1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    10-Codes Still in Use?

    I am curious if 10-Codes are still common place in WI. I know there has been a movement towards plain-talk, and I'm asking because it would seem silly to spend my time with 10-Code flash cards if indeed academies are no longer requiring them. All replies are appreciated-- thank you!


  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The agency I work for still uses them. It's not like we use every 10 code out there but we use just the common ones. Personally I wouldn't really bother going crazy studying 10 codes other than maybe the few that are commonly used. The other issue is places like Milwaukee use their own 10 codes that don't have a lot in common with other agencies.

    Off hand I think we basically only use...
    10-0 use caution
    10-1 can't copy signal
    10-2 used more or less as "I'm 10-2" or "your signal is 10-2" as in I'm okay, situation is okay or I copy you just fine
    10-4 acknowledged
    10-6 busy
    10-7 out of service
    10-8 back in service
    10-9 repeat
    10-10 fight
    10-12 stand by
    10-16 domestic fight
    10-18 complete assignment quickly
    10-19 return
    10-20 location
    10-21 phone call
    10-22 disregard
    10-23 on location
    10-27 driver info
    10-28 plate info
    10-29 check for warrants
    10-32 gun
    10-33 emergency
    10-41 on duty
    10-42 off duty
    10-50 accident
    10-55 drunk driver
    10-56 drunk pedestrian
    10-60 in area
    10-61 in contact
    10-99 warrant

  3. #3
    Barefoot Ninja
    SRT936's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    State Patrol still uses them, but most local agencies have abandoned them.The only ones we use anymore are 10-4 and 10-99 (warrant).
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
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    Thank you for rescuing me from being the biggest idiot on this forum.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Thank you for the replies. Seems like some general 10-Code knowledge (the basics) may be good, but I won't invest too much time into it. It won't take long to commit a dozen flash cards to memory. Thanks again, and have a good day.

  5. #5
    Tinfoil Hat Engineer
    sgt jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Under the Radar
    10-Codes are in use from coast to coast but should be going away under what is known as the “plain talk initiative” . This is intended to facilitate seamless interoperability during joint operations where disparate radio codes and local jargon can cause issues. Further, under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) plain-talk is mandated for the same reasons.

    Mind you this does not mean that agencies will not continue to use standard or regional 10-codes during routine communications, but there is a real push to remove them completely to avert the potential revision to them during an emergency.

    Reference and further reading: http://psc.apcointl.org/2011/08/25/t...to-plain-talk/

  6. #6
    Gang Tactic Mode

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Dane County, WI
    It all depends on the county. In the county where I work full time, all of the municipalities use plain speak. However the deputies still use 10 codes. I work part time in a different county. Everyone uses 10 codes. There is little plain speak there. All calls, including routine calls like parking complaints and animal carcasses in the roadway, are dispatched via 10 code
    and there is no talk of switching.
    "I assume you all have guns and crack."

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    WI Ranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    The forest I work in is located in three counties. The northern county is 10-code heavy, the mid one is a bit less so, and the southern one is rather lax. We dispatch through State Patrol and their 10-codes aren't all the exact same as the northern county's. Our forest radio frequency is plain speak because we have civilian customer service and maintenance workers. I wouldn't worry about the 10-codes, you will pick them up as you use them. In our squads we have a laminated list of the codes on our visor. That's what I would suggest.
    "The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."--Thucydides

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    We use very little radio traffic anymore, but when we do, we do use some of the 10-codes. I wouldn't worry about learning them all because like others have said each agency is different. You will learn the ones that are important in your agency during FTO.
    "My faith, my country and my family will guide me; nothing more, nothing less" -Gen. Tommy Franks

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    chiefjack's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    California Central Coast
    According to the NIMS requirements, we are all supposed to dump the 10, 11, 12, Signal, and all other number codes and go to "Clear Text" or plain language. NIMS compliance was required about 5 years ago. Many LE organizations have not made the change and probably won't until the Federal Government forces them to. (cutting off Fed. Disaster Grant funding)

    Last edited by chiefjack; 10-23-2012 at 05:09 PM.

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