NY POVs and scanners

NYBLS

Member
Oct 13, 2010
219
NY,USA
From what I have gathered, in order to have a scanner in your POV in NYS a permit is required. Does anyone actually have a permit? If not, how does LE react to the scanner? Are there any laws on mobile radios in NYS POVs?
 

ffjwhite

Member
May 21, 2010
1,082
Bombay, NY
Well I have had scanners in my car off and on and I have never had any problems. Just as long as you are blasting LEO frequencies while at a scene or getting pulled over you shouldn't have to worry about it. I have never heard of a permit being issued to have a scanner. If you do get pulled over and a cop sees it just tell him that you monitor your fire frequencies. Probably the only people that get bothered is the common citizen. Now I cant find any information on this, but the last time I heard scanners were not allowed in cars if they contain law enforcement frequencies. I think that is the only stipulation to having a scanner in his or her car.
 

NYBLS

Member
Oct 13, 2010
219
NY,USA
Just so everyone knows where I am getting this information from:


"New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits "equipping" a motor vehicle with a radio that is "capable" of receiving police frequencies unless one is a Peace Officer, has a permit, or is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as an amateur radio operator. "


But Rochester's law states:


"D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to peace officers, authorized technicians of the Police and Fire Departments or persons holding a permit from the Chief of Police."


Does EMS fall under this?
 

NYBLS

Member
Oct 13, 2010
219
NY,USA
Actual law:


397. EQUIPPING MOTOR VEHICLES WITH RADIO RECEIVING SETS CAPABLE OF RECEIVING SIGNALS ON THE FREQUENCIES ALLOCATED FOR POLICE USE.


"A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city, or village in a county having a county police department by the board of supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs."
 

paro22

Member
Jul 12, 2010
45
USA NY
I know many of my fellow vol FD/EMS members that use scanners. And especially in NY where vols respond to the station, its important to hear more dispatch info & updates than what comes out on the original page.


Has anyone actually been pulled over in a situtation where the LEO notices the scanner? What was the outcome?
 

GSPD

Member
May 21, 2010
159
NY
I believe the city of Rochester NY also has a law on the books that makes it illegal to use/operate a portable scanner on the streets. I think that includes monitoring fire frequencies also.
 

WNYEVS

Member
May 21, 2010
445
Brockport NY
GSPD said:
I believe the city of Rochester NY also has a law on the books that makes it illegal to use/operate a portable scanner on the streets. I think that includes monitoring fire frequencies also.

I believe you are correct.
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
How does New York characterize "Burgulary tools"? Some of these laws can be misapplied to emergency personnel just like scanner prohibitions. And the way I read the scanning provisions, if the frequencies were in a radio, it might be different than if they were in a separate scanner. And it may be time to repeal or amend the law. Most of the LEO and agencies have acquired encrypted channels for sensitive communications and are going to 800 MHz. Dispatches are "data" on a MDT with voice messages a reminder! Many people won't pay the costs for 800 MHz scanners, and Fire Departments still rely on VHF and UHF extensively throughout the United States.


We had a volunteer firefighter in one jurisdiction who had his "Door and window kit" seized by officers after a traffic stop. The firefighter had a nice kit with different wonder bars, channel locks, quality punches, screwdrivers, etc. and his turn out gear was evident. All the tools had a legitimate use in vehicle extrication or forcible entry. Whatever the reason for the traffic stop (speeding, etc), when the case went to court it was dismissed and the LEOs were chastized by the judge and the property returned.


(I suspect that we had an officer who thought he might gain some nice tools or put them into the police department property auction.)


But, in most southern states, you could have your unloaded pistol, hunting rifle or shotgun and ammunition in your truck or car and it is totally legal, but in TN if you have a fixed blade or lockback knife with a blade over four inches long and it is a "dangerous" weapon!


Nice quote from Will Rogers - "Common sense isn't as common as it used to be!"
 
Jul 14, 2010
1,639
S.W. Ohio USA
I'm sure this will draw some fire, but it seems to me New York has some ridiculous laws. I was warned years ago as I was preparing for a NYC vacation not to even think about carrying my weapon off duty. ( I was full time LE ) I would supposedly be arrested, cop or no cop.


I also understand a civilian can't have pepper spray or stun guns. Why so anti self defense? As a cop, I used to tell people the truth. You are responsible for your own safety. The police cannot, and will not, be everywhere to protect you. We usually arrive after the the damage is done to clean up the mess.


Seems criminals have easy pickings in areas where they know people can't legally protect themselves.
 

rwo978

Member
May 21, 2010
5,196
ND, USA
crescentstar69 said:
I'm sure this will draw some fire, but it seems to me New York has some ridiculous laws. I was warned years ago as I was preparing for a NYC vacation not to even think about carrying my weapon off duty. ( I was full time LE ) I would supposedly be arrested, cop or no cop.

I also understand a civilian can't have pepper spray or stun guns. Why so anti self defense? As a cop, I used to tell people the truth. You are responsible for your own safety. The police cannot, and will not, be everywhere to protect you. We usually arrive after the the damage is done to clean up the mess.


Seems criminals have easy pickings in areas where they know people can't legally protect themselves.


Well, that was years ago. Post HB218, you can now tell them where to go... ;) , especially with all the city bans being overturned this past year.
 

