Plain Talk

Status
Not open for further replies.

KCA6YU

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Strathroy, ON
Just saw on NBC news, that some law enforcement agencies in the USA will switch from 10 codes to plain talk, ie saying what the incident is. Said that on Sept 11, agencies were confused by different 10 codes used by different departments.
Wonder if this will ever happen up here.
 

torontokris

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,627
Location
Toronto Canada
not sure if it will happen here...
maybe they should come up with a STANDARD 10 code and go from there (not that everyone will always stick to the standard - people still say APPLE for A)
 

pathalogical

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Toronto, Canada
Toronto Police doesn't use 10 codes, OPP does. I remember an incident where TPS and OPP were patched on one of the TPS divisions, therefore the Toronto dispatcher was "in charge" of both forces. The OPP were using their 10 codes, but after a few minutes the dispatcher got frustrated and insisted OPP use plain language. The most I hear TPS use (other than 10-4) is 10-60 and 10-66 and an occassional "What's your 20 ?"
 

newtoscanning

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
155
10 codes where suppose to be standard, then everyone changed them to suit their individual needs (why does fire need a 10 code for suspect not wanted?) APCO originally pumped out a document way back when with a standard list. (you can still google it).

Phasing out of ten codes was suppose to happen a long time ago, there are a long list of acronyms that have jumped on the band wagon. Little harder said than done. (How relistic is it for DHS to send our a memo on 10-codes and have a small country police department with 10 sherrifs follow it?)

Good example is fire though, haven't even heard a 10-4 out of them in a long time. Obvisouly pending on the department radio ettitque changes but the over all point is still there.
 
Last edited:

BoxAlarm187

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
1,512
Location
Old Dominion
Both September 11th and Hurricane Katrina (that devistated New Orleans, LA) were catalysts for the push towards plain-text from 10-codes. Some departments have been using plain-text for many years, while other more traditional agencies are more resistant to the change.

Originally, FEMA stated that all agencies must use plain-text all the time, but after a strong argument from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, FEMA's stance was changed. It now states that plain-text must be used when operating at multi-agency incidents.

For what it's worth, neither of my agencies have been using 10-codes for about a decade.
 

mciupa

DB Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Messages
6,900
It's more than just 10 codes, Halton uses 900 codes and I think Durham and Niagara does as well (but we can't hear those though can we? :roll:)
 

gary123

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Messages
1,092
many ontario depts use 9 codes. My local probably is still using them although they have gone ENC.
 

meplat

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
46
Location
Canada
Plain language makes more sense to me. It reduces the probability that anyone will misunderstand what is being said.

A parallel example are Q-codes. They were originally used with Morse code, but carried over to voice. Asking to QSY to another freq. or asking what someone's QTH is, is not necessary. Just ask someone where they live. In the case of the police, a clear description - bar fight with weapons for example - is quick, to the point and somehow more human.
 

ltjweiss

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
284
Location
South Eastern Wisconsin
suppose an officer does not have a detainee not properly stowed away or secured yet and a dispatcher comes over the comms with a warrant for their arrest especially for a violent crime, this suspect could become combative. i believe it is better for detainees or bystanders that might over hear a conversation over comms not really know what is really going on, thats originally what the purpose of 10-codes were to keep our patrolman and women safe. plain speak might be easier for us to listen to but it is not as safe.
 

pathalogical

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Toronto, Canada
Another thought...unfortunately, some criminals may be in possession of a scanner knowing the police are looking for them or if they are about to commit a crime. Listening in would give them a heads up. If police surround a location and enough plain talk is used, a perp can figure out what's going on and now knows that his time is limited and may take desparate actions. Police no longer have the element of surprise. The results can be deadly !
 

JoeyC

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,403
Location
San Diego, CA
suppose an officer does not have a detainee not properly stowed away or secured yet and a dispatcher comes over the comms with a warrant for their arrest especially for a violent crime, this suspect could become combative. i believe it is better for detainees or bystanders that might over hear a conversation over comms not really know what is really going on, thats originally what the purpose of 10-codes were to keep our patrolman and women safe. plain speak might be easier for us to listen to but it is not as safe.
Then your dispatcher/center needs an education. Always ask if the officer is prepared for the info, you don't just give it out not knowing what the situation is in the field.

Also, people usually know they are wanted or have warrants out for them. Doesn't matter whether the dispatcher uses a 10 code, Greek, or ebonics over the radio, the perp already knows the response from dispatch will be a positive one irregardless of the language.
 
Last edited:

JoeyC

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,403
Location
San Diego, CA
Another thought...unfortunately, some criminals may be in possession of a scanner knowing the police are looking for them or if they are about to commit a crime. Listening in would give them a heads up. If police surround a location and enough plain talk is used, a perp can figure out what's going on and now knows that his time is limited and may take desparate actions. Police no longer have the element of surprise. The results can be deadly !
Any criminal toting a scanner around for the purposes of evading detection already knows what 10 codes are. Its not rocket science to figure them out.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top