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  1. #1
    Radisma's Avatar
    Radisma is offline Rookie
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    Exclamation How hard is it...

    How hard is it to remember or should i say learn all the police codes and signals...

    If you know me then you know im going to be in law enforcment (no wants about it its what im going to do :P)

    I have a fairly good memory id say and i learn things and catch on pretty quick.

    I was just curious about how long it took you all to learn all the codes and signals and such.

    And if you are on patrol lets say you hear 10-69 (this is just a example) lets say thats some crazy code that isnt used alot what do you do if you dont know it? Or if your just like WTF i forgot or something.

    This is honestly one of the only things im worried about when i become a officer. Id be worried to be out on patrol and hear dispatch say "there is a 10-25 at jefferson RD" and me be like "oh shit what is that!?"

  2. #2
    gopherpuckfan's Avatar
    gopherpuckfan is offline I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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    It all depends on the department and how many codes they use. My department only uses 5 or 6 "ten-codes", so it's easy.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  3. #3
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    When I first started I was given a 10 code and Signal card with pretty much every 10- code and signal there is. We don't use but a few of them either but every now and then we have a dispatcher get crazy and throw one at us that is out the box.
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    ManImBored is offline Ninja In Training
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    We don't use anything but plain english in our department. No 10-codes, nothing. Makes things a lot easier for the dispatchers.
    "Sometimes doing the right thing, is not doing the right thing."

  5. #5
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    Most places are starting to go to Plain English under the Incident Command System but the places that do still use 10 codes will most likley have some sort of referance card.

    As far as learning them it is like any language you will pick it up fast due to the constant immersion in it.

    Also most field training programs will include this as one of the skills needed to pass.
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  6. #6
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Honestly...my department only uses a handful of codes. BUT, I remember being a prospective officer, and this just wasn't one of the things I worried about. Believe me when I say this, but if there was a list of things that I would be worried about getting the hang of in order NOT to wash out of the academy or FTO, and to be a good cop, this would be close to the bottom.

    Don't sweat it.

  7. #7
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    We have like 70 codes but only use about 10 regularly. Once and a while dispatch pulls on out that I have not heard. I carry a card with all our ten codes.
    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.

  8. #8
    phantasm is offline Corporal
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    NYPD has approximately 80 or so different numbers (with different letters to mean different things).
    I use about 50 or so of them. 10-86 for example is female in/out of auto. We don't use that code, but will say over the air that we're transporting 1 female. I did not include something like that in the 50 or so that I do use. The 50 or so does not include the variations. 90x = unfounded, 90u = unable to gain entry, etc.

  9. #9
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    bird1 is offline Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManImBored View Post
    We don't use anything but plain english in our department. No 10-codes, nothing. Makes things a lot easier for the dispatchers.
    same here
    " The hardest thing about disarming an armed suspect is not slipping on your own shit "

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  10. #10
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    Honestly...my department only uses a handful of codes. BUT, I remember being a prospective officer, and this just wasn't one of the things I worried about. Believe me when I say this, but if there was a list of things that I would be worried about getting the hang of in order NOT to wash out of the academy or FTO, and to be a good cop, this would be close to the bottom.

    Don't sweat it.
    You beat me to it.

    10 codes should be the last of your worries.
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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  11. #11
    Radisma's Avatar
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    Thanks alot guys helped out alot so far.

    I haven't gotten to talk to my local officer buddy's today to ask them how they do things here and the scanner we have at work i never here local police go over lol go figure.

    but anyway i know i was searching on the internet and found a site with some states 10 codes and there were so many i was like "woah"

    and as far as carrying a "reference" card i was wondering if that was allowed or if that was frowned upon.

    thanks alot guys!!

  12. #12
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    We have a lot of them and I used flash cards to learn them in the academy, went 100% mush mouth and forgot all of them my first night out on patrol, and over time they sank in as was pointed out like any other language. They are nice to use when you don't want dirt bags around you to know what you are talking about with other LEO's.

    First night out I think I ordered an air unit over Montana.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliTheKid View Post
    We have a lot of them and I used flash cards to learn them in the academy, went 100% mush mouth and forgot all of them my first night out on patrol, and over time they sank in as was pointed out like any other language. They are nice to use when you don't want dirt bags around you to know what you are talking about with other LEO's.

    First night out I think I ordered an air unit over Montana.

    I don't knw if you've done this yet or not, but be sure to PM conalabu to get verified.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  14. #14
    Coloradocop's Avatar
    Coloradocop is offline It's the PoPo
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    We use almost entirely plain English talk around here... A few codes exist, but it is very limited. For example, my most important codes:


    Code 10 = Emergency cover
    Code 7 = lunch break (we slang this into "am I clear for a 7?" when talking to dispatch)

    Otherwise we only use a very small handful of other codes for simple stuff like arriving at a call, finding out if a person has warrants (or not), etc.

  15. #15
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    i laminated a little card with all the codes on it
    so many are routine that they are easy to remember.. but some we never get and some so rarely i cheat.
    we use the QSK stuff and have 61 codes.

    just start trying to make them an every day thing...

    like if you see two people arguing.. just make it a game like... oooo there goes a blankety blank lol
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  16. #16
    Radisma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gozling View Post
    i laminated a little card with all the codes on it
    so many are routine that they are easy to remember.. but some we never get and some so rarely i cheat.
    we use the QSK stuff and have 61 codes.

    just start trying to make them an every day thing...

    like if you see two people arguing.. just make it a game like... oooo there goes a blankety blank lol
    lol yeah i have gotten my hands on a few of the codes for my area and when im driving down the road and see something going on i know has a code for it i try to start thinking of it so i can kind of remember things now lol.

  17. #17
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Don't worry too much about learning the codes until you're hired... Many agencies have different codes, even in the same area. If I had memorized the 80 or so codes for one county in my neck of the woods -- I'd have wasted my time, since almost none of those codes were used by my agency. (We're now plain English, with a very few exceptions -- so it would have been even more of a waste!)

    I had a list of our signals, which basically were call types or directions from dispatch, on my clipboard, covered in clear plastic. Most of us learned the most common, but there were always one or two that were seldom used which you had to look up, though often, the dispatch would give you a pretty big clue. For example, "Respond to Main and Center for a Signal 9; 2 cars involved blocking traffic." is pretty clearly a crash, or "Respond to 123 Any Street, Signal 29, husband has struck his wife; rescue is staging" is obviously a domestic.

  18. #18
    mack's Avatar
    mack is offline Officer Resource Offical Auctioneer
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    Due to a Col a few years back not knowing and not being able to figure out 10-codes, our dept has gone to plain speak. We only use Code 5 or Code 6. We have some State Officers that come in and use the 10 codes between each other and have been spoken to about it because one day they will revert and use the codes and none of us will know what is going on. They could be needing a back up and instinct will take over and they will call out codes and we will look at each other like WTF!

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I don't knw if you've done this yet or not, but be sure to PM conalabu to get verified.
    I'm in the middle of the process but thanks for the heads up.
    The great will make you feel like you too can be great.

  20. #20
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    We use 9 codes and penal codes 945 ambulance followup, 925 location, code 900 I'm in deep shit help or 415 disturbing the peace w/J juveniles- w/D drunk, 245 AWDW. 187 homicide. but they issue a printed cheat sheet for the new guys to learn from and for the old guys to remember something they heard once 12 years ago


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