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Describing a suspect/citizen by region

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  • Describing a suspect/citizen by region

    Hey all, I've been wondering this for a while and couldn't find anything regarding it on the web or within this site, so I'm giving it a shot here.

    I've noticed multiple police departments on/around the west coast whom describe people over the radio or in reports with gender before ethnicity, eg: "Suspect is a Male White", "Person reporting is a Female Hispanic", "Victim is a Female Black", etc. LAPD is a prime example of this. Other departments, however, would describe people as a typical English speaker would, "Black Male", "Hispanic Female". Has anyone else ever picked up on this? I'm curious why one way over the other is taught as the norm in the academies, and if it's just a regional thing (such as "perp" vs. "suspect"), or if it has any explainable history behind it. Thanks for your time!

  • #2
    Generally you repeat as your FTO taught you. You can do pretty much whatever you want once you're cut loose, but while in training, do as instructed / taught.

    Initial lessons are sometimes hard to unlearn, plus sometimes, later on, you may actually figure out why you were taught a certain way, and why it's different than what you felt was best.

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    • #3
      My department doesn’t care.

      As long as you don’t cuss on the radio you’re good.

      Some departments are more rigid and stress getting out the most important information first.

      Some may think that apparent gender identity is first, apparent ethnicity is next... whatever.
      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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      • #4
        We were issued a directive not to "meow" over the air anymore...

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        • #5
           

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          • #6
            If you watch the old Adam 12, Dragnet shows etc they spoke like that on their radios on the TV shows. FWIW.

            I don't know the answer but can take an educated guess....

            I suspect it's a hold over practice from the early days of radio dispatched cars etc and dealing with weak radio signals. "Male White" etc would likely be more distinguishable over a weak radio signal with static in the background than just saying "White Male." Especially if you had a similar sounding street in the area or someone with a similar sounding name. For example: did he say he was out with a white male or Whitman Mayo?

            ​​​​​
            Last edited by westside popo; 06-23-2021, 09:51 PM.

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            • #7
              Sounds racist.

              And insensitive to people who don't know what bathroom to use...

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              • #8
                Oh, and, "perp vs. suspect" isn't a regional thing...that's a tv vs. real life thing. I've never heard a real LEO use "perp."
                "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                -Friedrich Nietzsche

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                • westside popo
                  westside popo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I had a sergeant that used "perp" from time to time. He's the only one I ever heard use it.

                • nbrhoodwatch
                  nbrhoodwatch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  In NYC I've heard quite a few use the term "perp". Maybe it's just an NYPD thing.

                • BNWS
                  BNWS commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Perpetrator/ perp is what we use in the NYPD.

                • southpaw1
                  southpaw1 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  In Chicago we say "Offender is a Male White" for example.

              • #9
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
                We were issued a directive not to "meow" over the air anymore...
                The SO I used to work at had a policy of not transmitting FM radio over the 800... because one deputy used to do that... but they made it specifically FM.... so music from you iPod, or AM or anyth8ng else was OK.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I wouldn't tie up the air with songs- that's a major safety issue.

                  But I don't see the harm in playing music appropriate to the situation, over the car's PA system. Like "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places" in front of a gay bar...

              • #10
                Originally posted by NolaT View Post

                Initial lessons are sometimes hard to unlearn, plus sometimes, later on, you may actually figure out why you were taught a certain way, and why it's different than what you felt was best.
                "plain speak" is one of the hardest for me

                40 some years of 10 codes and other shortcuts .....................my current dispatchers shudder when I revert (which happens a lot)
                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  After a career in law enforcement dating back 30 years, my wife speaks in 10-codes and uses law-enforcement hand signs...

                • Iowa #1603
                  Iowa #1603 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  yep............

              • #11
                I was taught to use the acronym ‘CYMBL’ for describing a vehicle. That stands for color, year model, make, body style, and license number. It sounds like these other jurisdictions have something like that for describing people.

                We just described them like this: “Request a 10-27/10-29 on a white female…” or “…subject fleeing on foot west from my location towards blah blah blah. Subject is a Hispanic male, approximately 5’,06”, approximately 17 years of age, black or dark brown hair, black or dark brown eyes, medium skin, thin goatee, medium build, last seen wearing a white wife-beater T-shirt, black baggy cargo shorts, and white Nike Cortez tennis shoes.” The idea was to give a top down description of the person.

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