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Old 02-14-2015, 17:15   #1
ClydeG19
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How much do you channel surf?

I'm curious how often you listen in on bordering agencies frequencies? Obviously if you've got stuff to take care of at home, that takes precedence. But do you regularly listen in on other agencies when you aren't otherwise busy in case they need help with something?

I'm willing to bet it will boil down to agency culture. My thing with it is that I'd hate to have a neighboring officer be in trouble and I'm closer than the guys from his own agency.
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Old 02-14-2015, 17:28   #2
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I don't know if it's the same, but I sometimes scan the other frequencies (we have nine precincts) that are physically close to me, but we are all within the same jurisdiction.
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Old 02-14-2015, 19:17   #3
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I have my radios set to our primary and scanning our secondary, statewide mutual aid, and SO secondary which is countywide mutual aid.

I am about mid range. There are some who only listen to our primary. A few more scan our secondary in addition. Most are like me. A few will scan the SO primary. Too much going on to listen to their primary and ours. Some will listen to fire primary because they give more info on a call and get it first than us.
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Old 02-14-2015, 19:32   #4
Steve in PA
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I scan several local zones when I'm working. I want to know when something goes down or is headed my way before it goes through dispatch in order to get to me.
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Old 02-14-2015, 22:21   #5
golls17
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My district and only my district. There's enough chatter as it is.

ETA: if need be, we all have access to other districts' channels as well as a mutual aid channel for the county. We're patched to neighboring districts pretty often, too, when the dispatcher has to step away.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:24   #6
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I scan Fire/EMS as well as Georgia State Patrol when I'm at work but that's it.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:23   #7
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I listen to State Police as well, and they listen to us. Their dispatch is so horrid, that listening to our dispatch, they learn of many of their calls long before their dispatch notifies them. Several times a trooper has driven 15 miles to arrive on the scene of a crash before his dispatcher gives him the call, all because he heard that our dispatch was forwarding a crash to OSP.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:28   #8
CAcop
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That reminds me. We can't talk to CHP or the UC/CSU police departments. Completely different bands.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:54   #9
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Besides my channel I listen to the county my city borders on.
I don't listen to fire. ...I hate the fire chanel.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:21   #10
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I scan our primary, countywide secondary (same county as CACop), car-to-car and the primary for the PD adjoining my beat. I'm at the far end of the county with pockets of serious gang activity in my beat, next to a city of 50,000+ that is one big pocket of gang action. We and the PD cover each other all the time, at times it's more like a metro agency - no real boundaries.
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Old 02-15-2015, 14:56   #11
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Mobile: I scan all the surrounding agencies, and local EMS and fire.

Portable: leave it on at all times and only on primary channnel. When I transmit on the mobile I just cover the mic on the portable with my other hand to eliminate feedback.

This way I know what's coming into my area and get a good 1 minute jump on a lot of stuff.
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Old 02-15-2015, 15:15   #12
nikerret
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I scan what I can, but it's not much.

In my jurisdiction I have:
City PD-on scan, but don't get much when I leave town (stupid narrow-banding).
University PD-can't scan
Two KHP Troops-can't scan
Wildlife & Parks-can't scan
FT FD-on scan, but most of it will be static, if they and I aren't both in the main City
PT FD's-on scan, but most of the time it will be static; except, dispatch's traffic, and only when I'm in the main City

Of the six neighboring Counties:
I can scan two, but only on my primary (in-car) radio. Unless they and I are both close to each other, it jut produces static-which interferes with listening to any other channel, so I don't keep them on there.

The realities of rural Kansas, different systems (that can't interact), and stupid narrow-banding.

Story time:
Recently, there was an incident where one of our guys was at the county line, speaking with a deputy from a neighboring agency, in an area where our in-cars barely work. After their pow-wow, the neighboring deputy was cut off by a vehicle exiting a corn field. After the stop, two males and a female jumped out and the fight was on-against the lone deputy. This was less than half a mile from the pow-wow location. Our guy couldn't have been more than a mile away-and they were running a two-man car (he had a good Reserve with him).

About five miles later, our guy got passed by a KHP Trooper going around 150 MPH. The Troopers assigned to our area have a portable radio, of ours, but we don't get one of theirs. Our portables don't work, in that (or most outward) part of the county, and the Trooper never heard our deputy ask if he needed assistance. Our deputy turned his Tahoe around, but couldn't even get close enough to follow.

Our deputy called our dispatch, who had no idea of anything that had gone on. It isn't uncommon for Troopers, around here, to have to travel a few hours (running code), to work a scene. No one thought much of it.

