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Norm357
01-27-07, 09:48 PM
This was in todays ajc.com


No one can say exactly when it starts.

But somewhere between the time they enroll in the academy and their first years on the streets, police officers shed everyday English for a language that can only be described as cop-speak.




In this peculiar patois, a man is never just a man. He is a "male subject" or, if he's up to no good, a "perpetrator."

Guns are always "brandished." Wounds are "sustained," not suffered. And a crook doesn't just get out of a car and run; he "exits a vehicle" and "flees on foot."

To be sure, every profession has its own vernacular.

Doctors prefer to say a patient "admitted" to something, rather than "the patient said." Lawyers talk of "executing" a will. And computer technicians have been known to call a printer an "output device."

But we aren't exposed to this jargon as often as we are to cop-speak.

Turn on the 6 p.m. news on any given day, and you're bound to come across numerous examples.

Say, a man speeds away from officers after a road-rage incident. He loses control while trying to turn a curve on the road and crashes into trees.

This is how the police spokesman will describe it to the gaggle of reporters at the scene:

"At approximately 11:09 this morning, uniformed officers were advised that a male subject had engaged in a verbal altercation with another motorist. The suspect fled the scene in a late-model sedan-type vehicle, traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and left the roadway, at which point it struck some trees and came to rest."

Sandy Springs police Lt. Steve Rose calls this PGL police goober language. And he says it's an extension of the way officers write police reports.

"Most reports are written in a way that defense attorneys won't have too many holes to poke in them," he says.

So, adds Atlanta police Officer Joe Cobb, officers are careful in describing what happened no matter how "rigid and robotic" the statements sound.

"We use phrases like 'I activated my emergency equipment to signal for the driver to pull over,' instead of simply saying, 'I pulled the car over,'" he says.

But pretty soon, this overabundance of caution starts seeping into everyday conversations.

Thomas Philbin, a New Yorker who co-authored the book "The Funniest Cop Stories Ever," recounts a particularly egregious instance involving his own father, a criminal investigator:

"One day he was working on a memo and said that he needed to get it done because somebody was going to 'telephonically communicate' with him."

One can almost reduce cop-speak to a clear-cut mathematical formula. Frequency of usage is inversely proportional to time spent on the force, says Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce.

"You talk to a rookie, somebody who's wet behind the ears, and sometimes you'll see them overly using that verbiage," he says. "They see their superiors doing it, and they want to fit in."

The police spokesmen interviewed for this story all said they try their best to minimize cop-speak when they're talking among themselves or to civilians.

"We 'incarcerate' them on paper but when we talk we never say incarcerate this [expletive] if he says one more word!" Rose says.

But, says Pierce, there have been times when his wife has asked him to take out the garbage and he's responded with a "10-4."

"You can take the cop away from the job, but you can't take the police out of the person," he says.

Plus, friends and relatives quickly learn the jargon and seem to get a big kick out of using them, says Cobb, the Atlanta cop.

"It's fun," he says. "Like talking pig Latin. Pun


Coastie 585
01-28-07, 12:14 AM
Thats a good article. Thanks for sharing norm.

LA5150
01-28-07, 03:19 AM
After reviewing the posted document, I emitted a sound consistant with a "giggle," which is street vernacular for a laugh. :D


Darin
01-28-07, 06:05 AM
10-4 and roger that. Norm is that an alcoholic beverage about your breath and person?

mcsap
01-28-07, 08:25 AM
After reviewing the posted document, I emitted a sound consistant with a "giggle," which is street vernacular for a laugh. :D

Perhaps , but you are under the influence of mind altering drugs and ANYTHING could cause you to emit a giggle ( otherwise known as a downgraded laugh) :)

sbrad
01-28-07, 09:15 AM
I don't talk like that. I write my reports like that. There's a big difference.
Now, if he REALLY wanted to communicate how cops talk among themselves he should have used the following:

"So I pop this guy driving a case number on wheels at 80 in a 55, get him stopped and he's a real maggot. I get him and his perp friends out and get consent, toss the car and find a gram and a half of ice in the front floorboard. Nobody wants to claim it so I hooked all of them for possession, stroked the driver for speeding and put a hook to the car."

nypd7748
01-28-07, 11:29 AM
"You can take the cop away from the job, but you can't take the police out of the person," he says.


Kind of like my sig. line with the savages and the jungle :rolleyes:

cntryboy0531
01-28-07, 12:07 PM
I don't talk like that. I write my reports like that. There's a big difference.
Now, if he REALLY wanted to communicate how cops talk among themselves he should have used the following:

"So I pop this guy driving a case number on wheels at 80 in a 55, get him stopped and he's a real maggot. I get him and his perp friends out and get consent, toss the car and find a gram and a half of ice in the front floorboard. Nobody wants to claim it so I hooked all of them for possession, stroked the driver for speeding and put a hook to the car."

Around here, we talk with 10 codes and signals. That would look like here...

"So I 10-50 this guy driving a mobile moving violation for doing 80 in a 50. Stop him and he's a real scrote. I get him and his idiot friends out and get consent, rumage through the car and find a gram and a half of ice in the front floorboard. Nobody wants to claim it so I 10-15 them all for signal 18, signal 19, signal 31, give the driver a code mike for speeding and get a 10-70 for the vehicle and then I'm 10-53 with 3 10-15's." :D

patchcop
01-28-07, 12:28 PM
Around here, we talk with 10 codes and signals. That would look like here...

