Another 10-7 for Ten Codes

Our beloved cop shows will never be the same if they follow the Maryland State Police superintendent's decision to abolish the ten code system that has been the mother tongue of on-screen police radio communications for so long. As of Feb. 1, the Common Language Protocol, also known as Plain Language, supplants it for the MSP.

The agency's announcement of the change says ten codes were adopted to shorten voice communications on the radio, but departments then developed differing codes to suit their own needs. Plain Language will improve communication and reduce confusion, especially in multi-jurisdictional incidents, it predicts.

"For example, under the new system, instead of using code 10-46 when talking with a dispatcher or another trooper, the trooper will simply say, 'disabled vehicle.' An additional requirement will be the use of the standard phonetic alphabet when conducting radio communications. Starting [Feb. 1], Maryland State Police will use specific words in conjunction with letters to increase the clarity of radio communications. Examples include: A - Alpha; B - Bravo, C – Charlie. The elimination of the ten code system and the adoption of the standard phonetic alphabet is consistent with Governor Martin O'Malley's public safety initiative to implement the Maryland Statewide Communications Interoperability Program," the announcement says.

It also says the Virginia State Police have been using Plain Language since November 2006, and it meets the recommendations of the National Incident Management System Integration Center.

"Communications Interoperability is a necessary investment into the lives of those who work on a daily basis to keep Marylanders safe," said Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Marcus L. Brown. "The transition to using the Common Language Protocol and the phonetic alphabet will allow for the most efficient and highest level of immediate communication between state agencies and local jurisdictions."

Posted by Jerry Laws on Feb 06, 2012


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