LAPD Scanning Questions

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OneBadUukha

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I'm relatively new to scanning. I've soaked in a lot in the last few months. Here are some questions that have popped up that I thought some of you pros might be able to answer. Any input you have is welcome.

1) Several times per day, I hear transmissions such as "P31, P32, P33, P34, and P35, stay on Rinaldi Blvd between Tampa Ave and Woodley Ave." Does anyone know what this means? Seems like some type of assignments to P units, which I don't recognize.

2) Why do dispatch operators talk so fast? There's no way officers in the field can absorb all that info (crime code, address and cross street, incident number, and reporting district number) in a single transmission, especially while they are driving or otherwise fighting crime or handling service calls. I believe this same info is transmitted to their vehicles' MDCs (mobile data computers, I guess). So, why do dispatch officers talk so fast?

3) Are there official guides that LAPD, CHP, LASD, etc. officers use to learn police codes? I have cobbled together a nice repository of them by organization from numerous online scanner sources, but there has to be official reference documents for these.

4) During a police chase, are there any guidelines agencies use to determine who is the primary and when to switch agencies to assume primary/lead vehicles on the chase?

5) I often hear calls to locations for a "44 suspect." Anyone know what that is?

6) Does anyone know what specific locations the Traffic frequencies are used for? For example, there are Valley Traffic frequencies. Are they used for West Valley, North Hollywood, Devonshire, etc.? Also, for what purpose do these frequencies exist? Can these calls not be handled via regular dispatch and l-tac?
 

kearthfan101

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5) just like #2, as you said, they talk super fast. It's actually 484 suspect. Petty theft!

6) valley traffic units cover traffic related incidents in all of valley bureau. So a combination of the divisions you listed. Same would go for central bureau, west bureau, and south bureau. And just like hotshots which broadcasts most if not every code 3 and "hot" call, the traffic division frequencies do that sort of thing too but just for the local bureau. So if you want to hear "everything" going on in the valley, listen to valley traffic. And so on and so forth
 

OneBadUukha

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5) just like #2, as you said, they talk super fast. It's actually 484 suspect. Petty theft!

6) valley traffic units cover traffic related incidents in all of valley bureau. So a combination of the divisions you listed. Same would go for central bureau, west bureau, and south bureau. And just like hotshots which broadcasts most if not every code 3 and "hot" call, the traffic division frequencies do that sort of thing too but just for the local bureau. So if you want to hear "everything" going on in the valley, listen to valley traffic. And so on and so forth
Thanks. You confirmed my suspicions for number 6.
 

Radio_Lady

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Traffic Divisions

6) Does anyone know what specific locations the Traffic frequencies are used for? For example, there are Valley Traffic frequencies. Are they used for West Valley, North Hollywood, Devonshire, etc.? Also, for what purpose do these frequencies exist? Can these calls not be handled via regular dispatch and l-tac?
I'll add to this easy one first. The four Traffic Divisions, one for each of the four geographic bureaus (Central, South, Valley, and West), handle traffic-related incidents, mainly Traffic Enforcement and Collision Investigations. Traffic Enforcement - ticket-writing - is the primary role of motorcycle officers ("M"/"Mary" unit numbers) though there are a few "Edward" traffic enforcement cars. "T" or "TL" cars are the collision investigation officers.

In general, those units only do those and related duties, but since their badges all say "Police Officer" they're always subject to handling or assisting at other calls when they're needed or hear a nearby hot call. Similarly, patrol officers can write tickets or be assigned to handle traffic collisions, though they almost always beg for a "T-car" to handle accident calls which sometimes require special skills that patrol officers receive only fairly cursory training for in the Academy and seldom use otherwise.

Each Traffic Division has its own dispatch frequency and theoretically its own dispatcher (RTO), as their areas of operation cover as many as seven patrol divisions. However there are often not enough dispatchers on duty and/or not too much traffic stuff going on (especially on morning watch), so you'll very often notice that they are patched to one of the patrol frequencies. It's almost always Valley Traffic with Devonshire, West Traffic with West L.A., South Traffic with Southwest, and Central Traffic with Central.

Here's a map of the city showing the four bureaus and the patrol divisions in each:
http://assets.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/Citywide_09.pdf
 
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Radio_Lady

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Codes and pursuits

3) Are there official guides that LAPD, CHP, LASD, etc. officers use to learn police codes? I have cobbled together a nice repository of them by organization from numerous online scanner sources, but there has to be official reference documents for these.
I can only speak to LAPD on this, and their radio codes are explained in quite thorough detail in the Department Manual which kmurphy41 already mentioned, specifically in the lengthy Volume 4, section 120.40.

Communications Division has its own Manual, about 700 pages thick the last time I saw one, which spends about 15 pages just explaining the radio codes that include the word "Code" (Code One, Code Three, Code Six-Charles, Code Sam, Code Robert and such) and how the operators use them - the specific radio terminology and sequence of response, some CAD entry commands, etc. Then there are probably a hundred or more call-type codes for everything from Abandoned Refrigerators to Shootings to Vandalism, many with multiple subtypes like in progress, report only, ambulance enroute, etc.

4) During a police chase, are there any guidelines agencies use to determine who is the primary and when to switch agencies to assume primary/lead vehicles on the chase?
In general, the agency that initiates a pursuit has responsibility for it until it ends, they discontinue it, or they decide to turn it over to another agency who agrees to take it.