"So I 10-50 this guy driving a mobile moving violation for doing 80 in a 50. Stop him and he's a real scrote. I get him and his idiot friends out and get consent, rumage through the car and find a gram and a half of ice in the front floorboard. Nobody wants to claim it so I 10-15 them all for signal 18, signal 19, signal 31, give the driver a code mike for speeding and get a 10-70 for the vehicle and then I'm 10-53 with 3 10-15's." :D

You should make an song with that. Maybe the signal M - code 10 - song:D

mcsap
01-28-07, 12:28 PM
Statewide, PA has done away with all 10 codes and other codes. We are to use plain english for EVERYTHING due to interoperability with other PD's, FD's , EMT's EMA etc.

I have used 10 codes since 1986 and it is a hard habit to break !

Dispatch , I am out on a Code 30 , oops I mean a traffic stop , and I have a person who is 10-99 , oops I mean they have a warant and I have them 10-95 , meaning in custody.

Times change.

topofthecop
01-28-07, 01:39 PM
Pig Latin!?! Roflmao :d

Cat_Doc
01-28-07, 01:43 PM
Serious as a heart attack. I was in city court one day and actually heard one of our officers answer a question by the city attorney by saying, "Ten Four."

All the cops in attendance starting cracking up until we got a stern look from the judge.

Super Six 5
01-28-07, 01:57 PM
The article doesn't make one mention about swearing. I'm disappointed.

christrue
01-28-07, 08:37 PM
with the savages and the jungle :rolleyes:

Really?

CCBlueMan
01-28-07, 09:42 PM
"It's fun," he says. "Like talking pig Latin. Pun

This took me a minute, but then I had a good chuckle.

kels
01-28-07, 09:58 PM
It comes from having to write a report that any attorney can read
and hopefully not twist into something else.
Further, you have to put information in the report, so the Feds will have information to gather and report to the media how crime has increased.
Last but not least, the report has to be simple enough for the juror who left school at 3rd grade and thought he got a quality education

cntryboy0531
01-28-07, 10:41 PM
It comes from having to write a report that any attorney can read
and hopefully not twist into something else.
Further, you have to put information in the report, so the Feds will have information to gather and report to the media how crime has increased.
Last but not least, the report has to be simple enough for the juror who left school at 3rd grade and thought he got a quality education


I just had my first jury trial I testified in this past week. And to tell you the truth, quite a few of the Juror's in the box, looked BAD. I'm surprised the judge allowed them to let them in the courtroom looking like that. A few looked uneducated as hell.

TPDHellhound
01-28-07, 11:06 PM
This story outlines the importance of knowing your ten-codes.

We had an attractive, young female Sergeant call one of our older male Sergeant over the air. She asked:

"Could you 10-44 me in the rear [of the supermarket]"

What she meant to say was "10-45", which is standard for "meet." What she said (10-44) is our code for sexual assault.

Immediately following that blunder... another male Sergeant asked if he could help! :D

ChesCopPodz
01-28-07, 11:42 PM
Unfortunately the extremely drawn out detail is required because defense lawyers will jump on anything. "I could smell alcohol on the person". What kind of alcohol officer, rubbing alcohol? Therefore we have to write "I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the subjects person."

Darin
01-29-07, 12:57 AM
"I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the subjects person."

I always write that I can smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage about his/her breath. I figured if I put about the person they'll say they spilled a beverage on them. If it's on their breath then they spilled it down their throat.

Creeker
01-29-07, 03:08 AM
Making MSCAP's point, in our codes, you just told me:


..."So I accident this guy driving a mobile moving violation for doing 80 in a 50. Stop him and he's a real scrote. I get him and his idiot friends out and get consent, rumage through the car and find a gram and a half of ice in the front floorboard. Nobody wants to claim it so I disturbance them all for we didn't have signals, we had codes and I never learned/used them, give the driver a huh?!? for speeding and get a fire for the vehicle and then I'm Robbery (I think) with 3 Disturbances." :D

Creeker
01-29-07, 03:13 AM
Again with MSCAP's point...

...

"Could you suspicious person me in the rear [of the supermarket]"

What she meant to say was "suspicious vehicle", which is standard for "meet." What she said (10-44) is our code for sexual assault.
...

Our "meet" is 10-25.

That was funny, though.

LA5150
01-29-07, 05:06 AM
Perhaps , but you are under the influence of mind altering drugs and ANYTHING could cause you to emit a giggle ( otherwise known as a downgraded laugh) :)

Too true. It's amazing how much funnier everything is when you are on pain meds. :D

gringoscott
01-29-07, 06:21 AM
Again with MSCAP's point...

Our "meet" is 10-25.

That was funny, though.

Oh man. Our 10-25 is "fill unit." If I called for a 10-25 in the rear... Well, the guys would just have that much more ammo to give me crap about wanting to work in San Francisco.

Hurray ten codes! It sucks having to work at a site out of the county. (Different codes, it's almost impossible to communicate other than just plain speak.)