What are Police Scanner Codes?

Police scanner codes can be described as a type of shorthand communication that makes it easy for cops to talk and describe scenarios and events. The best known of these codes is 10-4 which means okay. But there are many other codes used. Fortunately though, they have been standardized.

Police Scanner Codes

The Ten Codes

While 10-4 is well known, it is not the only one. Other codes are the following. Note that this is not a complete list of ten codes but only some of the most popular and important ones.

10-00     Officer is down

10-0       Caution

10-3       Stop transmission

10-7       Out of service

10-9       Repeat message

10-10     Off duty (if the code used is 10-10A it means off duty and at home)


10-15     The prisoner in custody

10-16     Pick up prisoner

10-20     Location

10-23     Please stand by

10-29F Subject wanted, felony

10-29H Hazard potential from the subject

10-29M Subject wanted for misdemeanor

Scanner 11 Codes

This is another set of codes used by authorities and just like the ten codes these are pretty standard.

These include 11-10 take report, 11-24   abandoned vehicle, 11-41  ambulance needed, 11-51  escort, 11-54 suspicious vehicle and 11-55 officer being followed by auto. Other eleven codes you might hear on a radio scanner are the following:

11-56     office being followed by auto dangerous persons, 11-59 intensive attention: high hazard, business areas, 11-60 attack in high hazard area, and 11-78 aircraft accident.

The following are the other codes used for accidents:

11-79 accident – ambulance sent, 11-80 accident – major injuries, 11-81 accident – minor injuries, 11-82 accident – no injuries and 11-83 accident – no detail.

If a tow truck is needed the code to be used will be 11-85. If there is a bomb threat and 11-87 if the bomb has been found. If the cop is under attack and needs immediate assistance the code is 11-99.

Some Police Scanner Penal Codes

You will also hear cops use penal codes often, so it helps to know just what some of them stand for.

These are driving related penal codes:

23152    Drunk driver

23151    Drunk driving – injuries

23105    Driver under narcotics

22350    Speeding

20001    Hit and run, felony

10851    Auto theft

Penal codes related to other crimes are the following: 187 homicide, 207 kidnapping, 211 robbery, 240 assault, 242 battery, 245 assault with a deadly weapon and 261 rape. The penal code for lewd conduct is 288 and for indecent exposure is 311 or 314. For drunk the code is 390 and for a person with a knife it is 417A.

If there is a burglary the penal code used is 459 while 470 is for forgery. Code 484 is used for petty theft while 487 is for grand theft. If the cop sees reckless driving they will use the code 505.

Buying Scanners

it is now very easy to get your hands on a scanner so you can listen to these conversations between cops and dispatch. Also, most of these scanners can store hundreds if not thousands of channels, not including the presets. Most of them are either portable or desktop size, but a growing number are now online.

By using a radio scanner you will be able to hear these police scanner codes as they are used by actual policemen. Besides cops, your scanner may also be able to pick up frequencies for firemen, emergency personnel and even military.

By Sam – Police officers use different types of codes during radio transmissions to hasten their conversation and make it easier to describe a situation. The best known is 10-4 but many others are employed. Discover what the most common police scanner codes are and what they are all about.

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