglary being discovered at a local business and gave the address/name to send investigating officers. One of the other members of the morning roundtable was the owner of the business and was calling me back to see if I was hearing anything else as he was still on the way to the office. This was in the early days of cell phones but he had one and was calling the office, too. He later came back on the roundtable net to tell us what had happened.
 

ScannerWayne

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A few months ago I was sitting here in the living room watching TV. I had the scanner on next to me, half listening to the calls in the precinct I live in. I heard a call that mentioned my street. I turned up the volumn and caught the address as it was repeated for the backup unit. The call was to a house about 300 yards down the street. It involved a suspect that was last seen walking down the street in my direction.

I grabbed the scanner and walked out to the front yard and waited. When I saw one of the officers coming down the street I stepped out and flagged him down. Explained quickly that I had heard the call dispatched and that no one matching the suspects description had passed here. He grinned, thanked me and continued on. I heard the officer call the other officer and relay the info to him.

He seemed to appreciate the effort.

Wayne...
 

W6KRU

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Several years ago I lived in a condo that bordered an undeveloped area. There were a couple of dirt bikers that would unload their bikes right behind my condo. They would then ride into the hills and their patner in the truck would drive away. One day I got curious where they went and drove around to the other side of the hills to prowl the streets that bordered the subdivision over there. I eventually spotted the truck driving into the area. I followed him to a dead-end street and saw him park at the end.

A couple of weeks later I heard them unload on a Saturday morning. A little bit later I heard a dispatch for the sheriffs dept to check the hills for some trespassing dirt bikes. A bit later I heard two deputies on car-car discussing their inability to catch the bikers. I drove over and flagged one of them down and told him about the pickup point. He said "show me". I did, he pulled up and thanked me, and then zoomed off toward the waiting truck while informing the other deputy of the spot.
 

car55

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I don't think it is good idea taking the scanner in car or out on foot . Some states it is illegal to do that.

And more importantly law enforcement hate it and do not know what you up to .When you call in to help out I'm sure they like it that you are trying to help out but at the same time it confirms there are many scanner people out there and many would hate that.
 

KD0NDO

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someone was shooting off fireworks near my house ( i could see them) and someone thought is was gunshots coming from the local park which i live 1/2 a block from so they called the cops. i herd the call on my scanner so i biked down to the park knowing that it was fireworks . well 3 cops came screaming down to the park lights and sirens the whole shabang and i was there to inform them that it was someone in my neighborhood shooting off fireworks. they asked how i knew exactly what and why they were there and i told them that i herd the call on my scanner. they all thanked me and left.
 

markbart

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Several years ago I was sitting in my apt. watching TV and listning to my scanner (right next to my chair) when the sherriff dispatched a call about a stolen pickup.Three minutes later the same truck pulled into my apt. parking lot.I called 911 and explaned what happened that the driver had left the scene.They thanked me for calling.

Mark
 
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kc9cra

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QUOTE=car55;1658815]I don't think it is good idea taking the scanner in car or out on foot . Some states it is illegal to do that.

And more importantly law enforcement hate it and do not know what you up to .When you call in to help out I'm sure they like it that you are trying to help out but at the same time it confirms there are many scanner people out there and many would hate that.[/QUOTE]

Yes, they do hate it with a passion, but only because they do not understand. Some do not know because of simply being uninformed. Others however, don't want to know. They make the unsafe assumption that everybody who parks near a car accident and blocks traffic must've heard about it on a scanner. They also have this idea that scanner users are either criminals or cop wannabe's. One almost universal source of extreme annoyance is a wannabe. It doesn't matter whether you're a police officer or a gangster.

What our friend is proposing here is actually one of the best things you can do. Do not interfere, just call or flag down an officer and communicate. This gives the officers the assurance that we aren't bad guys, and they don't need to be so hostile toward the scanner community. They may eventually come to like most of us and may, in ideal circumstances, recognize the help we provide, and not be so quick to encrypt every single noise complaint or support new scanner laws that literally confine someone to a jail cell simply for having a scanner in their posession while in a vehicle. Most often, the cops here in Evansville don't care if I carry mine. I've never had any trouble down here, but in Gibson COunty, just to the north, I dealt with some intimidation tactics for it.

In October of '06 I was coming back from Indie, and I was in the back seat of my sister's Jimmy. I was sleeping with my pro94 in my lap turned off. My brother-in-law was speeding, so we were pulled over. The cop came to my window and I opened the door. He grabs the scanner from my lap and asks, "What's this?"
I told him, and he goes, "Does it work?"
It sounded like a dumb question, but apparently it wouldn't've been a problem had it been disabled. They took my id and my scanner for five or six minutes before coming back to explain to me that having a scanner in your vehicle is a crime "a jailable crime". I told them that I was a ham which does exempt you, but since my license wasn't on me at the time, they said that wasn't good enough.

They said it would cost me $550 to get out of jail that night and God knows what they'd've done to my scanner while it was in their posession. I honestly doubt they'd've given it back in one piece. They ended up giving it back without the batteries and saying that I should keep them out until I get home. They ended up being nice about it but not until they had made concerted effert to intimmidate me. I know my rights, I was not. Everybody I tell is just like me. They recognize it as just a couple power-drunk pigs throwing their wait around, and yes, I called em pigs. Go ahead, be offended, see what it does. That's right, absolutely nothing. Your offense means nothing to me. If they don't act like pigs, they aren't pigs. If they do, they are, plain and simple.
 

