WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It's chatter between law enforcement during what can be intense moments.
But now, more and more poeple are tuning into those conversations with dozens of free scanner apps.
"I'm not really a fan of it. I don't think it is a good idea because if people want to do things with bad intentions, they would be informed of what is going on," Tracy Brown said.
According to CNN, over 150,000 people listened to Boston Police last week as they searched for the marathon bombers.
"To give them the ability to listen is problematic and downright dangerous for police officers," former Boca Police chief and security expert Andrew Scott said.
He thinks scanner apps should be illegal.
"Just think about the spider web of communication. You have an individual who is listening to a particular call for service that is going out. It is not known to the general public yet, and now that individual gets it out to the tweet world, the Facebook world, and the internet world," Scott said.
Scott says the raises the risk police could be ambushed.
Many agencies are turning to encrypted channels, but that can also become a problem when many jurisdictions need to listen in.