One year at Christmas time, my dad told me that if I wanted to get him something special I could go out and look for police scanners. It seems that there are a lot of people in my fathers small town that like to have these. I guess it is because in such a small community it is nice to know what is going on, and usually when there is emergency most people know the other people involved. There have been many times when my father was made aware of a family illness from the information that has come over the scanner.
Most police scanners work in the same way. They can be tuned to the same frequency as the scanners that the police, fire, and emergency crews use when transmitting information. I always wondered if police scanners were illegal, but there are so many people that have them, I am guessing that they are perfectly fine to have in your home. I know that when I am at my dads I can hear everything that goes on through the police scanner, and sometimes the noise will make me jump.
I suspect if my dad lived in a larger area that the police scanners would be something he would not have. The small town he lives in does not have a lot of constant activity, so information coming over the police scanners is only once in awhile. Now, if he lived in a city, perhaps the scanner would not be such a good idea. There would be so much information, and so much going on that you would never get a moments peace. He would probably also not know most of the names he heard, so it would be of little interest to him.
If you are interested in police scanners, be prepared to spend a little money when buying. In the end, we did not end up buying my father one for Christmas because the police scanners we found were all too expensive for our buying budget. He did go out get one of his own that year, and told us that once he realized how much they were, he was glad that we did not spend that much money on him. I would have had no problem doing so, but it was simply not something we could afford. In the end it was probably a good idea that he got his own however, as he was able to choose the exact one he wanted.
Ralph Jarvis runs his own mail order business as well as running several shopping based websites. His particular speciality is electronics and computers. Visit his website which is full of Consumer Electronics resources or other Police Scanners articles and reviews.