Police Radio Codes

If you’ve ever watched an episode of television or a film with someone communication over the radio with a string of numbers, you may have wondered what deal is with phrases similar to “10-4.” While 10-4 is arguably the most well-known of their lot, these code phrases are known as “ten-codes” or “ten-signals;” despite the name, there are for more than ten of them. The ten element of each code, beginning each phrase with the word “ten” arose as a workaround for receiving parties with inaccurate communication devices.

The codes were initially conceived by Charles Hopper in 1937. Hopper had been serving the Illinois State Police as a comms director and grew frustrated with how the analog equipment would tend to lose the first few moments of a correspondence. Hopper eventually figured that if an officer were to begin a message with the word “ten,” that messages could be received by the other party without losing any of the pertinent information as the equipment warmed up to operational standards. The codified nature of these signals also had the beneficial side effect of expediting communications.

  • 10-1 Receiving Poorty
  • 10-2 Receiving Well
  • 10-3 Stop Transmitting
  • 10-4 Acknowlegemet Rec’d
  • 10-5 Relay To
  • 10-6 Busy
  • 10-7 Out Of Service-At
  • 10-8 In Service
  • 10-9 Repeat-Conditions Bad
  • 10-10 Out Of Service
  • 10-11 Dispatching Rapidly
  • 10-12 Visitors Present
  • 10-13 Weather/Road Cond.
  • 10-14 Convoy Or Escort
  • 10-15 Prisoner In Custody
  • 10-16 Pick Up Prisoner At
  • 10-17 Conduct Investigation
  • 10-18 Complete ASGD Quick
  • 10-19 Return To Station
  • 10-20 Your Location
  • 10-21 Call Station (Phone)
  • 10-22 Disregard
  • 10-23 Standby
  • 10-24 Trouble-Sand Help
  • 10-25 In Contact With
  • 10-26 Message Received
  • 10-27 Complete Record Ok
  • 10-28 Check Registration
  • 10-29 Stolen And/Or Wanted
  • 10-30 Against Rules/Reg.
  • 10-31 In Pursuit
  • 10-32 Is Do Opr Available
  • 10-33 Emergency Traffic
  • 10-34 Jail Break/Trbl. Station
  • 10-35 Confidential Info.
  • 10-36 Correct Time
  • 10-37 Operator On Duty
  • 10-38 Block Road (S) At Station By Phone
  • 10-39 Message Delivered
  • 10-40 Out For Meal
  • 10-41 In Possession Of
  • 10-42 Out Of Service-Home
  • 10-43 Any Traffic For
  • 10-44 Pick Up Papers At
  • 10-45 Call_By Phone
  • 10-46 Urgent
  • 10-47 Blood Run
  • 10-48 End/Did You Receive
  • 10-49 Serving War. Capals
  • 10-50 Stop Veh. (Tag 10-20)
  • 10-51 Enroute
  • 10-52 Est. Time Of Arrival
  • 10-53 Coming By Office
  • 10-54 Negative
  • 10-55 Car Calling To Car
  • 10-56 Meet…At…
  • 10-57 At Pistol Range
  • 10-58 At Road Patrol Office
  • 10-59 Send Teletype/Comp. Mag.
  • 10-60 Assist To Motorist
  • 10-61 Need R.P.SGI On Scene
  • 10-62 Need R.P.LT On Scene
  • 10-63 Need Bomb Squad (Scene)
  • 10-64 Need Crime Lab (Scene)
  • 10-65 Can You Copy
  • 10-66 Cancel
  • 10-67 Serving Civil Process
  • 10-68 Legal Advice/Advisor
  • 10-69 Send Narc.Agent
  • 10-70 Send Wrecker
  • 10-71 Send Ambulance
  • 10-72 Send Helicopter
  • 10-73 Open Gate S.O
  • 10-74 Re-Call
  • 10-88 Where Can Be Reached
  • 10-89 On Page Service
  • 10-90 Scramble (Code ABCD)
  • 10-91 Detective And Vice Freq.
  • 10-92 Police Comm. Freq
  • 10-93 Detective Needed
  • 10-94 Send Back-Up Car
  • 10-95 Computer Check
  • 10-96 Radio-Telephone Patch
  • 10-97 Arrived At Scene
  • 10-98 Complete Assignment
  • 10-99 Unable Receive Signal
  • 10-100 Alert-Remain Contact With
  • 10-101 Log On Digital
  • 10-102 Log Off Digital
  • 10-103 Ack. Digital Mag. Screen
  • 10-104 Computer System Down
  • 10-105 Send Jail Wagon
  • 10-106 Medical Asst Needed

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