In noodling what a group of people roaming the city in search of public safety activity, it is true that I dread getting off my own duff to actually demonstrate it.
But consider that there are countless examples of energized populations that do very similar things -- albeit not for police scanning.
These groups would have some of the qualities, re-formulated a little, of all these:
What I would hope is that the love for a structured communication order and radios, cheap ones, would draw those personalities to begin thinking about forming such groups.
The re-formulation would result in such an operating group looking like a "club", perhaps with a rented headquarter office, meeting place, that is not only a place to administratively maintain the group, but a physical place for members to socialize, organize and host charity events, and so on, and so on. They would be radio-centric ala REACT and GMRS radio groups, be driven to find and report on public safety activity -- safely -- and have the blessing of local public safety who if not outright embracing them, would at least tolerate them (ala Shomrim), understanding the important social work that they accomplish. There would probably always be some degree of chaotic tension but ultimately I feel these groups are a thing I think they would cope along with just fine in the end.
In an enriched area with a strong group like this, the passive consumers who would prefer to just listen to police scanners as they always have, would use police scanners to listen in on the teeming activity of the active ones.
By Dave for for BuffScan.