Free police scanner apps useful tool for reporters

Jan 13, 2016

By Jennifer Faulkner

Communications Assistant | South Carolina Publishers Association

Police scanners are key for keeping up with the many crimes and incidents that occur daily. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars, you can download free apps with even more capabilities than standard police scanners. Reporters could greatly benefit from having a police scanner right at their fingertips anytime and anywhere.

There are several apps available with the same basic functions. Some features include: timers to start and stop stations, chat rooms and GPS to locate feeds. Here are a few free police scanner apps:

Police Scanner+ Free ( is an app made for the iPhone. It allows you to browse weather, police, EMS, fire, railroad and radio stations by popularity or location. This app allows you to search scanners in 37 South Carolina counties, as well as other states and other countries.

5-0 Radio Police Scanner ( is another iPhone app, which broadcasts live police, fire, aircraft, railroad, marine and emergency radio stations. This app features a map that finds where the scanner feed is. This app includes a table of frequently used codes, which is great for reporters with little experience with police codes.

Scanner Radio ( is an app designed for Android phones. It locates radio stations through GPS and includes aviation, marine, amateur radio, disaster event and public safety channels. This app can send notifications to the user’s phone when there are a certain number of listeners to a single station. With more people tuning in to the station, this is a great feature for breaking news.