The most common occurrence of that with LAPD is when they have a pursuit that gets on a freeway. Since neither LAPD nor CHP or most other departments like to intermingle their units with other agencies during a pursuit, CHP won't take over a pursuit from LAPD unless LAPD drops out of it completely, and likewise if somebody enters LAPD's area they won't take it over unless that agency drops out. It's mostly a matter of agency-specific training and procedures, and probably a big nod to liability.

In the department manual linked above, check out section 205.30 , and then the rest of 205.
 
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lacoscannerguy

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I'll just add my two cents.

As an avid listener of LAPD communications, the easiest and most efficient method I have found to monitoring LAPD is to keep your radio tuned to channel 26 K9/Air channel (sometimes referred to as the Hot Shot channel). All of the fun stuff, and most of the routine stuff, is voiced on that channel. So, instead of scanning through dozens of channels and potentially missing something, you can keep your ear to that single channel, and then tune to the specific channel whenever a call comes out that you want to monitor. I have a few radios, and keep one tuned to channel 26, and use a second one to follow the action.

For example, let's say I'm listening to channel 26, and a shooting comes out in Northeast Division. I use a second radio to tune to Northeast Division to follow that action, leaving the original radio tuned to channel 26 to continue monitoring for fun stuff.

Hope that helps.
 

Radio_Lady

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Air/K9-Hailing on 484.7125

For example, let's say I'm listening to channel 26, and a shooting comes out in Northeast Division. I use a second radio to tune to Northeast Division to follow that action, leaving the original radio tuned to channel 26 to continue monitoring for fun stuff.
Good reminder, and that's exactly why and how it was created and how the Air Units use it.

484.7125 is linked to 484.350 at Oat Mountain above Chatsworth on the downlink side, so if you're in the west or south side of the SF Valley that frequency might come in a little better. You won't hear the simplex chatting on 484.35 though, only the call broadcasts and repeatered (repeatered??) messages.
 

gman65

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Thanks. You confirmed my suspicions for number 6.
The department has additional maps for each division on the web site, Los Angeles Police Department. Look at the communities drop down at the top. The divisional boundaries are shown and many divisions have the basic car maps that show the R.D's. (reporting districts) When they broadcast an RD number, the division number is the first 1 or 2 digits followed by the two digit sub division. So an RD in Topanga division would be broadcast as 2109. The numbering is 1- 99 from north to south. Since the RD one of the last bits of information broadcast, I find it helpful to identify where a call is.

Also keep in mind that the division numbers match the sequence in the database listing. Topanga is the 21st division, the frequency is number 21, their vehicles also have a 21 on the trunk or roof and unit designations have a 21 prefix.

Keep listening and after a while you will find that you can catch what the dispatchers are saying. It won't seem that fast after you get used to it.
 

PaulNDaOC

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I'm relatively new to scanning. I've soaked in a lot in the last few months. Here are some questions that have popped up that I thought some of you pros might be able to answer. Any input you have is welcome.

1) Several times per day, I hear transmissions such as "P31, P32, P33, P34, and P35, stay on Rinaldi Blvd between Tampa Ave and Woodley Ave." Does anyone know what this means? Seems like some type of assignments to P units, which I don't recognize.

2) Why do dispatch operators talk so fast? There's no way officers in the field can absorb all that info (crime code, address and cross street, incident number, and reporting district number) in a single transmission, especially while they are driving or otherwise fighting crime or handling service calls. I believe this same info is transmitted to their vehicles' MDCs (mobile data computers, I guess). So, why do dispatch officers talk so fast?

3) Are there official guides that LAPD, CHP, LASD, etc. officers use to learn police codes? I have cobbled together a nice repository of them by organization from numerous online scanner sources, but there has to be official reference documents for these.

4) During a police chase, are there any guidelines agencies use to determine who is the primary and when to switch agencies to assume primary/lead vehicles on the chase?

5) I often hear calls to locations for a "44 suspect." Anyone know what that is?

6) Does anyone know what specific locations the Traffic frequencies are used for? For example, there are Valley Traffic frequencies. Are they used for West Valley, North Hollywood, Devonshire, etc.? Also, for what purpose do these frequencies exist? Can these calls not be handled via regular dispatch and l-tac?
#2 being that hotshots tie up multiple freqs quick is better to free everything up. It is usually not an issue in the field as the format is always the same and officers will take bits and decide if there continued interest is warranted as the dispatch proceeds. As you will notice the pieces of the call progressively grow more narrow in focus as to who might want to respond.

Three beeps a Code 3 call, two Code 2 is the first bit, then division and call type. At this point many can tune out here. The officers aren't writing this down, just listening to each piece that narrows down if the call is relevant to them.

Next will be location followed by a narrative/remarks. The narrative/remarks can add info to help an officer decide how many units might be helpful on a call if available. The RD may help pinpoint a call for an unfamiliar street.

The incident numbers then can be used to review all details and be added to call and is conveniently last as this number will access more call info or can be used to get added to the call

The flow allows the officer at any point to tune out the remainder of the hotshot from his/her attention.

#3 LASD has a radio code book that includes a lot of detail of unit numbering and radio set-ups and is updated periodically. It used to be available to the public at STAR Center in Whittier at the little store next to the museum.
 
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