aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Switch to plain English might save cops’ lives

Radio dispatchers for cops and other personnel often talk in code. And who doesn’t love code? Knowing that a 187 means homicide puts you in the know.

But sometimes codes differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Take this example on NPR: “That's because 10-33, 10-52, GSW doesn't mean officer down, send an ambulance, multiple gunshot wounds, to the Missouri Highway Patrol. To the highway patrol, 10-33 is a traffic backup.

“Because the dispatcher switched to plain English, every state trooper for 50 miles came running. The officer lived, and the suspect was caught in less than an hour.”

The push to have officers and dispatchers speak in plain English really came to a head after 9/11 - dozens of neighboring police responded to New York City, with a lot of radio confusion resulting.

You can read and even hear more about this issue here.

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