Can Walkie Talkies Pick Up Police Radio? This question has been asked so many times, and in this article, we’ll be giving a well-detailed answer.
Two handheld radios have remained a conventional means of communicating over distances. Since the first radio was built in the 1890s by the ideation of Guglielmo Marzoni, the world has experienced an interesting revolution as regards radio communication. Walkie talkies are one of them and with the functionalities, they have expressed, people obviously want more. Humans are never satisfied, are we? Today, I hope to answer the question – can walkie talkies pick up police radio? – while clearing the air on other questions that border around the subject matter as well.
The simple answer to the question – can walkie talkies pick up police radio? – is NO. I can safely say not anymore. Commercial walkie talkies are not designed with the capability of picking police radio signals. This is because Police walkie talkies or radios are built on a different system from the average commercial walkie talkie.
This may be a lot of information to consume in one bite but I have broken down all the details you need to know about commercial walkie talkies picking up police radio. I have added information about Police walkie talkies and commercial walkie talkies while debunking any claim on the possibility of listening to Police radio frequency.
Can Walkie Talkies Pick Up Police Radio [Explained]?
The design of commercial walkie talkies today is not enabled to pick up Police radio signals. Police radios and walkie talkies are expected to be on a different frequency and system than the average commercial walkie talkie. And even though they are all radios, it is not possible for a commercial walkie talkie to pick up a police radio.
From a number of online sources, I found, that it may be possible to use a Police scanner device to pick up a Police radio. These sources have the opinion that when you have a Police scanner or a radio frequency scanner, you would be able to eavesdrop and listen to the Police chatter going on in your area. Before I show you what I have learnt from these sources, let’s talk about the kind of walkie talkies the Police use.
What Kind of Walkie Talkies Do Police Officers Use?
Police officers may use walkie talkies that come from the same brands as other commercial walkie talkies such as Kenwood, Maxon, Motorola, etc. However, there is a different modality which is used in the configuration of walkie talkies for Police officers. The typical Police walkie talkie is called Project 25 also known as P25. This configuration provides walkie talkies with the ability to provide digital voice and data communication systems for security operatives and agencies.
It is quintessential to note that a Police walkie talkie is designed based on certain standards to ensure uninterrupted and secured communications. In addition, these walkie talkie brands are equipped with WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and LTE capabilities. They are nowhere in the league of the average commercial
walkie talkies you can get from Amazon or eBay. Although these stores sell Police walkie talkies they are not used directly from the store by the Police (More details on this later.)
How Do Police Walkie Talkies Work?
Police walkie talkies work in the same way as the average commercial walkie talkie with a little difference. They communicate wirelessly using radio waves on a single but shared frequency band. They are battery-powered units that contain a transmitter/receiver, an antenna, and a loudspeaker which aids communication. With all of these shared similarities, Police walkie talkies differ in one thing.
Even though Police walkie talkies operate like every normal walkie talkie, sending and receiving information on a frequency band, Police walkie talkies operate via a different configuration system. This configuration system is called “Trunk System or Network” and all security operatives that use walkie talkies adopt this secured communication system.
The Trunk network is a business class of reserved frequencies that are programmable by an operator to certain frequencies such as TACK-2. Such frequencies are licensed to these operators exclusively and they are programmed to make interference or eavesdropping difficult. With Trunk Systems, walkie talkie signals are encrypted, making it very difficult to listen to except by the destination radio. It prevents the general public from eavesdropping on Police communication.
Like I promised, I found a couple of resources that claimed it is possible to listen to Police radio using a Police scanner. I am going to explain what I learnt from them but I do not guarantee you can pick up the Police radio after doing that. If you are hell-bent on picking up Police radio, here’s a word of caution: you may be dabbling into varying levels of illegalities.
How to Listen to Police Radio Frequencies
Having known that Police walkie talkies operate on secured frequencies that are different from what is accessible by a commercial walkie talkie owner and the Trunk System and network of Police walkie talkies, some forum users still believe it is possible for you to listen to Police radio frequencies.
To listen to Police walkie talkies, they suggested two ways which are:
1. Getting a Police radio scanner
2. Modifying a walkie talkie (I won’t explain this point as there are too many illegal sides to it and I do not want to be a party to any illegal action against the US government.)
You can pick up Police radio signals with a Police radio scanner. With the scanner, you can access Police and other EMS radio channels that would allow you to hear Police emergency channels and access other classified frequencies.
The second point, like I pointed out, has a couple of grey areas and I would not like to be a party to any form of illegality. Listening to Police radio chatter is illegal and I only feel confident sharing it because Police scanners are sold commercially. I would always discourage people from trying to listen to Police radio. Why would you? To help the Police or what?
Can Police Scanners Hear Nearby Walkie Talkies?
Police scanners can hear and listen to nearby walkie talkies and any radio device within range. Most Police scanners can listen to frequencies used by the FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB radios, etc. They can also listen to itinerant business frequencies. You can use a Police scanner to listen to nearby walkie talkies and other radio.
It is logical to assume that since a Police scanner can allow you to listen to Police radio frequencies, it should be able to listen and pick up other radio signals.
Can You Listen to Police Radio on a CB Radio?
It is not likely. You cannot listen to the Police using a CB radio or have the radio device pick up Police radio signals. I am not sure the Police have ever used CB radio or operated via the CB radio frequency. It is practically impossible to have a CB radio pick up Police radio signals.
A Police scanner, as I explained earlier which I found out, is a device that allows you to pick up or eavesdrop on a Police radio. I can recommend the Uniden BearTracker 885 device as a Police scanner to buy if you want the functionalities of a scanner and a CB radio. The device is the only CB radio on the market that can function as a scanner, and this dual functionality can be priceless if my theories are correct.
Can Walkie Talkies Pick Up Other Walkie Talkies?
All walkie talkies are two-way, handheld radio devices that operate on the same frequency band and channel. If you have a walkie talkie and another user sends a message from their walkie talkie, as long as your walkie talkie is switched on and within range, you will pick up the signal and get the message. So Yes, walkie talkies can pick up other walkie talkies if they are on the same frequency and within range.
Generally, walkie talkies are radio devices that transmit messages as radio waves. When a walkie talkie sends a message, the waves travel in the air until any radio device intercepts it in the area on the same frequency. You can expect your walkie talkie to pick up other walkie talkies and vice versa. Even if a message is not meant for you and you happen to be in the area with your walkie talkie tuned to the same frequency and channel as the walkie talkie sending a message, you are sure going to get it.
Final Thoughts on Can Walkie Talkies Pick Up Police Radio?
I have done due diligence in explaining why I feel it is impossible for a walkie talkie to pick up the Police radio. And in all honesty, I have provided some of the information I got while researching this topic on the possibility of picking up Police radio signals with a Police scanner. I also cited how illegal this is and my final counsel is to not dabble in matters of national security.
If you try out the methods I shared on how to listen to Police radio frequency and it worked, cheers and congratulations. I did not try them myself and cannot prove that it is possible. Does that do it in this article on Can Walkie Talkies Pick Up Police Radio?.