View Full Version : 10 codes uniform?

04-24-2001, 12:32 PM
I recently got on with Chickasaw Alabama's Auxiliary. Volunteers do double duty here, pull time for both the PD and Fire Rescue.

CPD uses both 10 codes (10-4 etc.) and signal codes (Signal 39 for domestic call).

Is there any standard with these codes and signals or does it vary state to state?

Also wondering if the phonetic alphabet is standard - I know our PD is different from the what we use in the National Guard Military Police unit.

Any webaddress with this info?

Also wondering if the phonetic alphabit is standard - I know our city's is different from the military.

Any webaddress with this info?

04-24-2001, 12:40 PM
Ten codes can differ considerably. The "signal" code you refer to is one that I've never been exposed to.

You might do an internet search and see if there is a ham club in your area. They will often post this information.

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
6P1 (retired)

Guard Dog
04-24-2001, 02:22 PM
Our agency has basically gone to common/plain language except for the basic 10-4 10-9 and 10-50 ( vehicle crash) Many agencies have done so becuase the 10 codes may get confusing and are different from agency to agency.

The phonetic alphabet is also different from agency to agency. Some say A-ABLE B-BAKER C-CHARLIE some are A-Alfa B-Bravo C-Charles and ours is A-ADAM B-BOY etc etc. Hams use the international version which is the same as air traffic uses worldwide. Not very commonly used in the civilain LE work.

Best bet is to get a copy from the agency. They should have one to give you.

"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." General George S. Patton

04-24-2001, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Guard Dog:
Hams use the international version which is the same as air traffic uses worldwide. Not very commonly used in the civilain LE work.

Best bet is to get a copy from the agency. They should have one to give you.

Hmmm, guess I was a little "unclear" with my meaning here. I agree with your post Guard, however, what I SHOULD have said is that some of the ham sights, post the local radio frequencies in use, as well as the local codes. http://www.officer.com/ubb/redface.gif

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
6P1 (retired)

John from Maryland
04-24-2001, 02:57 PM
Don't count on 10-50 meaning a traffic accident. A 10-50 for us is an officer-in-trouble call. State Police use 10-50 for an accident which occasionally results in all sorts of hilarity when monitoring scanner traffic.

04-24-2001, 03:40 PM
Here 10-50 means use caution, usually when the person you're with has a history. 10-44/45 is minor/major accident.

God, I love my job!-Porthos

04-24-2001, 05:13 PM
10-50 is a traffic stop for me.

04-24-2001, 07:13 PM
10 codes and "signals" are USUALLY similar and somewhat uniform. However, it best just to get a copy from either your academy director or Sgt. For example, all previous academy sessions prior to mine, were taught a standard "10-code" (10-0 to 10-100) were are now only taught a select few 10-codes and use "plain language" for everything else sine the departments in the region all now have the calability to switch to everyone else's freq. on their radios, this minimizes confusion,


04-24-2001, 08:07 PM
Check out the standard APCO codes. Many departments have the same or similar codes.

The X-Cop
04-24-2001, 09:06 PM
The department that I worked for didn't use 10-codes. When I first hired on I was surprised. The dispatcher would just make a request."I need a south central unit to copy a BMV, theft, disturbance, etc." and we would answer up and the information would be given to us.

If there we no units available, then a central or west unit, if he was close enough would leave his district long enough to run the call.

Guard Dog
04-24-2001, 09:28 PM
Everyone basically made the point quite clear that there isn't a 10 code standard.
We used 10-78 for Officer needs assistance. That same code was used by another agency nearby for I'll be out the the car checking.

A street Lt called 10-78 at a location and the dispatcher, previously with that other agency , said 10-4. A couple of our cars hearing the tension in the Lt's voice responded. The Lt called back and said "That means "I NEED HELP COUNTY".

Plain language is best. No confusion that way. We just say it like it is. Squad such and such, copy a fight, and then they give the info. Makes it simple.

"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." General George S. Patton

04-24-2001, 09:29 PM
It would be nice if there was a uniform code nation wide, but hey, lots a luck. Many agencies cann't even exist together, let alone use the same codes!

