A live police scanner is a real-time broadcast of dispatched emergency events reported by fire departments and law enforcement agencies. Live police scanners tune into radio channels, and individuals can use them to listen to live broadcasts and dispatches online. The scanners are available at retail stores.

Some local law enforcement agencies feature a live broadcast or scanner online to allow residents to stay on top of local crime or community notices. Private organizations have also created websites such as RadioReference.com and BroadCastify.com to serve as real-time online scanners. Some websites require users to register or sign up for a subscription.