1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Any advice on researching how to write good police code talk?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Jul 31, 2015.

    For my story, there are situations where cops call dispatchers for back up, and talk to each other on radios. But when police do this, they use a lot of code talk and lingo, and I really suck at writing it well. Is their any place that is good for researching this? Thanks for the input :).
     
  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    What have you googled so far?
     
  3. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Yes, just do a search for police radio jargon.

    To your question, I as the reader, understand that police radio code is 'code'/short hand. Just treat the police radio as a speaking character. And there's no need to explain the codes.

    Here's an example from my WIP:

    The officer’s shoulder radio growled. “BOLO update on SUSP. Male, approximately five nine, five ten. Dark hair, long dark coat. Armed with a sword.”

    And another one...

    The officer ran his index finger across Lexy’s passport. Then he motioned toward the other officer at the front of the train's car, reached across his shoulder, found the radio near his epaulet and pressed the talk button. “55 and 43 Copy. 22, are you code 4?”

    He handed the passport back to Lexy. “You should remove the piercings before you go through passport control.”
     
  4. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    Grab yourself a radio, I have a VHF/UHF scanner and I can listen to most police radio stations (at least in the US). You need a tetra scanner to listen to the majority of UK police radio these days but it's not hard to get ahold of one. Then you should be able to pick it up quite easily. If not, feel free to ask me some specific questions and I'll be happy to give you some pointers relating to them (I know a lot of radio vocab, mainly for flying as I'm doing my private pilot's licence but I know quite a bit about police radio as well).
     
  5. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I have looked up some actual police radio recordings on youtube, but the things they talk about are very different from my scenarios and so far I have not found scenarios that I can use much.

    I mean in my story I am dealing with hostage and SWAT situations, where as the ones I read online are more like taking a look at a domestic dispute report and things like that. Very different jargon required for those situations, which so far is all I can find lol.

    As far as getting a radio scanner goes, the police use encrypted channels where I live, for the reason of people not listening in, so it seems useless, unless there is a way?
     
  6. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    That's what tetra radios are for, you can get into their airwaves with some pretty simple methods. Googling around a little should help you out a lot when it comes to listening in on their radio frequencies (I live in Newcastle and I can get onto their dispatch).
     
  7. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    Youtube should have instructionals for everything you mentioned, swat hand signals and codes are actually pretty popular and should come up on google. You might try looking up videos for test prep help, because i think there are more for that.
     
  8. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Suggestion: Go to a local police station, ask what your are confused about. That's what I would do. If that doesn't work then watch some police video tapes.
     
  9. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But I already did that a few times for other research questions and I think that they are tired of me coming down there lol. I will watch the tapes and try to get one of those radios. A lot of my story also has to do with cyber crime. When the police trace cyber criminals, and deal with hacking, I also do not know how to write all that tech savvy dialogue. Are their any books geared towards writers on cyber crime and technology specifically that would be of help?
     
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  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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  11. spottydotty
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    spottydotty New Member

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    I agree with the general get yourself a cheap scanner you will hear much more lingo than any book can tell you because from what i understand some words mean different things in different districts. If you do go to the station and ask and they give you a breakdown be sure to share because the stations in my area sure as he** won't share that info with me haha good luck
     
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