04-24-2001, 09:34 PM
In TN, a 10-50 is 'No traffic here', or 'Negative'. Florida is fun....trying to learn all the 10-codes AND all the dispatch signals(about 200+ in all).....whoooooweeeeeee!


04-24-2001, 09:37 PM
10 Codes are different depending on where you are working and can be even within the organization itself.

Here's a funny story about 10 codes. I left the Force to return to school and got a part-time job with the local Police Service. My first night working the CPIC section I responded to a warrant check using codes from the old job...after a dead silence for about 45 seconds...a sheepish voice asked "what does this have to do a sudden death and barking dogs"...ooops...sorry wrong 10 code.

It was funny at the time but obviously using the wrong 10 code could prove disasterous in another scenario.

We use a standard "military" Alpha, Bravo, Charlie phoenitic alphabet here in Canada...I always get confused when y'all start talking about Apples and Oranges...lol!

Play And Stay Safe...Wear Your Vest!

04-24-2001, 10:07 PM
As has been stated, plain language is best.

The 10 codes we use are the same as the City's and DPS, although DPS has a few wrenches thrown in.

Phonetic alphabet is different, though. City uses the "International" alphas (alpha, brovo, etc) that Guard Dog mentioned, while we use the "Civilian" (adam, boy, charlie,etc.)

I have also seen (on COPS-don't hit me http://www.officer.com/ubb/smile.gif ) an agency that uses Q signals.(the same ones hams use and are standard worldwide-for hams, anyway) The only problem with the Q's is there are a LOT of them.

Plain language is best, that way there is no confusion.

BTW, 10-50 here is car crash. 10-13 is a weather report here, but in NM (a few years ago anyway) 10-13 was a stolen airplane. That caused some hilarity a few years back, when NM put out a BOLO on a 10-13 in a TTY.

Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.


04-24-2001, 11:52 PM
Phonetic Alphabet:



10-1 Reception Poor
10-2 Reception Good
10-3 Stop Transmitting
10-4 Message Received
10-6 Busy
10-8 Available for Service
10-9 Repeat
10-10 Off Duty
10-15 Prisoner In Custody
10-16 Pick Up Prisoner
10-19 Return To Station
10-20 Request Location
10-21 Telephone
10-22 Cancel
10-23 Standby
10-27 DL Info.
10-28 Vehicle Reg.
10-29 Wants and Warrants
10-33 Request Emg. Clearence
10-36 Confidential Info.

10-97 Arrived At Scene
10-98 Call Completed, 10-8
11-10 Take A Report
11-44 Coroner Requested
11-80 TC Major Injury
11-81 TC Minor Injury
11-82 TC No Injury
11-85 Tow Requested
11-98 Meet The Officer
11-99 Officer Down, CODE 3

CODE 1: Handle call at convenience
CODE 2: Handle call ASAP
CODE 3: Handle call w/ lights and siren
CODE 4: Scene OK
CODE 7: 10-6 for food
CODE 33: Emg. Transmission only

WOWSERS!! That was a lot. we use about 10% of the 10 codes though http://www.officer.com/ubb/smile.gif Gotta run, see ya

Stay Safe Everyone!

Matthew Frank

04-25-2001, 12:12 AM

That is very good, at least for region P. However, it is not the ten code, or the phonetics used in some of the other Sheriff's Offices or Police Departments in California.

I have to believe that the use of codes is outmoded and is more of an officer safety issue than it is a help. Studies have shown (by Lakewood CO for one) that "plain speak" is easier to understand, and takes less air time than the use of codes.

As far as trying to keep the codes secret, forget it. Anybody with a scanner, a little time, and half a brain can figure out what we are talking about anyway.

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
6P1 (retired)

04-25-2001, 12:41 AM
Yes, Don, I defineately agree with you with the officer safety issue. However, I do think that sometimes it save time. For example. Here, instead of saying Ive arrived at the station so I can write reports, you say 10-19 11-10. Instead of saying Ive arrived at the scene, you can say 10-97 (97 for short). There are pros and cons for each.

Stay Safe Everyone!

