Radio Amateurs

The foillowing copy of the Florida Statutes concerning having a scanner or Xcvr in your vehicle(s) capable of tuning police and fire rescue frequencies.

I hope you will include this in your web site and club news letter. Your callsign was the latest "contact". Please "forward" to your club's new "contact" or webmaster.

This was prompted by a few incidents during the past year's hurricane season. Many individuals volunteered many hours and they used their own equipment. During this time a few law enforcement officers became curious as to how a non-law enforcement individual could monitor police and other radios. Needless to say, it became necessary to offer a few long-winded explanations without any supporting substance.

Please refer to Section 3 which sites the exemption.

You are encouraged to placea folded copyof the law in a sealable sandwich bag. This is kept in the glove compartment of each vehicle at my home. Ideally it would be great to have a copy in your wallet but I found this to be too cumbersome - don't forget a copy of your amateur radio license.

State of Florida Mobile Scanner Law

Source:
FLORIDA STATUTES (1995) -
Title 46, CRIMES; Ch. 843, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE; § 843.16
843.16 Unlawful to install radio equipment using assigned frequency of
state or law enforcement officers; definitions; exceptions; penalties

(1) No person, firm, or corporation shall install in any motor vehicle or  business establishment, except an emergency vehicle or crime watch  vehicle as herein defined or a place established by munincipal,
county, state, or federal authority for governmental purposes, any frequency modulation radio receiving equipment so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to police or law enforcement officers of any city or county of the state or to the state or any of its agencies. Provided, nothing herein shall be construed to affect any radio station licensed by the Federal communications Commission or to affect any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis or any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to Part II of Chapter 489, Operating a Central Monitoring System.

(2) As used in this section, the term:

(a) "Emergency vehicle" shall specifically mean:

1. Any motor vehicle used by any law enforcement officer or employee of any city, any county, the state, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Armed Forces of the United States while on official business;

2. Any fire department vehicle of any city or county of the state or any state fire department vehicle;

3. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the state;

4. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the sheriff of any county in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said county

5. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the chief of police of any city in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said city.

(b) "Crime watch vehicle" means any motor vehicle used by any person participating in a citizen crime watch or neighborhood watch program when such program and use are approved in writing by the appropriate sheriff or chief of police where the vehicle will be used and the vehicle is assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the county or city. Such approval shall be renewed annually.

(3) This section shall not apply to any holder of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission or to any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis or any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to Part II of Chapter 489, Operating a Central Monitoring System.

(4) Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.