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Local scanner pages, pros and cons

Many towns in Maine have scanner pages where people post what they hear on the scanner and from other members of the community. But what's the benefit?

BANGOR, Maine — It seems like these scanner pages are popping up all over the state. They're a place where members of a specific community can talk about what is happening in their town or county and a place for people who regularly listen to local police scanners to post what they're hearing.

"Some people say we're nosey and maybe we are," Robert Kearns said.

Kearns and his girlfriend, Shannon Denbow run the PENOBSCOT COUNTY Area Scanner Page.

The page was started on May 9, 2019, and there are already 10,532 people in the group.

"Some people leave their TV on, some people listen to the radio, we pay attention to what's going on," Kearns said.

Police want to encourage the public to go to them when they see or hear something unusual, instead of going to their local scanner page.

"So one of the things I've noticed with scanner page activity across the entire state of Maine is things get blown out of proportion," Sgt. Wade Betters with Bangor Police said.

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The scanner social media page administrators and those who post on the pages aren't necessarily doing anything wrong.

"These people do have a right. If it's on the scanner they can obviously publish that," Lt. Brent Beaulieu with Bangor Police said.

False information or gossip doesn't just show up on Facebook.

"In any investigation, serious investigation we'll have people call in that either embellish information... information's not factual... we have to vet all information we receive in an investigation," Beaulieu said.

And sometimes scanner pages find things out that police don't want to be released to the public just yet.

"If someone is deceased we may not want the suspect to know that," Beaulieu added.

As far as the relationship between local scanner pages and police, "there really hasn't been much of a relationship," Denbow said.

Denbow and Kearns told NEWS CENTER Maine the response in the community has been mixed.

"I get mixed reviews. I get everything from downright death threats to needles on the back of my van," Denbow said.

The couple wants to inform the community, and not interfere with police.

"The first rule of our page is to not hinder police work whatsoever," Kearns said.

Police want to remind everyone it's your right to post on social media... but think before you do.

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