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The Real Meanings of Police 10 Codes

Posted By:  |  August 28, 2013  |  0 Comment(s)

In 1937 due to limited communication channels Charles “Charlie” Hopper, Communications Director for the Illinois State Police, developed the “10 code” for police radio communication. Charlie’s intention was to create something of a shorthand for officers to use on the radio. These 10 Codes spread like wildfire among police departments and officers and quickly became standard among law enforcement agencies across the United States.

While the meaning of some codes vary among jurisdictions, most of the more commonly used ones, such as 10-4 and 10-20, are similar across the board. Law enforcement agencies, in recent years, have started to migrate back to using plain speech. However, many of the 10 Codes are still used by more experienced officers.

  • 10-0 Caution
  • 10-1 Unable to copy — change location
  • 10-2 Signal good
  • 10-3 Stop transmitting
  • 10-4 Acknowledgement (OK)
  • 10-5 Relay
  • 10-6 Busy — stand by unless urgent
  • 10-7 Out of service
  • 10-8 In service
  • 10-9 Repeat
  • 10-10 Fight in progress
  • 10-11 Dog case
  • 10-12 Stand by (stop)
  • 10-13 Weather — road report
  • 10-14 Prowler report
  • 10-15 Civil disturbance
  • 10-16 Domestic disturbance
  • 10-17 Meet complainant
  • 10-18 Quickly
  • 10-19 Return to …
  • 10-20 Location
  • 10-21 Call … by telephone
  • 10-22 Disregard
  • 10-23 Arrived at scene
  • 10-24 Assignment completed
  • 10-25 Report in person (meet) …
  • 10-26 Detaining subject, expedite
  • 10-27 Drivers license information
  • 10-28 Vehicle registration information
  • 10-29 Check for wanted
  • 10-30 Unnecessary use of radio
  • 10-31 Crime in progress
  • 10-32 Man with gun
  • 10-33 Emergency
  • 10-34 Riot
  • 10-35 Major crime alert
  • 10-36 Correct time
  • 10-37 (Investigate) suspicious vehicle
  • 10-38 Stopping suspicious vehicle
  • 10-39 Urgent — use light, siren
  • 10-40 Silent run — no light, siren
  • 10-41 Beginning tour of duty
  • 10-42 Ending tour of duty
  • 10-43 Information
  • 10-44 Permission to leave … for …
  • 10-45 Animal carcass at …
  • 10-46 Assist motorist
  • 10-47 Emergency road repairs at …
  • 10-48 Traffic standard repair at …
  • 10-49 Traffic light out at …
  • 10-50 Accident (fatal, personal injury, property damage)
  • 10-51 Wrecker needed
  • 10-52 Ambulance needed
  • 10-53 Road blocked at …
  • 10-54 Livestock on highway
  • 10-55 Suspected DUI
  • 10-56 Intoxicated pedestrian
  • 10-57 Hit and run (fatal, personal injury, property damage)
  • 10-58 Direct traffic
  • 10-59 Convoy or escort
  • 10-60 Squad in vicinity
  • 10-61 Isolate self for message
  • 10-62 Reply to message
  • 10-63 Prepare to make written copy
  • 10-64 Message for local delivery
  • 10-65 Net message assignment
  • 10-66 Message cancellation
  • 10-67 Clear for net message
  • 10-68 Dispatch information
  • 10-69 Message received
  • 10-70 Fire
  • 10-71 Advise nature of fire
  • 10-72 Report progress on fire
  • 10-73 Smoke report
  • 10-74 Negative
  • 10-75 In contact with …
  • 10-76 En route …
  • 10-77 ETA (estimated time of arrival)
  • 10-78 Need assistance
  • 10-79 Notify coroner
  • 10-80 Chase in progress
  • 10-81 Breathalyzer
  • 10-82 Reserve lodging
  • 10-83 Work school crossing at …
  • 10-84 If meeting … advise ETA
  • 10-85 Delayed due to …
  • 10-86 Officer/operator on duty
  • 10-87 Pick up/distribute checks
  • 10-88 Present telephone number of …
  • 10-89 Bomb threat
  • 10-90 Bank alarm at …
  • 10-91 Pick up prisoner/subject
  • 10-92 Improperly parked vehicle
  • 10-93 Blockade
  • 10-94 Drag racing
  • 10-95 Prisoner/subject in custody
  • 10-96 Mental subject
  • 10-97 Check (test) signal
  • 10-98 Prison/jail break
  • 10-99 Wanted/stolen indicated

This list is particularly useful when watching Law and Order: SVU or CSI: Miami. Lastly take a tip from Tommy Boy and don’t include any 9er’s in security language.

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