Dawn, Your Chinese made Baofeng radios are NOT type accepted and will likely transmit outside the amateur bands. This is why the FCC recently band their importation. While it is legal to listen to emergency services; some states do make it illegal to do so while in a vehicle, it is always illegal to transmit on a FCC non-type accepted radio on emergency services frequencies even with permission from that emergency service. In other words, listening to emergency services is OK, transmitting is not. Once you successfully take, pass and get a call sign from the FCC you will be able to legally transmit on some amateur bands. You will also have a better understanding on how/why amateur radio frequencies are interlaced with emergency services frequencies. You can find data on repeaters in your area at: http://repeaterbook.com If you have the ‘Proper’ cable you can program your Baofeng radio with the data found there by using the Chirp program.