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San Diego Metro Area Discussion Local area specific discussion for San Diego and Imperial Counties.

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Old 04-23-2012, 6:26 PM
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Default San Diego Sheriff Unit IDs?

Hey guys,

I've seen the SD Sheriff unit ID list on scandiego (as well as the one in the scannerstuff Southern California Frequency Directory, which is about the same) available here:
SCANDIEGO.COM SDSO UNITS

However it doesn't quite match what I'm hearing in real life. According to that list the first two digits are the Service Area, followed by a letter denoting the type of unit, another letter denoting a higher rank (if applicable) and a number between 1 and 3 for the shift. A couple problems:

1.) Not all patrol units use the "Paul" unit type. Some use it and some drop it. For example "31 Paul 11" vs. "32 - 5" or "32 - 3." (The latter being pronounced "Thirty two three," much like a CHP unit ID which has no intermediate letter.) It seems like this could either be really poor radio discipline, with both patrol deputies and dispatchers using or dropping the "Paul" in the unit ID interchangeably... or there is a difference between regular units with no letter and the units with a "Paul" in the unit ID. Anyone know the difference?

2.) The last "shift" number is often greater than 3 (ex. 31P11, 32-5, 32-7, etc.) which makes me think it's not a "shift" at all, but rather a beat number within that service area prefix. Considering cities like Vista (31), San Marcos (91), Lemon Grove (61) etc, they are far too large to only have one deputy on duty per shift, and they are far too large to give that deputy free reign through the entire service area. So the logical conclusion would be to have multiple deputies on duty in those areas each shift, and break those large service areas into smaller beats. I am guessing that beat number is the last digit of the unit ID, and not the shift.

It's clear that the scandiego SDSD unit breakdown is not entirely accurate. Can anyone familiar with the department help me fill in the blanks?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:38 PM
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Some data on both lists is out of date, although the format for most units is correct: Area-Type-Rank-Beat-Shift.

Discipline isn't that tight: many units will "shorthand" their call signs. As an example listening to VTAD right now, 32P3C just arrived at a call saying "3-2-3 10-97." In some cases where two units are working on a call, one unit will voice the status changes by combining the two unit IDs (giving as an example "31P37"),

Command Staff (and selected support staff) just use "Unit" followed by one or two digits.
The Wireless Services staff uses "Radar" with the numeric ID. RACES members when on the system use "RACES" plus their numeric ID.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:54 PM
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Aha that makes much more sense! So the shifts are broken into an A/B/C shift and then usually not voiced? I got especially confused because dispatchers will often voice the same shorthand unit ID the deputy gives. For example:

Deputy 1: "31 Paul 1, 10-97"
Station M: "10-4 31 Paul 1, 97."
Deputy 2: "31-3, 10-8."
Station M: "31-3, 10-8."

Thus, I started wondering if there was something different about the Paul units then the shorthand ones. Both the scandiego and scannerstuff unit ID lists completely missed beat and listed "Area-Type-Rank-Shift" instead of the proper "Area-Type-Rank-Beat-Shift" which makes much more sense.

Finally, I think that's really interesting how they shorthand combine two unit IDs into one. I've never heard another department do it that way, most would say "31 Paul 3 and Paul 7" in lieu of "31P37."

Now to start paying attention to addresses and figure out which beat is which.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:32 AM
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I believe that the shorthand of the Paul designator is because "most" of the radio traffic on Dispatch is with those units, so unless otherwise voiced, the unit is a patrol unit. I also usually only hear the shift letter when units overlap in the field. (CHP does the same.)

Also, the CAD shows all units logged on, so if Dispatch doesn't know who someone is by their designator, they will clairfy.
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Old 04-29-2012, 8:25 AM
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Additionally, every time a unit goes on shift, they log/link their portable radio, vehicle radio, and vehicle computer into CAD with their call sign for that shift and personnel ID. Every time they key up a radio, this information shows up on the dispatcher's CAD screen.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:54 AM
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The last number in the callsign is a beat.
I know that in the SNTD area (50Px), there are 4 beats in the city (51) and 4 in the county (50). And then there's alpine (52), which im not exactly sure how many beats are there.

If the last number is odd, then its a day/nights shift. If its even, then its a swing shift.

To break it down:
51P1C: 5-SNTD 1-Santee City P-Patrol 1-Beat 1 C-Nights
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