What Kind of Radios Do Police Use? – 4 Common Types

Radios play an important role in our lives, as it is an excellent source of information, entertainment and communication.

Furthermore, it is one of the gears used by law enforcement. But what kind of radios do police use? They use two-way radios, which can provide instant communication including sending messages and receiving signals especially during emergencies.

What Type of Radios Do Police Use?


1. Two-Way Radios

A police two way radio is an effective and efficient lightweight device that functions as a transmitter and as a receiver of signals in terms of communication.

These police portable radios allow officers and dispatchers to respond to emergencies quickly, and request backups when chasing suspected criminals. On top of that, it is an excellent asset since two-way radios work even when communication lines are down.

Two-way radios use radio waves to traverse through the air and get coverage within the same frequencies as other radio devices.

In the US, police officers use P25 two-way radio, a standard for radio interoperability in giving the capability of walkie-talkies to function in other systems and networks.

2. POC Radios

POC Radios transmits and receives radio signals to mobile network infrastructures so as to provide nationwide coverage and even anywhere in the world. It generally works as a two-way radio with added features of that like a mobile phone device.

Typically, the police use this by pressing a button to communicate and then releasing it by lifting their finger to listen or receive a message.

The police also use this type of radio and it features mapping and GPS navigation, group video and voice communication among security officers.

Since POC Radios are linked with mobile network providers, it uses an active sim card to get real-time communication as long as your receiver is using 3G/4G/LTE and 5G networks, hence its unlimited range in every corner of the world.

3. Mobile Two-Way Radios

Aside from portable two-way radios, police also use mobile two-way radios. This police car radio equipment is installed in the dashboard of the vehicle, and is useful for police who are on the road and can respond to distress calls.

Police use CB Radios (also known as Citizens Band Radio) such as the Uniden Beartracker 885 to keep track of any transmissions from the public while patrolling on duty.

4. Base Station Two-Way Radio

These base station two-way radios are the ones that are not portable and are stationed in one place with a computer and in a nearby power supply. Moreover, they are used to communicate with other base station radios and serve as a type of “hub” for other radio devices.

For police officers, these are used as a communication tool to connect users to radios such as Motorola police radios, dispatch fleets for emergency services and other logistic functions.

Generally, these base station two-way radios are found in police headquarters or police departments. It uses an antenna to get the widest coverage and uses about 25-50 watts of power.

What Frequencies Do Police Use?

The frequency used in a two-way radio which can track police frequencies is around 700-800MHz. However, you have to keep in mind that these frequencies may vary and can depend on your location.

In a police scanner, there are frequencies that could range from 46 to 475 MHz, the latter being the frequency wherein distress calls from the public occur which causes police officers to respond and take action.

Also, check this guide to know how to track police frequency if you needed.

Can the Public Listen to Police Radio?


Yes, it is possible. So what kind of radio do you need to listen to police communications? You can listen to police radio by using a police scanner. In the US, it is actually legal to do so considering that radio waves are meant for the public.

Police scanners can act as a radio device which comes in many forms including a portable device, a computer-like device or an app which you can download on your phone. An example of a police scanner app is the 5-0 Radio Scanner, which allows you to listen to police radio and learn some of their codes.

How Do Police Walkie Talkies Work?

Walkie-Talkies are battery-operated portable radio devices which use radio waves and frequencies to communicate with one person to another. These are transceivers, meaning they can both transmit and receive messages.

Since walkie-talkies are lightweight devices, it can function as a police shoulder radio where the microphone is in close proximity with the user’s mouth which can be advantageous in situations wherein police are doing an investigation.

What Are Walkie Talkie Channels for Police?


When police use walkie talkies, they have to tune in to the same channel or frequency band. The Public Safety Communications come in many channels from 25MHz-50MHz channels to 5.9GHz bands.

Does the Police Use VHF or UHF?

Police use UHF in broadcasting frequencies at around 700-800MHz UHF band. With an antenna, this can cover a wide range of areas and can penetrate through structures around the city.


Now that you have learned what kind of radios do police use, they use two-way radios or walkie talkies to easily convey messages and provide assistance with fellow police officers in times of crucial situations and when the need for back ups arises.

Please feel free to share this article and share your thoughts with us. We hope that we were able to give you useful information and that you have learned new and interesting facts about police radios.

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