Pittsburgh Police On-Air Unit Call Signs

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Mar 21, 2009
I've done a couple posts on this topic. I'm not a Wiki or Database writer. I figured I make this a new post since this is a major rewrite. I will gladly take new information or corrections you may have. So here you go:

City of Pittsburgh On-Air Call Signs and Codes

Four Digit: Unit on-air call signs for Zone Police Stations 1 thru 6 (PC = Patrol Car, UC = Undercover Car):

3xy# = (First digit is always "3" for City of Pittsburgh Police units - Note: Often times the initial "3" is dropped on-air for simplicity)

x = (1 - 6 - Zone )

y = Unit Type (0 - Patrol Van/Wagon) (1 - PC, two officers) (2 or 3 - PC, one officer) (4 - PC, beat officer)
(5 - Officer specific call sign, special Zone level non-detective details, in uniform, e.g. downtown holiday season)
(6 - UC, usually 2 officers (UC but in uniform), low risk search warrants, warrant arrests, animal cruelty cases, station details)
(7 - UC, Officer specific call sign, plain clothes Zone level Detectives) (80 - PC, Lieutenant) (81 to 83 - PC, primary shift Sergeants)
(84 to 89 - PC, major crime scene / specific operation Sergeant) (9 - UC non-detective specific operation, two officers in plain clothes)
(99 - UC but utilized for normal patrol work, one unit per Zone, two officers in plain clothes)

# = Unit Number: For two digit numbers provided under "y" Unit Type above, the second digit is the unit number.
"K" indicates canine unit.
For PC's ("y" = 1, 2, 3, or 4) or Patrol Vans/Wagons ("y" = 0), note the following:
* A unit working the "early side" of the shift will have an odd last number ("#") - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (Shifts detailed below)
* A unit working the "late side" of the shift will have an even last number ("#") - 2, 4, 6, 8, 0 (Shifts detailed below)

3xy# "Able" or "A" = PC or UC that came into service as a two officer vehicle, which was reduced to a single officer = "Able" or "A" unit
3xy# "R" = Rookie officer is riding in car (only used during ride-along portion of Police Academy training) = "R" unit

Four Digit: HQ unit on-air call signs
3x## = (First digit is always "3" for City of Pittsburgh Police units)
x = (0 - UC, special HQ detail, number assigned for a specific detail, e.g. special narcotics investigation, dignitary security, etc)
(7 - UC, plain clothes HQ Detective - Narcotics) (8 - UC, plain clothes HQ Detective - Other)
## = Unit Number

Five Digit: Combined descriptors for Zone and HQ call signs (Note: Only includes primary 5 digit call signs heard)
31988 = Lieutenant in charge of traffic related details for sporting events, PC (2nd digit = Zone, 3rd = detail, 4th = LT/Sgt designator)
3362# = Third digit "6" indicates bicycle officer. There are four such officers (33626-33629) assigned to Zone 3 (second digit)
381## = HQ Homicide Detective, UC, plain clothes
382## = HQ Robbery Detective, UC, plain clothes
384## = HQ Arson Detective, UC, plain clothes (Note: Arson works out of Zone 6 station)
385## = HQ Burglary Detective, UC, plain clothes
3x9## = Five digit call sign WITH letter as fourth digit indicates paid off-duty private detail officer, e.g. club security
(x = Zone 1 through 6)
Note: It appears that five digit call signs are only partially implemented. Primarily used at HQ level to differentiate 3800 series Detectives by function.
Five digit call sign is assigned directly to a single officer, irrespective of vehicle

The following units are assigned to the Special Deployment Division ("SDD"):
3SR# = PC, Street Response Unit, which patrols high crime/street level drug trafficking areas (3SR1 - 3SR5)
SR81 = PC, Street Response Unit, Sergeant (Note: 1st digit "3" dropped, but still Police)
SR90-99 = UC, Street Response Unit, spotter vehicles for Street Response PC's (Note: 1st digit "3" dropped, but still Police)
3SE# = PC, "Special Events," also administrative details, mail delivery between Zones, etc. (3SE1 - 3SE4)
3TS# = "TS" indicates "Truck Safety" unit. Activities focused on commercial vehicles/operators
3T## = "T" or "Traffic" indicates Traffic Division. Special traffic patrol
3Cycle## = Police Motorcycles
3Bike## = Police Bicycles
Checkpoint## = Traffic checkpoints with one PC or motorcycle per Checkpoint. Primarily used in Southside on weekends as part
of saturation patrols. Note that these are not the major DUI checkpoints that are occasionally set up

Other on-air call signs:
MC## = McGann & Chester tow trucks. Dispatched on Channel 4 (Note: 1st digit "3" dropped)
MOC1 = Mount Oliver Police Chief (MO has its own police force but units are dispatched by the City of Pittsburgh on Channel 2)
MO## = Mount Oliver Police (MO84K is canine unit, MO6 is Patrol Van/Wagon)
3K81 = HQ canine
3SW# = Weed & Seed grant funded unit. Generally 2 officers, UC
3x00 = Zone desk (x = Zone 1 through 6; monitors their Zone's dispatch channel)
3800 = Detective desk (monitors Channel 8)
39## = Pittsburgh School Police
7145 = SWAT Command Vehicle
7133K = SWAT canine
Mike# = When TAC## operator is assigned to a mission, call sign is changed to Mike1, Mike2, etc.
TAC## = Pittsburgh Police SWAT team member call signs. Each officer has their own designator, e.g. TAC71, TAC72 , etc
BEAR = Pittsburgh Police SWAT armored vehicle

Code 1 - Backup requested. Proceed at your convenience, no lights/siren
Code 2 - Backup requested. Possible emergency. Proceed immediately. Lights/siren only when necessary through traffic
Code 3 - Proceed immediately. Emergency. Full lights/siren. All available units. Officer down or injured.
Code 4 - Situation is "under control" - no further assistance is necessary
Code 5 - Subject with outstanding arrest warrant OR stolen vehicle
Code ZEBRA - Taser deployed

Shift Scheduling

Primary Shifts (Military/24 hour clock)

AM Shift Early Side.......7 - 15
PM Shift Early Side......15 - 23
Night Turn Early Side.....23 - 7

AM Shift Late Side.......8 - 16
PM Shift Late Side......16 - 24
Night Turn Late Side....24 - 8

Secondary Shifts

Split AM.......12 - 20
Split PM.......20 - 4
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