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Old 09-24-2017, 3:51 AM
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milf milf is offline
Careful, I CAN hear you!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 12,414

Direct from the Database Admin HB... in regards to tagging:

6.4.1. GENERAL
Alpha tags are limited to 12 characters to ensure compatibility with older scanners that support only a 12-
character alpha tag. Alpha tags shall be made as clear as possible given the space provided. Alpha tags shall
generally indicate the agency and the channel number or usage to the extent that the information is known and
can reasonably fit in 12 characters. Where possible, alpha tags shall use a mix of lower and upper case letters (the
use of all capital letters should be avoided). Alpha tags shall not necessarily be the alpha tag as shown on a radio
transceiver programmed for a specific conventional or trunked system. Alpha tags shall be written to be useful to
scanner users and furthermore they shall be clear to novice scanner users to the extent possible.
Alpha tags “stand alone” and are not a more specific classification under the category, subcategory and description
hierarchy. The alpha tag itself shall only contain information that is also represented in the county/agency/system
name, category, subcategory and/or description of the frequency or talkgroup.
If the frequency or talkgroup description is insufficient to provide enough information to create a unique alpha tag,
then the frequency or talkgroup number shall be included as part of the alpha tag to ensure uniqueness.
• AC – Animal Control
• Bn or BN - Battalion
• Car – Car-to-Car
• Dsp – Dispatch
• Disp – Dispatch
• E – East
• EMS – Emergency Medical Services
• FD – Fire Department
• FG – Fireground
• JFD – Joint Fire District
• N – North
• NE – Northeast
• NW – Northwest Database Administrator Handbook
Version 1.8
- 23 -
• Ops – Operations
• PD – Police Department
• PW – Public Works
• S – South
• SD – Sheriff’s Department
• SE – Southeast
• SO – Sheriff’s Office
• Svc - Service
• SW – Southwest
• TA – Talk-Around
• Tac – Tactical
• VFD – Volunteer Fire Department
• W – West
6.5.1. GENERAL
Function or service tagging allows frequencies and talkgroups to be placed into general category-based groups. Do
not be concerned that the wording of the function tag names does not exactly match what you believe to be the
use of the frequency or talkgroup. Function tags shall enable novice users to easily “filter” the frequencies or
talkgroups for which they are searching. The terms “Function Tag,” “Service tag” and “Tag” can be used
interchangeably in reference to Function Tagging.
• Aircraft – All civilian or military air traffic control operations (typically in the 118-136 MHz and 225-380
MHz bands in AM mode). Other aviation frequencies (that are not used for air traffic control) shall be
tagged with the most relevant non-Aircraft tag. Airline “company frequencies” (in the USA, typically in
the 128.825-132.0 MHz and 136.5-136.975 MHz) shall be tagged as “Business.” Aerial firefighting
frequencies shall be tagged with the appropriate “Fire” tag.
• Business – For most business related entities not covered by other tags. Please note that the following
tags override the “Business” tag and shall always be used instead when they are applicable: Media,
Railroad, Security, Transportation and Utilities.
• Corrections – For jail/prison operations and other corrections activities, including federal prisons.
• Data – For data, paging, telemetry and most non-voice operations. Do not tag encrypted voice
frequencies or talkgroups as “Data” (they shall be tagged with the more specific tag).
• Deprecated – This tag denotes a frequency or talkgroup that is no longer used. This tag shall be used only
temporarily during transition/migration periods for new radio systems. Frequencies and talkgroups shall
be deleted when they are truly obsolete.
• Emergency Ops – For Emergency Operation Centers and similar emergency management or disasterrelated
• EMS Dispatch – For EMS dispatch (including rescue squads and medical helicopter operations). Database Administrator Handbook
Version 1.8
- 24 -
• EMS-Tac – For EMS on-scene communications, tactical operations and secondary channels. Please note
that EMS-to-Hospital communications shall be tagged with “Hospital.”
• EMS-Talk – For EMS talk-around, car-to-car and supervisor operations.
• Federal – For all federal government operations (except corrections, traditional law enforcement patrol
and fire/EMS operations which shall be tagged using the more appropriate tags). In the USA, the Coast
Guard shall be tagged as “Federal.”
• Fire Dispatch – For fire dispatch, including combined fire/EMS dispatch.
• Fire-Tac – For fireground, tactical and on-scene communications, including combined fire/EMS
• Fire-Talk – For fire talk-around and car-to-car operations, chiefs, supervisors, etc., including combined
fire/EMS operations.
• Ham – For any amateur radio assignment.
• Hospital – For EMS-to-Hospital communications and patient reports (e.g., “Med” or “HEAR” channels).
Please note that hospital operations, maintenance, etc. shall be tagged with “Business.”
• Interop – Interoperability communications, cross-agency communications, mutual aid, etc. This tag
includes inter-entity coordination as well as to interoperability between departments (e.g., police, fire and
public works) of the same entity.
• Law Dispatch – Law enforcement dispatch.
• Law Tac – Law enforcement tactical, SWAT, on-scene, surveillance and specific sub-agency
• Law Talk – Law enforcement talk-around, car-to-car and supervisor operations.
• Media – Newspapers, television and broadcast radio operations (most commonly in the 450/455 MHz and
161 MHz bands in the USA).
• Military – All military operations (e.g., air refueling, range control, air-to-air combat, etc.) including Civil
Air Patrol in the USA. Military law, fire and EMS shall be tagged with the appropriate law, fire or EMS tag.
• Multi-Dispatch – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS dispatch. This is a special case tag for
operations that are combined as a matter of normal practice. Do not use this tag for interoperability
channels, or combined Fire/EMS dispatch channels.
• Multi-Tac – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS tactical and on-scene communications. This is a
special case tag for operations that are combined as a matter of normal practice. Do not use this tag for
interoperability channels, or combined Fire/EMS tactical channels.
• Multi-Talk – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS tactical talk-around and car-to-car operations.
This is a special case tag for operations that are combined as a matter of normal practice. Do not use this
tag for interoperability channels, or combined Fire/EMS talk channels.
• Other – Anything not covered by the other tags. Note: This tag should rarely – if ever – be used, so in
general pretend like it does not even exist. Administrators sometimes incorrectly use the “Other” tag on
frequencies and talkgroups that should be labeled “Public Works.”
• Public Works – Public agency non-public safety communications. This includes any non-public safety
government services, such as trash, streets, roads, zoos, administration, maintenance, animal control,
community initiatives, code compliance, etc. Please do not use the “Other” tag for government services.
Exceptions: Public transportation and government security services shall be tagged with “Transportation”
or “Security” respectively. Tag government-run utilities with the “Utilities” tag.
• Railroad – All common carrier railroad communications. Database Administrator Handbook
Version 1.8
- 25 -
• Security – Non-law enforcement security operations, including private security companies, noncommissioned
government agency security, school security, etc.
• Schools – School-related communications (schools, school buses, football games, etc.). Exception:
Security shall be tagged with “Security” and law enforcement shall be tagged with the appropriate law
enforcement tag.
• Transportation – Public and private bus, taxi and public passenger rail (isolated rail systems not
connected to a common carrier railroad network) communications (except school buses).
• Utilities – Electric, water, natural gas, phone, cable TV, etc. operations whether provided by a private or
governmental entity.

