Almost of all of the public safety agencies use a convetional radio system, which any basic police scanner can monitor. However, the state is in the process of building out a radio system that allows interoperability between all counties statewide. This system named
Montana Statewide Interoperable Public Safety Radio allows cities, counties, state and federal agencies to communicate on one statewide radio system. The system is all digital and will require a digital radio scanner to monitor radio traffic. This system would also allow public safety agencies to encrypt their radio transmissions when necessary, meaning no scanner would be able to monitor an encrypted radio transmission.
Unfortuantely, this is not good news for the scanner enthusiast when radio transmissions are encrypted. However, encryption may not be turned on 24/7, so, non-sensative radio traffic can be monitored without a problem when the time comes.
The National Parks uses a combination of conventional VHF and the all digital system.
Any basic scanner from low to high end will be able to monitor the state. However, we recommend a
digital police scanner to monitor the National Park System.
State of Montana Radio Reference
Highway Patrol Radio Reference