Best Public Service: Internet rebroadcast of the police scanner

Broadcastify has the police scanner in real time, allowing you, the citizen, to eavesdrop on our police and firefighters as they go about the business of keeping us safe. The broadcasts are public domain, of course, but you used to have to buy a scanner to hear them. Now they can stream straight from your computer or smartphone. The chatter is captivating, sometimes heart-breaking, always educational. It can also be entertaining. Eric Eberhart ( added ethereal music to his feed, which features many of the major American cities. It’s also delayed about a quarter second, so if you run it and the Broadcastify feed at the same time you get an eerie, echoed effect that’s hypnotic—if not as conducive to journalism as the single feed.

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