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  • Police Car Radio Identification

    Well, I'm gathering informations for a book I'm writing and, as the book tells the stories of two patrol officers of a fictional police dept., I asked myself: how do the cops identify themselves when they talk on the radio? I found something about this on the net, but it wasn't clear as I expected and I'm still confused. I understood, for example, that an Adam Unit is a two-officer-patrol-unit, but I don't understand well how it works... Can somebody please tell me? Thanks in advance, guys.

    P.S.: if you don't understand what I wrote, I'm sorry, but English it's not my first language.

  • #2
    That type of stuff is department specific..........every department is different in how they identify their units.

    That is your one freebie..........................we normally don't help writers doing research.
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


    • #3
      Oh, sorry, I didn't know. Well, thank you anyway!


      • #4
        I'm Borg 7 of 9
        Today's Quote:

        "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
        Albert Einstein


        • #5
          Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
          I'm Borg 7 of 9
          I've seen your picture..........You are NOT 7 of 9...I am watching her on TV right now
          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


          • #6
            As stated....department/area specific.

            One agency I worked, we use are badge numbers as our radio numbers....

            When I worked for another agency, we were assigned a radio number based on what part of the County we were working in....

            Another agency I worked for based it on patrol vehicle numbers.....

            You best bet is to get with the agency you are wanting to write about (even if it's's going to be from a real section of the US) and see what they do....and go from there.....


            • #7
              "Fictional One, Fictional Dispatch"

              "Fictional One, Fictional Two. I've got a suspect detained..."

              Please send me $10 US or mention me in your book.
              Free Deke O'Mally!!!


              • #8
                Thanks. Sure I will (mention in my book, of course, as I'm a little bit mean )


                • #9
                  "Lost Three, This is Lost One. are you Lost too, over?"


                  • #10
                    We have radio numbers, and they're actually arranged in a logical order.

                    1-10 for admin
                    11-20 A shift (full-time assignment)
                    21-30 B shift (full-time assignment)
                    31-40 C shift (full-time assignment)
                    41-50 D shift (full-time assignment)
                    51-70 part time
                    401-450 reserve

                    Also, anyone that uses our dispatch gets numbers that make sense, along those lines.

                    100-series agency A
                    200-series agency B
                    700-series agency C
                    800-series agency D
                    900-series agency E

                    Our State Police use radio numbers that almost always correspond to their car numbers. It's a letter followed by two numbers:

                    for A50:

                    A is A troop
                    5 is the geographic region within A troop where he works
                    0 designates the area boss (usually a sgt)
                    The academy teaches you skills, the street gives you experience, but it all comes down to your instinct.


                    • #11
                      My old agency the letters and number stood for a variety of things. For example 61A16. 61 was the number assigned to the county based off its population, the A (Adam) identified the unit as being with the Sheriff's Office, and 16 was the unit number assigned by the agency to a specific officer/deputy.

                      It was read like this: "Six-one-Adam-sixteen"

                      The dispatch was identified by the county number again. Example my county used a neighboring county's dispatch center. 441 was their call sign. "Four-four-one" You never said "four-forty-one" it was a weird quirk of the dispatches.

                      Just an example of how wildly different agencies use call signs.


                      • #12
                        see chips reruns


                        • #13
                          From an RCMP perspective (yeah, you USA guys, don't be hatin' jealous - just jealous!), especially here on the flatlands (yeah, right, I'll keep feeding disinformation and fool you all - ha!), the call signs were ANNN, with a single alpha character prefix designating the type of Unit / duty the vehicle was associated with, and the 3 numeric character suffix basically being randomly assigned but USUALLY sequential for that Unit:
                          A = Rural or General Duty Detachment;
                          B = Municipal Detachment;
                          C = Traffic Services;
                          D = plain-clothes Unit (Drugs, Major Crimes, General Investigation (what we called Detectives or equivalent));
                          E = Operational Support Unit (IDENT (kinda CSI but uniformed and NOT like on TV at all!), Dog, Radio / Computer Techs);
                          F = Administration (Officers, anything NOT mentioned above);
                          M = Non-RCMP Municipal Police Services using the RCMP radio system.

                          My TS Unit had C400 to 404, C410, C420 & C421.

                          The Rural GD Detachment here had A455 & 456, 585 & 586 and 785 to 787.

                          The Organized / Serious Crime unit here (1 guy seconded to the City Police to work with their 1 plain-clothes guy, mostly on drugs, but takes on major multi-jurisdictional stuff, and is part of a larger MCU elsewhere) has D303.

                          The former Town PS East of here (defunct, and taken over by this Rural GD Detachment) was M300.

                          Our planes use MPx as the suffix of their registration number and that suffix is their call sign on our radio system: MPE, MPW, etc.

                          Radio protocol here is, Unit being called - Unit calling, so if I was in C420 (usually) and wanted to speak to C421, I would hold the push-to-talk button on the microphone, wait to hear the tone indicating that I had a clear channel, and say, "C421, C420".

                          And, no, I can not speak Italian, I just have the dark, drop-dead good looks going for me! The rest of you - stop hatin'!
                          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                          Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                          RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                          Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                          "Smile" - no!


                          • #14
                            After reading a couple of these.....No wonder I liked having Badge/Car Numbers.......and that was it....


                            • #15
                              I usually don't talk to my radio unless I'm listening to a political call in show or something like that. Usually I just listen to music.

                              Thanks for the question though!


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