Cell phone app for police scanners - WFLA News Channel 8

Cell phone app for police scanners

Posted: Updated:
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

When Pinellas deputies finally caught up with home invasion suspect Terry Lamar James Friday, after an involved chase, they made a surprising discovery.  An Iphone in the stopped SUV was broadcasting police radio communications.  "It was very clear to us as to what happened.  The reason they knew they were being followed was because of what they were hearing on the radio,  " said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas county.

A woman passenger in the SUV had a police scanner app on her phone.  Traditional radio scanners pick-up communications from various law enforcement agencies in the area.  Now anyone can download a mobile app for their phone that does the same thing.  There are dozens to choose from and some are even free.

St. Petersburg and Largo police departments don't report encountering this problem yet, and this was the first time for the Pinellas Sheriff's Office.  "Especially in the middle of surveillance, in the middle of a very significant operation, a very dangerous situation," said Gualtieri.

Each state has it's own laws and rules concerning the mobile apps.

In Florida, the apps are legal.  " I think law enforcement has to be very careful. This is probably going to happen more and more....as more people have the apps," said Gualtieri.

Law enforcement agencies have encrypted frequencies they can use to transmit communication that are not open to the public.  In the case of the chase last Friday, there were three different agencies involved and it developed so quickly, the alternate frequencies were not an option, according to Sheriff Gualtieri.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Obama: Easter a time to reflect on hope, renewal

    Obama: Easter a time to reflect on hope, renewal

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:53:40 GMT
    President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to draw strength and inspiration from the Easter and Passover holidays.
    President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to draw strength and inspiration from the Easter and Passover holidays.
  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week

    Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:11:39 GMT
    The search coordination center says an underwater robotic submarine is expected to finish searching a narrowed down area of the Indian Ocean seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within the next week,...
    A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a week after so far coming up empty, and the search area may be expanded after...
  • Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:47:28 GMT
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.