I started by wanting to know what the DOT snow plows were doing and where the state police were hanging out at and listen to the local rail yard switching operations. Now I very rarely don't have one on, or at least close by, and listen to PD, FD Rail, Air, well, just about everything that could be considered entertainment.
Cops and AMW held my interest for a while, but I haven't watched them in years. With radio hobbies, however, there's so much to do that when I get burned out on one aspect of it, I just move on to something else.
I don't watch Cops, I listen because I like knowing what is going on in my city. There is an awful lot that occurs that is not reported by the media, that I end up knowing about, because I listen to the scanner.
I got hooked in the early 1980's by accident. I had an old radio that picked up the Public Service Band and even shortwave. I listened to the usual stuff, traffic stops just to see if I'd hear anyone I went to high school with. Sure enough on the weekends I heard names of friends of mine in high school.
I went to work for a large sheriff's office in SW Florida and with my understanding the radio communications in my teens helped me to thrive in the SO's office.
Also, its more entertaining than watching the trash on TV.
My grandfather got me hooked on radio receivers when I was ten years old with a Christmas gift of a Radio Shack Patrolman 3. Thirty one years later and I still have a scanner with me 24/7. As stated in a previous post, I enjoy knowing what really goes on in my community which is rarely reported by the media.
I started listening several years ago to public safety, I wanted to know what was going on in my neighborhood and beyond. Since then it has grown on me as i have several scanners in my home and one in my vehicle. I have one that runs all night long next to my bed and I listen to all frequencies available to me and my scanner. My kids at one point thought i was a little strange for constantly having a scanner on. But recently they have gotten their own scanners, so i know their listening too. See what i started!
I bought my first scanner (BC80XLT) after getting hired by the fire department to listen to other agencies. From there it has grown and grown and cost me lots of money, LOL. I just like knowing what's going on around me and like to hear the action.
I don't watch COPS on a regular basis unless they are in one of a few specific cities.
I am a techie first, and scanners are technical. I've been listening since 1967 athough set it aside for a few years. I like to know what is really going on, and there is no other place to get that information.
I got started when I was 10, My uncle was a paramedic and I was fascinated by emergency services. I pretty much kept a scanner from then on, I was in the Military and got into SINCGARS and SATCOM, I took my scanner to Iraq and would even bring it with me on convoys so my translater could interpret what was going on, saved us from a roadside bomb and ambush at one of the chokepoints along my route. Now Im a cop and use it to listen to everything on and off duty. You would be amazed of what you will find out especially before the BOLO is even dispatched to you. Keeps me informed about traffic, weather and othe hazards too, and since where I live host the biggest jet base on the east coast might as well hear what they are saying and where they are going since I have to hear them fly over.