FDNY 10-75

Member
May 24, 2010
457
NY
Im not sure of the breakdown in the law as to the legality of laptops/phones as scanners (in NY), but you can listen to police/fire traffic on just about any smartphone. I somehow doubt the cops are going to arrest you for having a phone (but ya never know)...
 

philyumpshus

Member
Jun 20, 2010
1,284
Malone, NY
If you are volunteer Fire/EMS I can almost guarantee that the cops won't hassle you. I've never heard of anyone getting fined for having a scanner, especially if there's a legitimate use. The mobile radio I have in my truck has the local village PD in it and we are authorized to talk on it, so I don't see how having a scanner is worse than that. Besides, I hate listening to cops run plates all day; I keep my radio and scanner on the fire dispatch channels and that's it.
 

PJH

Member
May 23, 2010
501
CO Springs&West PointNY
It will be dependant on the person who stops you and what kind of interaction you and the officer has (and the violation that you are stopped for).


Legally, you are required to get a permit from the chief law enforcement officer of the town(s) you will be traveling too. Usually a permit from the sheriff's office will suffice for the entire county. If your involved in fire/ems there is a very high chance that there will not be a problem. However, I know of such folks in NYS who have been questioned by LEO's at checkpoints, traffic stops and similar situations..and not all positive. You will find more hassle (generally) in the more populated/metro areas of the state than in the boonies where fire/ems work very well with the LE and helps each other out.


So in short.... Unless your a FCC licensed ham or have a permit, its illegal no matter who you belong to. End of story.


Your milage will vary.


NYS has given tickets to hams operating their two-way radio under the cellphone distraction law. Initally those convictions have/had not been tossed. Ones getting them now are typically thrown out at court. Again, milage varies by justice court, traffic court, and all the other many courts that NY has.
 

kitn1mcc

Member
May 24, 2010
2,574
Old lyme ct
PJH said:
It will be dependant on the person who stops you and what kind of interaction you and the officer has (and the violation that you are stopped for).

Legally, you are required to get a permit from the chief law enforcement officer of the town(s) you will be traveling too. Usually a permit from the sheriff's office will suffice for the entire county. If your involved in fire/ems there is a very high chance that there will not be a problem. However, I know of such folks in NYS who have been questioned by LEO's at checkpoints, traffic stops and similar situations..and not all positive. You will find more hassle (generally) in the more populated/metro areas of the state than in the boonies where fire/ems work very well with the LE and helps each other out.


So in short.... Unless your a FCC licensed ham or have a permit, its illegal no matter who you belong to. End of story.


Your milage will vary.


NYS has given tickets to hams operating their two-way radio under the cellphone distraction law. Initally those convictions have/had not been tossed. Ones getting them now are typically thrown out at court. Again, milage varies by justice court, traffic court, and all the other many courts that NY has.

the ARRL will help getting tickets dismissed
 

PJH

Member
May 23, 2010
501
CO Springs&West PointNY
Doesn't quite work in NY....they tried with a few and have been told to pound sand. Unlike CT, NY courts are not centralized for most traffic infractions. In my county alone, there are 12 different justice courts..never mind the state court for the county.
 

wduda152

Member
Jun 5, 2010
90
Binghamton, NY
PJH said:
It will be dependant on the person who stops you and what kind of interaction you and the officer has (and the violation that you are stopped for).

Legally, you are required to get a permit from the chief law enforcement officer of the town(s) you will be traveling too. Usually a permit from the sheriff's office will suffice for the entire county. If your involved in fire/ems there is a very high chance that there will not be a problem. You will find more hassle (generally) in the more populated/metro areas of the state than in the boonies where fire/ems work very well with the LE and helps each other out.

Not necessarily true. The county in upstate NY I used to live in generally had a good repertoire with the local sheriff's department, yet they would bust balls about having scanners and radios in POVs, as well as running a combination of blue and amber in the rear or white up front.
 

patrol530

Member
May 23, 2010
1,016
Central Florida
Around '84, I was cited in upstate NY for having a scanner in my OH registered vehicle. Required an appearance, which resulted in a $25 fine. Also required the removal and impoundment of the radio until the disposition of the case was completed.
 

ffjwhite

Member
May 21, 2010
1,082
Bombay, NY
wduda152 said:
Not necessarily true. The county in upstate NY I used to live in generally had a good repertoire with the local sheriff's department, yet they would bust balls about having scanners and radios in POVs, as well as running a combination of blue and amber in the rear or white up front.

If you department is allowing members to Have Mobile radios then the PD cant do shit. Its a tool of the job.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
Just get your HAM license. You don't have to actually talk on the radio to have one. And it's good for 10 years.
 

PJH

Member
May 23, 2010
501
CO Springs&West PointNY
wduda152 said:
Not necessarily true. The county in upstate NY I used to live in generally had a good repertoire with the local sheriff's department, yet they would bust balls about having scanners and radios in POVs, as well as running a combination of blue and amber in the rear or white up front.
 

ffemt045

Member
May 24, 2010
198
belmont NY
Its not that hard to get a permit, or permission. Go to your local so or pd and get a letter from the sheriff or chief. Thats all we do here and were good to go.
 

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