The cast often refers to situations using Police codes, most of which I was able to dig up here.

But I came across this piece of IMDb Trivia on Blue Bloods that states:

In the standard 10-code, 10-13 is asking for weather and road conditions, but NYPD uses a different 10-code where 10-13 means "Assist Police Officer"

I haven't been able to find a reference to this though, the closest I came was to a link that mentioned 10-13 as a holdup.

So I guess my question is, does each state publish its separate police scanner codes handbook, or are the codes shown in such police shows purely empirical?

  • 1
    – user7812
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 23:49
  • copradar.com/tencodes
    – user7812
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 23:50
  • @Richard : You should put the above comments as an answer.
    – stark
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 18:08
  • With no useful experience of these (other than watching the occasional cop show) I have no way of assessing their correctness. For all I know, they could be fan-fiction.
    – user7812
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 18:27
  • In Georgia, 10-13 is the code for an involuntary 72 hour psych hold.
    – Maureen
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


The codes and their meanings vary from one jurisdiction to another.

An excerpt from this article:

There is no truly universal or official set of 10 codes, and the meanings of a particular signals can vary between one police jurisdiction and another. While law enforcement ten codes were intended to be a concise, standardized system, the proliferation of different meanings has rendered it somewhat useless for situations where people from different agencies and jurisdictions need to communicate.

For example, as you mentioned in the question, the code 10-13 means

Weather/Road report (Most common*) - Illinois, Utah, Tampa, Florida

Request a wrecker - Virginia, Montgomery County (Maryland)

Officer Needs Help - Paramus(New Jersey), Ann Arbor & Washtenaw County (Michigan), Wheeling (West Virginia)

Intoxicated Driver - Middletown/Cromwell (Connecticut)

Suspect Escape - West Hartford (Connecticut)

Need Help - Boston (Massachusetts)

Fire - Anchorage (Alaska)

Call Home - Hawaii

Unattended Death - Laconia (New Hampshire)

Check for tickets - Columbus (Ohio)

Dead on arrival (DOA) - Erie (Pennsylvania)

Indecent exposure - North Charleston (South Carolina)

Consider suspects dangerous - Metro Nashville & Davidson County (Tennessee)

Drunk (Location) - Hampton (Virginia)

Imagine the chaos when officers from multiple jurisdictions are working together on a common emergency/situation.

To alleviate that

In 2005, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began discouraging the use of ten-codes and other law enforcement radio signals due to their high variability in meaning between departments and agencies. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may discontinue use of the signals

*In fact this was meaning from the first set of 10-codes was published by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials in 1940

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