Arlington Heights police radio dispatch communications have been encrypted since June 2013. There are no police scanners known to the public that can monitor police dispatch communications in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Fire department communications are not encrypted, but require expensive ($500 +) Digital P25 Phase 2 TDMA scanners from Uniden or Whistler.

Users have reported problems with monitoring Phase 2 TDMA systems, and the source of the trouble has been determined to be caused by a scanner’s inability to process simulcast signals coming into the radio from multiple towers in the area where radio signals are not input at the exact same time. The problem can be remedied in radios used in stationary situations by connecting a Yagi directional antenna pointed in the direction of one of the towers, instead of an omni-directional antenna, which picks up all towers.


A Yagi antenna can block signals coming from perpendicular directions, which prevents the processing problems with the Phase 2 TDMA scanner receiver.

Uniden claims that their Uniden SDS100 and SDS200 radios can handle the simulcast issue (presumably without extra antenna expense). Uniden claims the two radios provide digital performance that is better in both simulcast and weak-signal environments. The two radios incorporate the latest True I/Q receiver technology, which provides the best digital decode performance in the industry, even in challenging receive environments.

Yagi antennas designed for cell phone use in remote areas may work, but it might be difficult to find adapters for connections.

Regular TV antennas, such as the RCA Compact Outdoor Antenna may work fine (even in an attic or the room where the radio is located), but you have to turn them on their boom axis 90 degrees so that the elements are perpendicular to the ground, instead of horizontal to the ground. The boom is the long metal that multiple elements and directors are affixed to perpendicularly. You also may need a special coax-to-BNC adapter to connect the cable coax to the radio antenna input.