Police Codes

What are they saying?

Find your local police codes as they vary regionally.

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Police codes explained by Zip Scanners

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24 thoughts on “Police Codes”

  1. We have gotten a few emails about some of these codes not being standardized which we tried to clarify in the opening with the text:

    Emergency communication has used codes since it’s inception in the late 1920’s to make communication short and effective. While this can be helpful for EMS personnel, it can be confusing to those listening to emergency broadcasts. Even more confusing is that code definitions vary from state to state & even county to county. Lack of standardization (despite several standardization efforts) led the US government in 2006 to recommend use of everyday language to avoid confusion. So while code definitions vary geographically, and are used sporadically, below are the most common police codes.

    We created this as a loose guide using the most common 10 codes but these differ regionally. The best place to find codes for your area is the site we link to at the bottom of the infographic http://bearcat1.com/radio.htm

  2. 30+ years ago as a newsman in Colorado Springs, we had to keep track of 4 different 10 codes used by police, sheriff, highway patrol and fire. Made scanner listening fun. Here in Las Vegas, before they went to Desert Sky (Open Sky variation) they still use 400 series codes.
    Bill
    WB0KSW

  3. Seems to me that with FEMA pushing all agencies to go plain text after the issues highlighted after 9/11, this guide doesn’t make much sense to try to make and keep current.

    1. Yeah, all emergency communication uses plain language but this is still used for non-emergency police and emergency personal communication. How often this is used varies greatly based on what part of the US you’re in.

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