Harford County MSP SAM unit?

Status
Not open for further replies.

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
I hear them all the time. What do they do and what's the acronym stand for?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

dpcain

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,399
Location
MD
In what context and on what net do you hear them?
 

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
They are on the Harford county police channel. They identify themselves as Sam XXX. I figure it's either a specialized unit or maybe a joint unit consisting of multiple agencies. They work very closely with State Police and although I don't hear Msp as much on there channel I do hear them responding to same calls

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
Yes I figured they are Sheriff's unit. I wanted to know their purpose. Are they a special holiday team, are they like a flex quad that goes out looking for certain crimes, etc?
 

ocguard

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
1,252
Location
PA/MD
The idea behind this was, when the 800mhz system went online, police agencies had access to each other's talk groups. Previously, all law enforcement agencies in Harford County had number-only unit identifiers. So if Bel Air Police had a unit 200, and HSCO had a unit 200, it could get confusing. So all HSCO units took on the prefix "SAM" and the other town PDs took on prefixes as DisasterGuy mentioned. SAM means nothing other than the fact that it's an HSCO unit. The number that follows is the officer's badge number.
 

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
Ahhhh ok. So this is a shared channel? I hear them on the Hfco channel designated as dispatch a16 Southern

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

ocguard

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
1,252
Location
PA/MD
Ahhhh ok. So this is a shared channel? I hear them on the Hfco channel designated as dispatch a16 Southern

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
I'm pretty sure that all Harford County law enforcement agencies have the capabilities to operate on each others' talk groups.At very least, all of the town PDs can operate on HCSO's dispatch talk groups.
 

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
Where I am from badge numbers meant nothing. They were reusable i.e. if a officer retires, quits, gets promoted, gets killed, etc. the badge gets thrown back in the pool for reissue. I doubt without extensive research one would not be able to find out the identity of an officer by a badge number alone. It would probably be in the anals of the quartermaster unit. Judging from the way they ran that place I doubt they would even have an accurate history. Each officer upon being hired is given a sequence number (commonly referred to as a short number) that is unique to that officer only. This started in the 70s and began with A001 when they reached A999 they would move on to the B. This practice continues today and I believe there into the J series. As for identifying an officer without the short number you could narrow it down by using a sequence of numbers and letters but those would only be good if you knew the day and time he was working. For instance there were nine districts starting with (1) at the 12 o'clock position and moving clockwise i.e. 2 would be northeast, 3 would be the Eastern and so on. The next digit would be a letter for the shift working i.e. A would be for the midnight shift midnight till 8 AM, B would be four day work 8 AM to 4 PM, C would be for the mid-shift 4 PM to midnight. The next digit would be for the sector(commonly three sectors per district) but some larger districts had a sector 4. The next digit would be the car number with in that sector(commonly 1 – 7), however as the budget crunch happened and funds were lost so were police officers thus the amount of cars per sector dwindled to as little as 3 – 5). So for instance if you were working the Eastern District, midnight shift, sector 2, car three your unit designation would be 3A (adam) 23 or 3A23. As I said this does not necessarily identified that particular officer as he may be working car 4 the next day or even be in a totally different sector if they were short officers. Supervisors were identified as 10, 20, 30, etc. district commanders would be 300 400 500 etc. police Commissioner unit 1, deputy commissioners unit 2 etc.
then you had specialized units which usually were a four digit numerical code i.e. 3032 4055 etc. the first digit usually referred to the district but downtown specialize units could have a variety of numbers which were confusing at best. While just a history of the Baltimore police most you guys probably already knew that
 
Last edited:

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,190
Location
Maryland Shore
If you go back in history to the early days of radios in cars each county sheriff and PD had assigned number blocks in the state law enforcement communications plan with the idea that radio identifiers would be unique statewide. I have not seen a copy of it in many years.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dpcain

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,399
Location
MD
Where I am from badge numbers meant nothing. They were reusable i.e. if a officer retires, quits, gets promoted, gets killed, etc. the badge gets thrown back in the pool for reissue. I doubt without extensive research one would not be able to find out the identity of an officer by a badge number alone. It would probably be in the anals of the quartermaster unit. Judging from the way they ran that place I doubt they would even have an accurate history. Each officer upon being hired is given a sequence number (commonly referred to as a short number) that is unique to that officer only. This started in the 70s and began with A001 when they reached A999 they would move on to the B. This practice continues today and I believe there into the J series. As for identifying an officer without the short number you could narrow it down by using a sequence of numbers and letters but those would only be good if you knew the day and time he was working. For instance there were nine districts starting with (1) at the 12 o'clock position and moving clockwise i.e. 2 would be northeast, 3 would be the Eastern and so on. The next digit would be a letter for the shift working i.e. A would be for the midnight shift midnight till 8 AM, B would be four day work 8 AM to 4 PM, C would be for the mid-shift 4 PM to midnight. The next digit would be for the sector(commonly three sectors per district) but some larger districts had a sector 4. The next digit would be the car number with in that sector(commonly 1 – 7), however as the budget crunch happened and funds were lost so were police officers thus the amount of cars per sector dwindled to as little as 3 – 5). So for instance if you were working the Eastern District, midnight shift, sector 2, car three your unit designation would be 3A (adam) 23 or 3A23. As I said this does not necessarily identified that particular officer as he may be working car 4 the next day or even be in a totally different sector if they were short officers. Supervisors were identified as 10, 20, 30, etc. district commanders would be 300 400 500 etc. police Commissioner unit 1, deputy commissioners unit 2 etc.
then you had specialized units which usually were a four digit numerical code i.e. 3032 4055 etc. the first digit usually referred to the district but downtown specialize units could have a variety of numbers which were confusing at best. While just a history of the Baltimore police most you guys probably already knew that

Very informative, but this is after all Harford county being discussed, and each county loooves to do things differently than their neighbors.
 

lawman210

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
415
That's true but since I am the OP I hijacked my own thread!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

dpcain

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,399
Location
MD
Fair point! Being from an agency that uses badge numbers over the air instead of sectors, I'm quite used to them... does help know who exactly's dealing with something.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top