What are cop codes?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Cop codes, also referred to more formally as "police codes," are abbreviations used by law enforcement when they are in an emergency. Every profession has its own codes, which are understood by members of that profession and can be used to save time and make communication more concise.

Many of these codes use numbers. For example, "10-14" is a request to check the license plate of a suspicious car to see if it is stolen. A "10-31" is a robbery in progress (or in some cities, this code is used just for a general crime that is in progress). And sometimes, the codes use letters, such as DUI (driving under the influence; called OWI in some states, for operating while intoxicated); or DOA (dead on arrival). Police departments in different cities have their own special codes, and their own special slang.

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