Matthew Frank

04-25-2001, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by John from Maryland:
Don't count on 10-50 meaning a traffic accident. A 10-50 for us is an officer-in-trouble call. State Police use 10-50 for an accident which occasionally results in all sorts of hilarity when monitoring scanner traffic.

Around here, even though we use 10 codes, "Radio, SEND ME SOME CARS!!!" or usually more colorful traffic mean Officer in Trouble. http://www.officer.com/ubb/smile.gif

Take Care and STAY SAFE!!!

04-25-2001, 01:42 AM
I wish the Chief's association would get together and adopt a uniform 10 code list for any department who wanted to use them instead of plain speech. Around here, there are three different codes. First there are the 10-codes, then there are codes, then there are signals. Our 10 codes are just about the same as the ones posted above, but here a Signal 7 is officer needs help. In addition to the signals, there is also a whole list of codes. A Code 17 means report made, Code 3 means assistance given, etc. As to keeping them secret...the department provides a list of all 10-codes/codes/signals to anyone who requests one. I still don't understand why everyone can't just use the same phonetic alphabet...that is going to be really confusing to me when I go into LE since I'm a pilot too. I'm sure I will get them mixed up now and again.

04-25-2001, 06:30 AM
yo slo,

I work N of U.....we use the 9-code......our SO counterparts use the 10-codes that you listed....I recognized some of them.......such as 11-99(chills down my spine when I hear it)...we use CODE900 instead.

po po


04-25-2001, 07:12 AM
We use plain English in our county. At one time, before I arrived, we had adjoining agencies using 9 code, 10 code and 11 code. Confusing.

Quick story: I came from Stanislaus County to Santa Cruz County. One day, my dispatcher told me to meet my Sgt. at Oak Tree Villa for a Code 7. I'm thinking, "O.K. My Sgt. wants to have lunch with me. A little strange on the location, but O.K." I get there and see the ambulance and fire rescue. Turns out, over here, Code 7 is "deceased person." Oops.

04-25-2001, 10:26 AM
We use 10 codes and "dispatch signals" for calls... In our region, our 10 codes are similar throughout the area departments. However, we use "signals" when dispatched to calls. For example: "6000"=theft, "1100"=death investigation, "7827"=traffic stop. I know, kinda confusing, but you get used to it.

Oh and I know some depts. use 10-50 for traffic crash (TC), we use it for "no messages, or negative".

Without the support of our fellow officers, sometimes we have no support at all.

04-25-2001, 12:49 PM
So J. what was it, tacos or spaghetti? http://www.officer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
6P1 (retired)

04-25-2001, 01:16 PM
10-Codes for the RCMP in Canada.

10- 1 Signal Weak
10- 2 Signal Good
10- 3 Stop Transmitting
10- 4 Affirmative (OK)
10- 5 Relay Information to ______
10- 6 Busy
10- 7 Out of Service
10- 8 In Service
10- 9 Say Again
10-10 Negative
10-11 Roadside Check (Vehicle,Location,Tag Information)
10-12 Standby - Stop
10-13 Existing Conditions
10-14 Message/Information
10-15 Message Delivered
10-16 Reply to Message
10-17 Enroute
10-18 Urgent
10-19 (In) Contact
10-20 Location
10-21 Call _____ by Phone
10-22 Disregard
10-23 Arrived at Scene
10-24 Assignment Complete
10-25 Report to (Meet)
10-26 Estimated Time of Arrival
10-27 Licence/Permit Info
10-28 Ownership Info
10-29 Record Check (Per/Veh/Boat/CNI-CRS File)
10-30 Danger use caution - A=Armed and Dangerous
C=Contagious Disease E=Escapee M=Mental
S=Suicidal V=Violent
10-31 Pick-up
10-32 Units needed (Specify number, type)
10-33 Help Me Quick
10-34 Time
10-35 Off Duty
10-36 On Duty
10-40 Possible Hit Persons/Vehicle/Property
10-41 Possible Hit Now Confirmed
10-42 Pers/Veh in SIP Category (Observation)
10-43 Person in Parole Category
10-44 Person in Charged Category
10-45 Person in Elopee Category
10-46 Person in Prohibited Category D=Driving
F=Firearms H=Hunting L=Liquor
10-60 Danger - Violent towards police
10-61 Station Calling - Identify
10-62 Unauthorized Listeners
10-63 Tow Truck Required (Location)
10-64 Ambulance Required - Location
10-65 Escort (Prisoner/Mental)
10-68 Breathalyzer Required
10-69 CPIC Entry - 24 Hour Suspension
10-70 Update Status (Are You OK)
10-71 Complaint Dispatch
10-72 Armed Robbery
10-73 Alarm (Location)
10-74 False Alarm (Confirmed)
10-76 On Portable
10-77 At Residence
10-78 At Office
10-79 Slow Computer Response
10-80 Subject - Probation Category
10-81 Record - Violence
10-82 Record - Robbery
10-83 Record - Weapons
10-84 Record - Break and Enter
10-85 Record - Auto Theft
10-86 Record - Theft
10-87 Record - Drugs
10-88 Record - Fraud
10-89 Record - Sex
10-90 Record - Other Criminal Code
10-91 Record - Federal Statutes
10-92 Record - Other Statutes
10-93 VIP Surveillance
10-94 CISS Subject
10-95 Fail to Appear
10-96 No Convictions
10-97 Record - Driving Conviction
10-98 Meal Break
10-99 Coffee Break

