Metro Nashville/Davidson County Regulations

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ScanTN

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Does anyone know if there are any regulations or ordinances in regards to having a mobile scanner in a vehicle? I have been looking for information on this a while now but have had little success. There are some people who say Davidson County has an ordinance but I have yet to find any published information related to that.

Also, does anyone know where the rebranding of the frequencies stand? It's now February 1, 2010. Has everything been completed? I just recently programmed the Davidson Country trunk into my scanner so I'm not sure if it has already changed...perhaps one of you will know. Did the frequencies change? If so, are the ones listed on Radio Reference the old ones or new ones?
 

APTN

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Metro Nashville

Does anyone know if there are any regulations or ordinances in regards to having a mobile scanner in a vehicle? I have been looking for information on this a while now but have had little success. There are some people who say Davidson County has an ordinance but I have yet to find any published information related to that.

Also, does anyone know where the rebranding of the frequencies stand? It's now February 1, 2010. Has everything been completed? I just recently programmed the Davidson Country trunk into my scanner so I'm not sure if it has already changed...perhaps one of you will know. Did the frequencies change? If so, are the ones listed on Radio Reference the old ones or new ones?
See the Metro Charter https://secure.nashville.gov/images/gifs/mc/code_of_laws/TITLE_11.pdf

Title 11 does prohibit scanners while mobile, although I haven't heard of wide enforcement.
 

ScanTN

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This isn't well defined

Thanks for the reply!

11.04.110 High frequency police radio receiving set—Defined.
A high frequency police radio receiving set shall be defined as any radio receiving set capable of receiving any message sent out by any police radio station. (Prior code § 34-2-1)

After reading the title above it does not state whether it is legal or illegal. It's simply providing a definition from my understanding. Other titles in that document state, for example, "it's unlawful to...." and then continues; however, this doesn't say. Any additional information?
 

APTN

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Thanks for the reply!

11.04.110 High frequency police radio receiving set—Defined.
A high frequency police radio receiving set shall be defined as any radio receiving set capable of receiving any message sent out by any police radio station. (Prior code § 34-2-1)

After reading the title above it does not state whether it is legal or illegal. It's simply providing a definition from my understanding. Other titles in that document state, for example, "it's unlawful to...." and then continues; however, this doesn't say. Any additional information?
See the very next section:
11.04.120 Police radio--Permit required. It is unlawful for any person to equip or operate any motor vehicle with a high frequency police radio receiving set unless such motor vehicle is being used by the federal, state or metropolitan government or a peace officer, or unless a permit for the use of the same shall have been granted as provided by this chapter.

Subsequent sections state how to obtain the proper permit for a receiver in a vehicle, and that it is unlawful for non-authorized persons to respond to emergency calls.
Municode.com | Online Library

It is illegal to have a receiver in one's vehicle in Davidson County without a permit, but as previously stated, this ordinance does not seem to be rigorously enforced.
 

kg4ere

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Thats one of those laws that is not going to get enforced unless you really piss off a cop once he pulls you over.
 

brutalpilot514

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The old freqs are still valid. I was listening to them during the snowstorm last week. I can pick them up from Murfreesboro so I'll know when they change when I don't hear crap LOL.

EDIT: I just read an earlier thread that said most of the major changes are dealing with system B. So my information may not be all accurate. I can still hear NMPD though and I haven't touched a thing on the Nashville system on my scanner since I originally programmed it 2 years ago for Nashville.
 
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Jay911

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See the very next section:
11.04.120 Police radio--Permit required. It is unlawful for any person to equip or operate any motor vehicle with a high frequency police radio receiving set unless such motor vehicle is being used by the federal, state or metropolitan government or a peace officer, or unless a permit for the use of the same shall have been granted as provided by this chapter.

Subsequent sections state how to obtain the proper permit for a receiver in a vehicle, and that it is unlawful for non-authorized persons to respond to emergency calls.
Municode.com | Online Library

It is illegal to have a receiver in one's vehicle in Davidson County without a permit, but as previously stated, this ordinance does not seem to be rigorously enforced.
Can you define "equip or operate" with any degree of certainty? I am likely going to be in Nashville in June for a conference and was going to bring both my 396XT and PSR500. Don't necessarily plan to drive around with them, but might want to.

As a Canadian amateur radio operator, will a copy of my license suffice?
 

