What's a "PREP"?

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MFD4305

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When MSP Troopers sign-on with their dispatch they refer to their "PREP," often saying they will "key it." I'm guessing it's some sort of emergency alert device, roughly equivalent to our firefighter PASS devices. Does anyone have specifics?
TIA
 

Gpmorris62

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"PREP" is a term used for a portable radio. A trooper keys it up so the RID for that radio will be associated with that trooper at Dispatch.
 

Golay

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Simply what they call their handheld radios.
For whatever reason police around me have called them that for over 45 years, as long as I've been listening to them anyway.
 

kruser

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Simply what they call their handheld radios.
For whatever reason police around me have called them that for over 45 years, as long as I've been listening to them anyway.
It's funny how you can still learn something new almost every day!
I've also been into radio for 45+ years and have never heard that term used in my neck of the woods. My guess would have been the OP actually herd PERP which is said over the radio here pretty often.

Another one I knew what it meant but never hear it used here is BOLO.
The agencies around here always say the full meaning and don't use the abbreviation.
I only ever heard one agency say BOLO over the air and that one was a joke when they announced a BOLO for an old white bearded guy in a red suit on a sleigh being pulled by reindeer!
All the others say the full meaning of BOLO when broadcasting the BOLO on XMAS Eve or when broadcasting a real BOLO.

Kind of funny how terminology used changes as you move around the country. I know many here have gotten away from using most 10-Codes and have went back to plain English to reduce mistakes or confusion but several agencies still use their full set of 10 codes while some only use the real common codes like 10-8 or 10-4 with less frequent codes having been replaced with plain english.
 

DJ11DLN

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It's funny how you can still learn something new almost every day!
I've also been into radio for 45+ years and have never heard that term used in my neck of the woods. My guess would have been the OP actually herd PERP which is said over the radio here pretty often.

Another one I knew what it meant but never hear it used here is BOLO.
The agencies around here always say the full meaning and don't use the abbreviation.
I only ever heard one agency say BOLO over the air and that one was a joke when they announced a BOLO for an old white bearded guy in a red suit on a sleigh being pulled by reindeer!
All the others say the full meaning of BOLO when broadcasting the BOLO on XMAS Eve or when broadcasting a real BOLO.

Kind of funny how terminology used changes as you move around the country. I know many here have gotten away from using most 10-Codes and have went back to plain English to reduce mistakes or confusion but several agencies still use their full set of 10 codes while some only use the real common codes like 10-8 or 10-4 with less frequent codes having been replaced with plain english.
Very much agree. I've never really had the chance to travel around the country with a scanner...maybe in the future...but until finding RR I had no idea there was so much variance in jargon and terminology. For example, BOLO is never heard around here. When they want to do that, they set the alert tone and then say, "All units, observe for," I guess it would be an "AUOF" instead.:lol:

10-codes and signals are alive and well here...the whole "Plain English" thing seems to have gone over many heads. What is odd is how they've changed some uses. "10-4" for example used to be used only to mean "yes" or "I understand." Now as often as not they use it as a status indicator, i.e. "We're all 10-4 here," where they used to say "We're secure.":roll:

I always enjoy learning new things and how things are different in different parts of the country and the world.
 

RayAir

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They used to be called PRICKs.
No joke.

I think this was from the PRC radio era.
 

kruser

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They used to be called PRICKs.
No joke.

I think this was from the PRC radio era.
Yep, that's exactly what I always called my old PRC military models when I was into those old things. I bet they still call them the same today!
 

MFD4305

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Thanks!

Thanks to all for your input. Here are a couple of wrap-up comments:

- what freq or band do the PREPs use? [The reference is definitely to PREP, not to perp. My reception of MSPCS is as clear as simulcast can be received on a BCD996P2 and the context of the transmissions has nothing to do with perps]. I have never heard anything when the Trooper says he will "key my PREP."

- in Washtenaw County dispatchers refer to a "BOL," the first time I've heard the final O in BOLO omitted in 40+ years of monitoring in 10 states.

Thanks again for the input!
 

drdispatch

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The prep's are on the MPSCS, same as the mobiles. The troopers check in with regional dispatch at the start of their shift, usually using their mobile radio. When a user transmits on the MPSCS, the RID (Radio ID - like an ESN) shows up on the display of all radios on that talkgroup. The dispatcher records that number, and also the RID of the trooper's portable, so that if they set off their emergency alert on either radio, the dispatcher will know who it is, in case the trooper is unable to speak. It's not necessary to talk in order for the RID to display, so they just key up the portable for a second. Our officers usually check in on their mobiles and give us their portable's RID verbally.

Back when MSP was on VHF low band, their portables were on VHF high, and each car had a mobile extender in it to bridge the portable to the mobile. They referred to those as the "Portable Repeater", which may be the origin of the term "PREP". That's one theory, anyway.
 
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N8DRC

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Back when MSP was on VHF low band, their portables were on VHF high, and each car had a mobile extender in it to bridge the portable to the mobile. They referred to those as the "Portable Repeater", which may be the origin of the term "PREP". That's one theory, anyway.
I miss those days.....
 

Golay

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Back when MSP was on VHF low band, their portables were on VHF high, and each car had a mobile extender in it to bridge the portable to the mobile. They referred to those as the "Portable Repeater", which may be the origin of the term "PREP". That's one theory, anyway.
Could be. I grew up listening to north Downriver on 155.49. They called their handhelds a prep for 45 years. They were Motorola HT220's. I'm so old, I listened to south downriver on VHF Low.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I first heard that term during a needs assessment for a police radio system in Ohio 15 years ago. I never heard a portable referred to in that manner. I figured it out after a minute or two listening, but it is obscure terminology indeed.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

bosco836

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When MSP Troopers sign-on with their dispatch they refer to their "PREP," often saying they will "key it." I'm guessing it's some sort of emergency alert device, roughly equivalent to our firefighter PASS devices. Does anyone have specifics?
TIA
The service I work for, along with a neighbouring police force also refer to our portable radios as PREP Radios or PREPs for short. Not sure where it originated from, but has been going on since long before my time.
 

drdispatch

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Been hearing these preps, since there are numerous ones are they done on separate TG's like a lein channel would be. The preps don't take place on normal operational traffic TG's do they.
The portables ("PREP's") are programmed using the same template as the agency's mobiles. They have every talkgroup that the mobiles have, in the same configuration, i.e. Zone D Channel 5 in the mobile is also Zone D Channel 5 in the portable. It's hard enough to remember how one radio is configured let alone two, without a "cheat sheet"!
 

MFD4305

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Another Question

. . .Zone D Channel 5 in the mobile is also Zone D Channel 5 in the portable. It's hard enough to remember how one radio is configured let alone two, without a "cheat sheet"!
Thanks for that additional input. Now that you've raised the concept of Zones and Channels, can you enlighten us a little more? Do Zones and Channels vary from District to District? Is there a collection of examples we could review somewhere?

Thanks!
 
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