INTERNATIONAL used by Canadian and American Military





A = Alcohol
B = Bacardi
C = Champagne
D = Daiquiri
E = Everclear
F = Frangelico
G = Gin
H = Heineken
I = Irish Cream
J = Jack Daniels
K = Kahlua
L = Long Island Ice Tea
M = Margarita
O = Olive
P = Pina Colada
Q = Quickie
R = Rum
S = Scotch
T = Tequila
U = Umbrella
V = Vodka
W = Whiskey
X = Dos Equis XX
Y = Yukon Gold
Z = Zima


A- Alcohol: The key to surviving college
B- Beer: It's what's for dinner...and breakfast and lunch
C- Class: What you're supposed to get up and go to after last night's party
D- Dancing: A favorite pastime of almost every drunk usually looks pathetic
E- Emergency: The keg is empty or there is no one over 21 in your drinking party
F- F%&$ed Up: Signified by leaning over a toilet puking your guts out
G- Games: Anything that involves cards, stripping and chugging beers
H- Hangover: Reminds you of how great last night was and how much you drank
I- Idiot: What you look like after doing a lap dance on a fat kid after just three beers
J- Jail: Where you'll end up after trying to use a fake ID or stagger home at 5 am
K- Kissing: What you'll do to anything that moves after 15 beers
L- Lord: Person you beg to get you out of every situation involving alcohol
M- Money: That which you no longer have due to two dollar draft nite at the bar
N- Not Again!: What you scream when you wake up beside someone you don't know...again
O- Oh sh%&!: What you say as you're falling down the stairs
P- Pee: What you have to do every five minutes while you're drinking beer
Q- Quit: What you promise to do after spending the nite in jail with Bertha the Bearded Transvestite
R- Reform: What you promise God you will do while you're puking in the toilet
S- Sex: What you did with that person you met last night while you were drunk...
T- Twenty-one: Usually the age where you reach your peak of drinking
U- Underage: Most of the drinking population in town
V- Vodka: The mother of all alcohol's and the best way to make Jell-O shots.
W- Worm: The part of Tequila that reminds you of the porcelain God.
X- X-ray: How they can see into your stomach before they pump it(detox).
Y- Yourself: The one who drinks WAY TOO MUCH every weekend.
Z- Zima: Zomething Different....Zomething Fun

04-25-2001, 07:58 PM
Those are "H" Division 10 codes WannaBe...they are different here in "J" from about 10-60 on up to 10-102.

As I noted in my previous post, even 10 codes within the same organization are different from Division to Division.

Play And Stay Safe...Wear Your Vest!

04-25-2001, 09:55 PM

A. Signals
1. Call your post
2. Call Headquarters
3. Change to Channel ___
Traffic from ______
4. Report to Headquarters
5. Report to your post
6. Call