Now that you have your own police scanner, you find that some conversations make little to no sense, especially when they’re coming from law enforcement agencies. Things like “Code blue” and “10-7” might have you scratching your head. If you don’t understand these things, you won’t get the full use out of your device.
To eliminate all this confusion, we’ve listed every police scanner code used by officers below.
Table of Contents
What are Police Scanner Codes?
The words and numbers that made it to your scanner radio (or your smartphone, if you have any of these top police scanner apps) are collectively called police scanner codes.
Number or color codes were devised to refer to particular situations encountered by the police, firemen, and the like – but in an abbreviated way.
The use of these in a call has obvious benefits, such as being direct with the circumstance at hand and giving the information a veil of secrecy, no matter how thin. Of course, there are some things they don’t want the public to hear.
Codes reduce speech on radio so available services can address the situation in the fastest time possible. However, their use has not been practical in certain instances.
Do the Codes Apply to All Radio Users?
It’s important to note that the codes used on police radio are not universal. Sometimes, the police may also use direct abbreviations like ADW for “assault with a deadly weapon” instead of code 245.
While there are standardized codes, certain states and even particular departments (such as fire or emergencies) might require some codes to be more specific to them. The purpose is to help with differentiation.
Now, if you don’t have a police scanner yet, you can check this page for options.
Private citizens also often have their own set of codes. This lack of uniformity in the whole nation led the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to not recommend the use of the codes on the radio in 2005.
Why Does the Police Use Codes?
Police scanner codes, specifically those in use by law enforcement agencies, originated in the 1940s. The first set was standardized and consequently published by the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO).
Today, however, some of the codes were replaced and used with simpler terms to prevent having to refer to the set often, especially considering that the lists are usually hefty. Newer codes also placed a priority on becoming brief yet clear because older codes failed to give a short yet holistic indication of what is happening.
The codes are meant to help and address a myriad of emergencies, such as fire situations, burglaries, road accidents, medical accidents, and bomb threats. They can be numeric, or expressed by way of colors to give information.
You can learn what the law enforcement codes are for by referring to the list we have below. Here are some of the codes currently used in the United States:
Police Scanner Codes Tables
|Code 2||Urgent – no light or siren|
|Code 3||Use lights and siren|
|Code 4||No further assistance needed|
|Code 6||Stay out of area|
|Code 7||Meal break|
|Code 8||Restroom break|
|Code 9||Summer uniform|
|Code 10||SWAT pre-call up|
|Code 11||SWAT call up|
|Code 37||Subject/property wanted|
Police Scanner Ten Codes
|10-00||Officer down, all patrols respond|
|10-4||Message received, understood|
|10-7||Out of service|
|10-7A||Out of service, home|
|10-7B||Out of service, personal|
|10-9||Repeat last message|
|10-10A||Off duty, home|
|10-13||Weather and road advice|
|10-15||Prisoner in custody|
|10-16||Pick up prisoner|
|10-17||Request for gasoline|
|10-19||Return(ing) to station|
|10-21A||Advise home I will return at ____|
|10-22||Disregard last assignment|
|10-24||Request car-to-car transmit|
|10-25||Do you have contact with ____|
|10-29||Check for wants|
|10-29F||Subject wanted, felony|
|10-29H||Hazard potential from subject|
|10-29M||Subject wanted, misdemeanor|
|10-30||Doesn’t conform to regulations|
|10-33||Alarm sounding, audible|
|10-34||Assist at office|
|10-39||Can ____ come to the radio?|
|10-40||Is ____ available for phone call?|
|10-42||Check the welfare of/at ____|
|10-43||Call a doctor|
|10-45||Condition of patient?|
|10-45A||Condition of patient: good|
|10-45B||Condition of patient: serious|
|10-49||Proceed to ____|
|10-50||Under influence of drugs|
|10-54||Possible dead body|
|10-61||Miscellaneous public service|
|10-62||Meet a citizen|
|10-62A||Take a report from a citizen|
|10-63||Prepare to copy|
|10-67||Person calling for help|
|10-68||Telephone for police|
|10-73||How do you receive?|
|10-86||Any radio traffic?|
|10-91J||Animal, pickup collect|
|10-91L||Animal, leash law violation|
|10-95||Requesting ID tech unit|
|10-97||Arrived at scene|
|10-98||Available to assign|
|10-99||Warrants or stolen vehicle indicated|
Police Scanner Eleven Codes
|11-27||D.D.L. report with driver held|
|11-28||Registration request with driver held|
|11-40||Advise if ambulance needed|
|11-42||No ambulance needed|
|11-55||Officer being followed by auto|
|11-56||Office being followed by auto dangerous persons|
|11-57||Unidentified auto at assignments|
|11-58||Radio monitored, use phone|
|11-59||Intensive attention: high hazard, business areas|
|11-60||Attack in high hazard area|
|11-65||Signal light out|
|11-66||Defective traffic signal light|
|11-79||Accident – ambulance sent|
|11-80||Accident – major injuries|
|11-81||Accident – minor injuries|
|11-82||Accident – no injuries|
|11-83||Accident – no detail|
|11-84||Manual traffic control requested|
|11-85||Tow truck requested|
|11-95||Routine traffic stop|
|11-96||Checking suspicious vehicle|
|11-97||Time/security check on patrol|
|11-99||Under attack, immediate assistance required!|
Police Scanner Penal Codes
Police scanner penal codes are formulated to keep communications fast and efficient. Penal codes may also be exclusive to some departments like fire, emergency services, and the like.
|211S||Robbery alarm, silent|
|217||Assault with intent to murder|
|245||Assault with a deadly weapon|
|245b||Assault against a peace officer with a deadly weapon|
|246||Shooting at an inhabited dwelling|
|273D||Felony wife beating|
|417||A person with a gun|
|417A||A person with a knife|
|459S||Burglar alarm, silent|
|480||Hit and run, felony|
|481||Hit and run, misdemeanor|
|504||Tampering with a vehicle|
|510||Speeding or racing vehicles|
|653M||Threatening phone calls|
|10852||Tampering with vehicle|
|20001||Hit and run, felony|
|20002||Hit and run, misdemeanor|
|20007||Hit and run, unattended|
|21958||Drunk pedestrian on the roadway|
|23101||Drunk driving – injuries|
|23105||Driver under narcotics|
|23110||A person throwing objects at vehicles|
|23151||Drunk driving – injuries|
Police Scanner Color Codes
|Code Blue||Bus or taxi in trouble|
|Code Red||VARDA (Voice Activated Radio Dispatched Alarm) activated|
|Code Purple||Gang activity|
Medical / Fire Status Codes
|Code 10||Critical trauma case|
|Code 20||Acute trauma case|
|Code 30||Trauma case|
|Code 40||Serious case (IV started)|
|Code 50||Basic transport (not serious)|
|Code N||Newsworthy event|