Talkgroup and frequency descriptions shall be kept short and informative (50 characters or less) while avoiding
exact duplication with other fields where possible. Channel numbers should be included when known. For
• Where an alpha tag states “PD DISPATCH 1” use “Police Dispatch 1” in the Description.
• Common operating channels shall be shown as “Countywide Common 1” or “Law Interop 1” rather than
just “Countywide Common” or “Law Interop” in the Description field.
• Category or Subcategory headings or names will not be shown or duplicated in the Description field.

Some things have changed and a new HB will be coming out before long to address this... Alpha tagging is now extended to 16 characters and is being implemented as admins get to it... As well as the new MODE descriptors....

A lot of the newer scanners pull from the DESCRIPTION field rather than the ALPHA TAG fields... The longest possibility in ALPHA TAGS is 16 characters... If you find the information displyed on your scanner is from the DESCRIPTION.. And its too long, its UP TO YOU to edit this to your liking in your scanner and/or programming software! Most of us try to keep the descriptions as short as we can and still make sense, which is even harder in the ALPHA TAGS... A tad easier with 16 than 12 characters.... But still not the easiest task.
Admin for AR, IN, LA, MS, and TN
Radio Shack: PRO-92, PRO-92B, PRO-96
Uniden: BCD396XT, BCD436HP+DMR & NXDN
Motorola: APX6000XE
Baofeng: RD-5R

Last edited by milf; 09-24-2017 at 4:02 AM..
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