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Police Scanner Apps

If you’ve ever watched a bunch of emergency vehicles go speeding by and wondered where they’re headed, it might be easier to find out than you think.

That’s because a number of apps are available that allow you to easily and legally listen in on emergency chatter happening all around you, as PC Mike Wendland explains this week.

Broadcastify is among the more popular emergency radio apps, featuring more than 5,700 police, fire, ambulance, aviation, rail, marine, and even amateur radio streams. Search by name and location, and create a list of favorites. You can also sign up for alerts for major incidents. The app is free for iOS and Android with premium versions available for a cost.

5-0 Radio Police Scanner allows you to listen to feeds in the background so you can still use other apps on your device. You can also search by county or city, save favorites, access feeds while on a computer, and more. The app is free for iOS with a premium version available for a few more bucks.

Android users will want to check out the Police Scanner 5-0 app. The app delivers more than 5,000 police, fire, rescue and other radio feeds to your device. Find channels close to your location based on GPS or cellular triangulation. You can save your favorites and listen in the background. The app is free for Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.