It was later found out the lone deputy held his own, until the Trooper-who was scanning that freq. arrived, after the deputy got on, screaming for help. Several minutes after the Trooper arrived, the other county's other deputy on, that night, arrived.

The other county's dispatch never called our dispatch, even though he had checked out, at the county line-to talk to our guys. Just a little thought on their dispatch's part could have made everything much easier, on their lone deputy.


Another time, I was in that same area and had a short pursuit. The entire time I was in pursuit, another deputy was telling a story about a sign that had been run over. The pursuit ended, and I made the arrest. After cuffing the guy, I had to call on the phone, which was as much static, as voices, to let them know, what I had.


A few years ago, we had a tornado wipe out one of our small towns. No one from my agency could talk to our dispatch, on our portables-it sucked.


Around here, there is usually so little going on, at one time, I would scan everyone, but we don't have that capability, anymore. Before narrow-banding, it was at least five times better.

We have one place, that no radio or cell phone will even break static.
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Old 02-15-2015, 15:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeefZah View Post
Mobile: I scan all the surrounding agencies, and local EMS and fire.

Portable: leave it on at all times and only on primary channnel. When I transmit on the mobile I just cover the mic on the portable with my other hand to eliminate feedback.

This way I know what's coming into my area and get a good 1 minute jump on a lot of stuff.
If "mobile" means in your vehicle, me, too. Except, I use an earbud, with my portable. It also allows me to hear my own traffic, so I know what actually transmitted effectively.
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Old 02-15-2015, 16:33   #14
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My channels, local SO and state, all shift every shift.

Any time one of them calls out with something shifty (multiple occupants, roadsides, ROV, 99, etc) if they are within any even vaguely justifiable distance of town I have standing orders to my shift that one or more of us is going "just to say howdy" so they don't have to make an official inter-agency assistance request for cover (which seems to ruffle administrative feathers, for reasons I still fail to comprehend)

The troopers are spread so thin out here there may be only two-three for five or six counties. The SO often only runs one night car, and they have a coverage gap between the PM and AM car. I always have two, usually three, and sometimes more. We watch out for them as best we can, and they reciprocate.

Gotta love the rural life.
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Old 02-15-2015, 18:32   #15
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I work for a state agency that covers about 20 counties but primarily works about 10, I try to keep the radio on whatever county I'm in at the time and scan the state talk around channel.
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Old 02-15-2015, 21:39   #16
steveksux
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Cars are typically scanning more local agencies, prep trends to be on one channel only. I believe they are capable of scanning, but aren't.

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Old 02-15-2015, 21:49   #17
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We just went to a digital system. Before this, we could scan a few other counties near us, except for one neighboring one.

My county dispatches for police on 3 channels. North, South and one major city is dispatched on their own. The county has nearly 40 small municipal depts throughout, split pretty equally between north and south. Think small departments with 1-3 officers on at one time. Due to this, neighboring departments roll in on each others calls as needed.

I can listen to the rest of the county, including ems, and fire which will be digital on soon enough. I'm not sure what our state agency is using at this time.
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Old 02-15-2015, 22:03   #18
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We have take home squads, so technically each deputy can set up their radio to scan whatever other agencies they want. I personally scan ALL adjacent counties all the time.

If I'm close, and hear another counties officer on a call or stop near the county line, I will always start working towards them. Many of them do the same for us, and it's always a good feeling to see another squad pull up behind you when you're in the middle of the nowhere, and your closest partner is 20+ minutes out.

It's pretty common for us to glean info from other counties dispatch that may apply to us before they even call our dispatch center. Just a few weeks ago we had an adjacent county help us solve a driving complaint/accident call just because they were scanning our traffic. They helped us locate the suspect vehicle and get a 6th offense drunk driver off the road.

We also work together with other counties a lot too. It's pretty common that we get called to assist another agency because they have no cars available. Because of this, it's pretty common that you roll up and call each other by first name. Such is the life in rural counties.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:48   #19
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I don't have to channel surf. I'm constantly being called to do other agencies job for them. Apparently I dont have enough to do.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:29   #20
MeefZah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikerret View Post
If "mobile" means in your vehicle, me, too. Except, I use an earbud, with my portable. It also allows me to hear my own traffic, so I know what actually transmitted effectively.
Yeah that's actually another benefit of leaving the portable on while using the mobile, you can confirm positive transmission. Sometimes the digital radio just doesn't "open up" and you think you put out traffic but no one else hears. If I don't hear slight feedback I know I need to repeat myself.
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