Police Scanner Codes Meanings: Everything You Need To Know in 2020
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Police Scanner Codes Meanings

After a little convincing, you now have your very own police scanner (if you don’t, check this page). You tried using it and found yourself marveling over the conversations you can hear. But then, you find that some of what goes over your device makes little to no sense, especially when they are coming from law enforcement agencies. “Code blue” may have left you muttering “What?” and “10-7” might have you scratching your head. Don’t worry, this page is right here so you would not be left in the dark with any police scanner code used by officers.

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 that may be encountered by the police, firemen, and the like but in an abbreviated way. The use of these in a call have obvious benefits, such as being direct with the circumstance at hand and giving the information a veil of secrecy, no matter how thin. Codes reduce speech on radio so available services can address the situation at the fastest time. But their use has not been at all practical in certain instances.

It is important to note that the codes used on police radio are not universal. Sometimes, police may also use direct abbreviations like ADW for “assault with a deadly weapon” instead of the code 245. While there are standardized codes, certain states, and even particular departments (such as fire or emergencies) might require some that are more specific to them to help with differentiation. Private citizens also often have their own set of codes. These led to the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to not recommend the use of the codes on radio because of the lack of a uniform set to cover the whole nation in 2005.

Police scanner codes, specifically those in use by law enforcement agencies, have their origin 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 now and then especially when 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 for yourself 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 2Urgent – no light or siren
Code 3Use lights and siren
Code 4No further assistance needed
Code 5Stakeout
Code 6Stay out of area
Code 7Meal break
Code 8Restroom break
Code 9Summer uniform
Code 10SWAT pre-call up
Code 11SWAT call up
Code 37Subject/property wanted

Police Scanner Ten Codes

10-00Officer down, all patrols respond
10-1Reception poor
10-2Reception good
10-3Stop transmitting
10-4Message received, understood
10-5Repay message
10-6Change channel
10-7Out of service
10-7AOut of service, home
10-7BOut of service, personal
10-8In service
10-9Repeat last message
10-10Off duty
10-10AOff duty, home
10-11Identify frequency
10-12Visitor(s) present
10-13Weather and road advice
10-14Citizen w/suspect
10-15Prisoner in custody
10-16Pick up prisoner
10-17Request for gasoline
10-18Equipment exchange
10-19Return(ing) to station
10-21AAdvise home I will return at ____
10-22Disregard last assignment
10-23Stand by
10-24Request car-to-car transmit
10-25Do you have contact with ____
10-27D.D.L. report
10-28Registration request
10-29Check for wants
10-29FSubject wanted, felony
10-29HHazard potential from subject
10-29MSubject wanted, misdemeanor
10-29VVehicle wanted
10-30Doesn’t conform to regulations
10-33Alarm sounding, audible
10-34Assist at office
10-35Time check
10-36Confidential information
10-37Identify operator
10-39Can ____ come to the radio?
10-40Is ____ available for phone call?
10-42Check the welfare of/at ____
10-43Call a doctor
10-45Condition of patient?
10-45ACondition of patient: good
10-45BCondition of patient: serious
10-45CCondition: critical
10-45DCondition: dead
10-49Proceed to ____
10-50Under influence of drugs
10-53Man down
10-54Possible dead body
10-55Coroner case
10-56ASuicide attempt
10-57Missing person
10-59Security check
10-61Miscellaneous public service
10-62Meet a citizen
10-62ATake a report from a citizen
10-62BCivilian standby
10-63Prepare to copy
10-64Found property
10-66Suspicious person
10-67Person calling for help
10-68Telephone for police
10-72Gun involved
10-73How do you receive?
10-79Bomb threat
10-86Any radio traffic?
10-88Assume post
10-91AAnimal, stray
10-91BAnimal, noisy
10-91CAnimal, injured
10-91DAnimal, dead
10-91EAnimal, bite
10-91GAnimal, pickup
10-91JAnimal, pickup collect
10-91LAnimal, leash law violation
10-91VAnimal, vicious
10-95Requesting ID tech unit
10-97Arrived at scene
10-98Available to assign
10-99Warrants or stolen vehicle indicated
10-100Misdemeanor warrant
10-200Drugs involved
10-600Livestock down
10-1000Felony warrant

Police Scanner Eleven Codes

11-10Take report
11-24Abandoned vehicle
11-25Traffic hazard
11-26Abandoned bicycle
11-27D.D.L. report with driver held
11-28Registration request with driver held
11-40Advise if ambulance needed
11-41Ambulance needed
11-42No ambulance needed
11-48Furnish transportation
11-52Funeral detail
11-54Suspicious vehicle
11-55Officer being followed by auto
11-56Office being followed by auto dangerous persons
11-57Unidentified auto at assignments
11-58Radio monitored, use phone
11-59Intensive attention: high hazard, business areas
11-60Attack in high hazard area
11-65Signal light out
11-66Defective traffic signal light
11-78Aircraft accident
11-79Accident – ambulance sent
11-80Accident – major injuries
11-81Accident – minor injuries
11-82Accident – no injuries
11-83Accident – no detail
11-84Manual traffic control requested
11-85Tow truck requested
11-86Bomb threat
11-87Bomb found
11-94Pedestrian stop
11-95Routine traffic stop
11-96Checking suspicious vehicle
11-97Time/security check on patrol
11-98Meet ____
11-99Under 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, etc.

207AKidnapping attempt
211ARobbery alarm
211SRobbery alarm, silent
217Assault with intent to murder
245Assault with a deadly weapon
245bAssault against a peace officer with a deadly weapon
246Shooting at an inhabited dwelling
261AAttempted rape
273AChild neglect
273DFelony wife beating
288 Lewd conduct
311Indecent exposure
314Indecent exposure
374BIllegal dumping
390DDrunk, unconscious
417A person with a gun
417AA person with a knife
459ABurglar alarm
459SBurglar alarm, silent
480Hit and run, felony
481Hit and run, misdemeanor
484Petty theft
487Grand theft
488Petty theft
502Drunk driving
503Auto theft
504Tampering with a vehicle
505Reckless driving
507Public nuisance
510Speeding or racing vehicles
586Illegal parking
594Malicious mischief
595Runaway car
604Throwing missiles
647Lewd conduct
653MThreatening phone calls
5150Mental case
10851Auto theft
10852Tampering with vehicle
20001Hit and run, felony
20002Hit and run, misdemeanor
20007Hit and run, unattended
21958Drunk pedestrian on the roadway
22500Illegal parking
23101Drunk driving – injuries
23102Drunk driving
23103Reckless driver
23104Reckless driver
23105Driver under narcotics
23110A person throwing objects at vehicles
23151Drunk driving – injuries
23152Drunk driver

Police Scanner Color Codes

Code BlueBus or taxi in trouble
Code RedVARDA (Voice Activated Radio Dispatched Alarm) activated
Code PurpleGang activity

Medical / Fire Status Codes

Code 10Critical trauma case
Code 20Acute trauma case
Code 30Trauma case
Code 40Serious case (IV started)
Code 50Basic transport (not serious)
Code NNewsworthy event