Police 10-Codes

kent mccord


Police 10-codes were developed in the 1940s to represent common phrases used by law enforcement officers, and for use with CB radios, normally used in the trucking industry.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no standard set of 10-codes. The once secret radio language can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, which makes it extremely difficult for officers from different agencies to communicate, such as during the 911 disaster in New York City. To some police officers, a 10-10 means Fight in Progress, while an officer from a neighboring department might know a 10-10 to mean Negative, or No. As a result, many agencies are abandoning the old system for plain English speak. Instead of saying “10-4” an officer would simply say “Okay.”

Here’s a list of some of the 10-codes still in use (remember, this varies from location to location).

10-1 poor reception
10-2 good reception
10-3 stop transmitting
10-4 message received, affirmative, okay
10-5 relay this information to ___.
10-6 busy
10-7 out of service
10-8 in service
10-9 please repeat your message
10-10 negative
10-12 standby
10-13 civilians present and listening
10-15 en route to station with suspect
10-18 urgent
10-19 return to station
10-20 specify location/my location is ___.
10-21 place a phone call to ___.
10-22 disregard
10-23 stand by on this frequency (also “On scene” in some areas)
10-27 vehicle registration request
10-28 arrests/warrants on driver’s license
10-29 arrests/ warrants on the vehicle
10-32 gun
10-33 emergency traffic follows, hold routine messages
10-34 frequency open (cancels 10-33)
10-36 what is the correct time of day?
10-39 false alarm, premises was occupied
10-40 false alarm, no activity, premises appears secure
10-41 begin watch
10-42 end watch
10-45 fueling vehicle
10-49 en route to assignment
10-50 accident
10-51 tow truck needed
10-52 ambulance needed
10-53 road blocked at ___.
10-54 animals on highway
10-55 security check
10-57 hit-and-run accident
10-58 direct traffic
10-59 escort
10-60 squad in vicinity
10-61 personnel in area
10-62 reply to message
10-63 clear to copy info?
10-64 message for delivery
10-65 net message assignment
10-66 net message cancellation
10-67 person calling for help
10-68 dispatch message
10-69 message received
10-70 prowler, fire alarm
10-71 gun involved
10-72 shooting
10-73 smoke report
10-74 negative
10-75 in contact with ___.
10-76 en route
10-77 ETA ___.
10-78 need assistance
10-79 bomb threat, coroner’s case
10-80 bomb has exploded
10-81 Breathalyzer report
10-82 reserve lodging
10-83 work school crossing at ___.
10-84 if meeting ___, advise ETA
10-85 delay due to ___.
10-86 officer on-duty
10-87 pickup
10-88 present phone number of ___.
10-89 bomb threat
10-90 bank alarm at ___.
10-91 pick up prisoner
10-92 improperly parked vehicle
10-93 blockage
10-94 drag racing
10-95 prisoner/subject in custody
10-96 psych patient
10-97 check signal (“On Scene” in CA and other areas)
10-98 prison/jail break
10-99 wanted/stolen record
10-100 dead body
10-200 alarm

Here’s another agency’s list of similar numerical codes and their meanings.

10-1 Receiving poorly
10-2 Receiving well
10-3 Stop transmitting
10-5 Relay
10-6 Busy
10-7 Out of service
10-8 In service
10-9 Repeat
10-10 Out of service – subject to call
10-11 Dispatching to rapidly
10-12 Officials or visitors present
10-13 Advise weather and road conditions
10-14 Convoy or escort
10-15 Prisoner in custody
10-16 Pick up prisoner at _______
10-17 Pick up papers at _______
10-18 Complete present assignment quickly as possible
10-19 Return to your station
10-20 What is your location ?
10-21 Call by telephone, number _______
10-22 Take no further action
10-23 Officer in trouble, location _______
10-24 Trouble at station, units in vicinity report at once
10-25 Do you wish to have contact with _______
10-26 Motorist assist, location _______
10-27 Any answer our message _______
10-28 Check full registration information
10-29 Check for stolen or wanted
10-30 Does not conform to rules and regulations
10-31 Breathalyzer operator report to _______
10-32 Is Breathalyzer available ?
10-33 Emergency traffic
10-35 Confidential information
10-36 Correct time ?
10-37 Operator on duty
10-39 Your message delivered
10-40 Advise if officer _______ available for radio call
10-41 Traffic record summary
10-42 Complete driver license record
10-43 Driver license status
10-44 Check for record wanted / with _______
10-45 Meet for coffee
10-46 Meet for vehicle or D.L. check
10-47 Subject in question possibly armed and dangerous or wanted
10-48 NCIC hit, is it safe to copy information ?
10-49 10-28 with amount of registration and weight paid
10-50 No calls
10-51 Pick up partner for road block assignment at _______
10-52 Set up road block at _______
10-53 Discontinue road block, authority _______
10-54 Estimated time of arrival
10-63 Radio net directed to _______
10-64 Radio net free
10-69 Have you dispatched to _______
10-70 Stopping vehicle, may be dangerous, location _______
vehicle description and license information
10-71 Officer is clear from 10-70
10-72 Information incomplete – no action will be taken until
further information is furnished
10-73 Information is not in proper form – rewrite information
and retransmit
10-74 Possible drug interdiction, stop being made at _______
10-75 Drug interdiction arrest made – request supervisor
10-82 Reserve room at motel for officer _______ at _______ for _______
10-84 Report to _______ for information
10-85 Keep vehicle under surveillance, DO NOT STOP
10-86 Pick up your partner
10-87 Aircraft assignment, location and time
10-88 Advise phone number for station to station call to officer _______
10-90 Officer welfare contact
10-91 Response to 10-90 by non-sworn personnel
10-97 Arrived at scene
10-98 Last assignment completed

Confusing, YES!

6 replies
  1. Peg H
    Peg H says:

    Glad you enjoyed your E-card Lee. Happy birthday again!

    Some of the 10 codes vary from township to township and department to department but most are the same.

  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Elena – I’m glad this post brought back some good memories for you. I’m having a few today, too. It’s my birthday. Just think, next year I’ll finally reach my 30s. 🙂

  3. Elena
    Elena says:

    Oh my, Lee, do you bring back memories – my first time hanging with City of Atlanta Police was as a volunteer in the public information office. The idea was for me to design a coloring book for Officer Friendly. I arrived, everyone said hello, told me basically what they do there and then they all left for lunch.

    On the way out, one of the guys pulled out the writing tray in a desk showing me a battered list of 10’s. Thank goodness, since for over an hour, all alone, I got to answer the phone and convince the reporters that what ever they were asking about we were on top of it.

    It was a blast! And a few months later the coloring book was ready for distribution.

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