Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. When contacting your patrol officers, do you use ten codes to cut down on radio traffic time? If so, do you have a list of the ten codes that can be obtained by the general public?
Dear Juneau Resident,
JPD has gone to what is called 'plain language' on the radio, virtually eliminating ten codes. 10-4 is considered so common that it is still used to acknowledge dispatch. If you hear other ten codes, it might be an experienced officer that hasn't quite broken the habit yet.
The reason for the move away from ten codes is that during major events, like September 11th, agencies had miscommunications because they were using different ten codes. In Alaska, Trooper ten codes have historically been different from JPD ten codes. You see the obvious problem when working together and backing each other up.
More than twenty years ago, a California agency did a study to prove plain language was faster and more accurate than codes. The study proved plain language was the way to go.
If you still want a list of ten codes, they are available all over the internet. There will be some small changes between agencies. JPD doesn't give out ten codes even though they really aren't very 'secret'.
In the future, police communication will more and more be over the computers in the cars and scrambled channels, eliminating the original reason ten codes were developed.