W4EMS

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My experience is that unless you are using it to commit a crime or "ambulance chase" (that includes all of PS) then you should be ok. If you want to be 100% sure you should not do mobile monitoring. You chance of getting into an accident are much better than a scanning violation. But technically my understanding is that without a permit mobile monitoring of police frequencies in Davidson County is illegal.
 

ScanTN

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That's correct...it does require a permit which you will not be able to attain without going before the mayor. However, the ordinance is not widely enforced and I would agree that as long as you're not using the device to commit a crime or aid in any other illegal activity, you should be fine. I use a mobile scanner. Just turn it off if for some reason you are pulled over. The officer does not have the right to question you on the device if it is not on and in use. Keep in mind they can not search your vehicle without probable cause.
 

nashscan

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Methinks they are much more likely to be suspicious of you if you have been drinking, have dark tinted windows, or are booming some N.W.A from your Alpine speakers. Keep your speed down, be respectful if you get pulled over, and enjoy some scanning action in Davidson County.
 

brutalpilot514

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ok this is for davidson county what about the state of tn or is it up to the counties/cities
This is just a Davidson Co. thing. It's up to the counties and/or cities if they want to do something similar. There's no state law preventing a law abiding citizen from mobile scanning, unlike Kentucky or Indiana (which prohibit mobile scanning unless you're a ham or fit one of the other exceptions allowed per state law)
 

CAPTLPOL1

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I will throw my two cents in, the above Metro Ordinance has been superseded by the TN Public Acts of 1994 Chapter 964 Section 4 codified as 39-13-607(7) et seq. I highlighted the first sentence of subsection 7 which states that it is lawful unless prohibited by state or federal law. The general statues do not give the local counties, cities or metropolitan governments such authority. The law only recognizes any other provision of state or federal law. Keep in mind that the metro ordinance was written prior to 1994. I believe that any person subsequently charged under that ordinance on the effective date or after the act was passed would have a valid defence against the charge.

39-13-607 (7) et seq.



(7) It is lawful, unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, for any person:
(A) To intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that the electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public;
(B) To intercept any radio communication that is transmitted by:
(i) Any station for the use of the general public, or that relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress;
(ii) Any governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system, including police and fire, readily accessible to the general public;
(iii) Any station operating on an authorized frequency within the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or
(iv) Any marine or aeronautical communications system;
(C) To intercept any wire or electronic communication, the transmission of which is causing harmful interference with any lawfully operating station or consumer electronic equipment, to the extent necessary to identify the source of such interference; or
(D) For other users of the same frequency to intercept any radio communication made through a system that utilizes frequencies monitored by individuals engaged in the provision or the use of such system, if such communication is not scrambled or encrypted.
(c) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2), a person or entity providing an electronic communication service to the public shall not intentionally divulge the contents of any communication, other than one to such person or entity, or an agent thereof, while in transmission on that service to any person or entity other than an addressee or intended recipient of such communication or an agent of such addressee or intended recipient.
(2) A person or entity providing electronic communication service to the public may divulge the contents of any such communication:
(A) As otherwise authorized in subdivisions (b)(1)-(3) or § 40-6-306;
(B) With the lawful consent of the originator or any addressee or intended recipient of such communication;
(C) To a person employed or authorized, or whose facilities are used, to forward such communication to its destination; or
(D) That were inadvertently obtained by the service provider and which appear to pertain to the commission of a crime, if the divulgence is made to a law enforcement agency.

[Acts 1994, ch. 964, § 4.]
 

ScanTN

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Following up on this:

I have spoken with several Davidson County Metro PD Officers and they all agreed that it was okay to use a mobile scanner in your vehicle. In fact, none of them were aware of any ordinance prohibiting the use of a scanner.

I have been using one going on several years now without any issues. The only time I was ever questioned about it, was when I was a witness to a vehicle accident that occurred right in front of me. The Metro officer asked what it was, and I simply said it was a scanner. She did not ask any further questions
 

wxwarn285

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I am a amateur radio operator, and we had a simlar discssion on a local nashville repeater a few years ago, and one operator said that ham radio operators are espicaly premitted to have mobile scanners in their vehicales because we are considered a emergency volunteer. He told us about a bill that was passed and I looked it up, and it's true, but I can't remember where I saw that.

KI4JJE
 
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