ratboy

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I've done it quite often over the years, especially since cell phones came along. Most of them have been reports of drunk drivers, and I would suppose that the police were happy I called them. The oddest times I've called involved the railroad police. I'm a trainwatcher, and sometimes you see things that the railroad should know about. Problem is, in probably 20 or so times I've called, they (Conrail, CSX, and NS) have never, ever, relayed what I reported correctly, not one time. One time, a big train passed me, and on the last locomotive, there were sparks shooting out of the back truck, and a small amount of fire was coming out on top of the truck. I called Norfolk Southern and talked to someone in Philadelphia. I told them what the train was and where it was presently at. A few minutes later, it comes over the scanner. All they got right was the train symbol, nothing else, and of course, they didn't find anything, so the train kept going. About the time I called again, to try to tell them they had totally fouled up, I didn't have to call, as the loco's alarms went off, and by then, 20 minutes after I called, the problem was a lot worse, and the loco was dead. Similar things happened every time I called, so if it's not a major safety hazard, I don't call anymore. That's more for me not feeling guilty about not calling if someone gets hurt or killed, since it's not likely they will get that call right either. The last time I called, a brake was locked up and the wheel was glowing a dull red, and I called. They messed up the report, of course, but they did stop the train and find the problem, but they were looking for some other problem entirely. Some of the warped reports were pretty comical.
 

tampabaynews

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I've called in a few things I've seen. After a call where the dispatcher seemed more interested in how I knew what was going on rather than where the FATAL hit and run suspect was, I don't volunteer where I heard it unless I'm asked. Don't need to give them a reason for the "E" word.

Sometimes if I know they're looking for someone, and I see them speed by, I'll play dumb and call it in as a reckless driver like any oblivious Joe Shmoe would. They usually put two and two together and end up making the stop.

When I was a dispatcher, I never took a call where someone was helping with a scanner, but if I did I would appreciate it as long as the caller was being safe. The police can't be everywhere, and the more eyes and ears out there, the better.

Some departments have the mentality that they don't need the help and feel insulted by citizen assistance. That's just the way it is, but I always believe in doing the right thing. I'm legally permitted to carry a scanner in my vehicle, and if I'm going to a newsworthy scene for my job and the opportunity to help the police comes up, I do so.
 
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W2PMX

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The police can't be everywhere, and the more eyes and ears out there, the better.

Some departments have the mentality that they don't need the help and feel insulted by citizen assistance.
And that's the big problem. Most departments would fall into the first sentence, but the few that fall into the second make you want to stop calling, even if you see something directly.
 

Arizona_Scanner

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About 15 years ago I was listening while driving and heard the description of a vehicle including tag, just used in an armed robbery. I looked up and the car was right in front of me. As I came through an intersection a cop was waiting to turn left and I stopped beside him and told him the car out in front of me was the armed robbery vehicle. He flipped around, passed me, chased it down, and they got the bad guy.

Phoenix PD was smart enough when switching to their new system, to leave the hot calls "in the clear" so that this very thing can still happen.
 

BeerNutz

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I once heard that an elderly lady and her daughter were stranded at a highway exit cuz their purse was stolen. They still had a good 1000 miles to go. Must have been slow cuz dispatch recommended the officer run them around to churches to get some gas money. I couldn't have that so I called dispatch to help.

When the cop and the ladies arrived, he was very thankful but not the travelers. They never said a word. I guess like to many Americans, they had the mentality that the world owed them a living..I had $100 in my hand and another $200 in my pocket to give them if they were thankful. The $200 stayed in my pocket. LOL
 

bge1234

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I'm always afraid to call anything in that I heard on the scanner because I live in a city of 750k+ and I figure they have enough to worry about without taking my call. I called in a DUI once but I was the original caller and didn't hear it on the scanner until afterwards (ended in an arrest). I suppose in a life and death situation, I would help them out, but otherwise I try to stay out of the way.
 

car55

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QUOTE=car55;1658815]I don't think it is good idea taking the scanner in car or out on foot . Some states it is illegal to do that.

And more importantly law enforcement hate it and do not know what you up to .When you call in to help out I'm sure they like it that you are trying to help out but at the same time it confirms there are many scanner people out there and many would hate that.[/QUOTE]

Yes, they do hate it with a passion QUOTE

====================================================

Most of the public does not understand scanners never mind law enforcement .Also when the cops stop you they will be up tight to they know what you doing and you do not have any weapons on you and they run you ID that you have no warrants or any criminal record and only than do they feel more relaxed.

Also getting stop in a crime infested area than getting stop in a sleepy area with very low crime is going to get a different response.
 

reedeb

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QUOTE=car55;1658815]I don't think it is good idea taking the scanner in car or out on foot . Some states it is illegal to do that.

And more importantly law enforcement hate it and do not know what you up to .When you call in to help out I'm sure they like it that you are trying to help out but at the same time it confirms there are many scanner people out there and many would hate that.

Yes, they do hate it with a passion

====================================================

Most of the public does not understand scanners never mind law enforcement .Also when the cops stop you they will be up tight to they know what you doing and you do not have any weapons on you and they run you ID that you have no warrants or any criminal record and only than do they feel more relaxed.

Also getting stop in a crime infested area than getting stop in a sleepy area with very low crime is going to get a different response.
I've ALWAYS carried a portable scanner. [Maine / NH, So Carolina, and here in Texas talked with MANY LEO's and Fire/EMS personal thru the years and NEVER had a single person comment on my scanner on my belt [always had an earphone] I've made many scanner land calls and they LEO's are always happy to hear from me and let me know it. I've never been checked out because i have a scanner.
 
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signal500

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Over the past 27 years I have helped many public safety agencies using my scanner. I have helped them find the correct location of a call, locate vehicles and people they were looking for, etc. Not once have I had them ask how I knew, I would just start out my phone call, "I heard you were looking for....."

I never went tracking down stuff I heard over the scanner, but if anything 'crossed my path' I made the call. I still do it today, in my opinion, law enforcement could use as much help as they can get from good citizens.
 
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