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FEMA to LE: Stop Using 10-Codes

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  • FEMA to LE: Stop Using 10-Codes

    Yesterday, FEMA announced that if Law Enforcement, EMS, Public Health Department, and Fire services want federal funding, they are to be in compliance with NIMS mandates, which include a new one: Agencies will switch to plain english for all communications.

    I've been trained on several LE and company 10/Signal codes, and found them to be invariably useful to keep the perception of a dangerous situation down among the public, gain a tactical advantage over a suspect, and to generally confound others who we don't need understanding our communications.

    While some companies have a "real" reason for using plain english on air, most resistance I've heard to using 10 and signal code comes from the employees, who say either:

    We're not police, you don't pay me enough to learn this.
    Its too hard to figure that stuff out, talk English like normal people.

    These people, usually, when placed in a dangerous situation, with blithely escalate it by saying into the microphone, in plain english: "I have a trespasser, I'm going to stop him now." or "I'm about to make an arrest, please send the police." Or my personal favorite: "PD advises two warrants out of Palm Beach County, 140,000 dollar bond, PD dispatched units."

    You can imagine the problems that traffic would cause when the offender hears it. Fight or flight, someone's getting away, or someone's getting hurt.

    Do you believe that private security should follow suit, and drop all coded communications, in all operations? Why? And, on a more general note, should we blindly do what FEMA tells the police to? I've already heard backlash at private security getting to "keep" their 10 codes, on several police related forums.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  • #2
    FEMA to LE: Stop Using 10-Code

    N.A. Corbier:
    Some REMF is at work. A friend of mine also said FEMA wanted LE to stop using the phonetic alphabet. Just use any word that happens to come to mind. Some idiot no doubt wants to make a name for himself or herself.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bill Warnock
      N.A. Corbier:
      Some REMF is at work. A friend of mine also said FEMA wanted LE to stop using the phonetic alphabet. Just use any word that happens to come to mind. Some idiot no doubt wants to make a name for himself or herself.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill
      I'm scared. Most of us are trying to professionalize our industry, and some idiot at FEMA is trying to deprofessionalize the LE industry.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

      Comment


      • #4
        10-codes

        I can understand FEMA wanting to get everyone on the same page with radio traffic. Unfortunately, like most federal agencies, they won't offer a standard that would allow sensitive traffic to be dispatched. Having worked for several different law enforcement agencies with different 10-codes, I can understand the concern during an emergency or disaster. However, individuals who have a standard code word for a specific action should simply coordinate with their agency and dispatchers. FEMA would be happy because you are in compliance unless there were extenuating circumstances. Just like in most of our actions, we need to be able to articulate our actions in writing after each incident in the event of the dreaded "government audit."
        Jerry
        http://personalprotectionconcepts.info

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        • #5
          Stop Using 10-Codes

          FEMA, according to CBS Radio, clarified their position on 10-series codes. It is not so much they want to do away with them, it is to standardize them. They cited the fact that 10-50 in one jurisdiction is totally different from that of a nearby jurisdiction. In the State of Maryland it means "officer needs immediate assistance."
          One of the commentators thought it might be a move from the military, the US Army the originator.
          In different parts of the country, simple short sentences might be confusing. I remember a few months ago hearing a Southern lawmaker refer to Hunter Army Airfield as "Hunner." Seems petty, but in an emergency, I'd rather have someone use a 10-series code I knew by heart.
          Enjoy the day,
          Bill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bill Warnock
            FEMA, according to CBS Radio, clarified their position on 10-series codes. It is not so much they want to do away with them, it is to standardize them. They cited the fact that 10-50 in one jurisdiction is totally different from that of a nearby jurisdiction. In the State of Maryland it means "officer needs immediate assistance."
            One of the commentators thought it might be a move from the military, the US Army the originator.
            In different parts of the country, simple short sentences might be confusing. I remember a few months ago hearing a Southern lawmaker refer to Hunter Army Airfield as "Hunner." Seems petty, but in an emergency, I'd rather have someone use a 10-series code I knew by heart.
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill
            To me, being from Florida, 10-50 is a traffic stop. Up here, its something like "Returning to Station." And, I have a feeling that they clarified their position due to the massive protesting done internally up the chain by LE agencies.
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

            Comment


            • #7
              FEMA has far more serious problems to correct. Codes are the least of them. One could compare it to removing water from the Titanic with a bucket. True, water is being removed, but overall nothing is being accomplished. The ship is still sinking!

              Codes have their place in security. Announcing an emergency over the radio in plain english could panic a crowd at the mall, a convention, etc.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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              • #8
                I have used ten codes since i was 16 in explorers.I feel that they are nessecary to use less radio time and keep somethings from being heard. Yea crooks can probably find the ten codes but most wont recognize then fast enough to make it useful to them . Also if you are working mutual aid and the citied codes are different then use plain english or some thing but dont give them up.
                Robert
                Here endith the lesson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arff312
                  I have used ten codes since i was 16 in explorers.I feel that they are nessecary to use less radio time and keep somethings from being heard. Yea crooks can probably find the ten codes but most wont recognize then fast enough to make it useful to them . Also if you are working mutual aid and the citied codes are different then use plain english or some thing but dont give them up.
                  The day that a security company works mutual aid on contract with a city agency, to the point that it matters what ten codes we use and they use, will be a day I'd like to see.

                  No, I do not count Critical Intervention Services of Clearwater, Florida, because the Hillsbrough County Sheriff made it his official position that he does not work with security comapnies for enforcement, only appreciates their efforts in protecting property. ie: Stop doing our job.
                  Some Kind of Commando Leader

                  "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry NA i was not refering to security working mutual aid. I was refering to ploice and fire departments. I an also a full time firefigghter and we use plain english. Can i tell you it takes up soo much air time its mot even funny. It like Travis crash engine 8 enroute to quaters. If we had 10 codes it would be travis engine 8 is 10-19. alot faster. But hey who am i to change things. Sorry for the miss understanding. BTW my security agency uses the same codes as city.
                    Robert
                    Here endith the lesson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They've changed their tune: 10-codes can stay

                      10-codes get to stay, but they are still seeking to develop some sort of common-language (read "Plain English") communication system for mulit-agency response after major disasters.

                      Check out the full article we just posted regarding Chertoff's comments at the IACP conference in Florida:

                      http://www.securityinfowatch.com/onl...ion/5812SIW359

                      Geoff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SIW Editor
                        10-codes get to stay, but they are still seeking to develop some sort of common-language (read "Plain English") communication system for mulit-agency response after major disasters.

                        Check out the full article we just posted regarding Chertoff's comments at the IACP conference in Florida:

                        http://www.securityinfowatch.com/onl...ion/5812SIW359

                        Geoff
                        Thank you for bringing this up, Geoff, I saw this on the sister site, Officer.com. I have a feeling that the FOP thew a fit, as some of us suggested they do, so that FEMA would but out and stop using federal funds to micro-manage national law enforcement agencies.

                        So, now, we wait and see what's next, and if they'll try to directly regulate private security through DHS, which has been suggested.
                        Some Kind of Commando Leader

                        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                        Comment

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