Law officers across the state are celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Captain Todd Misel of the Iowa State Patrol says one of the new things in communication is the phasing out of much of the old system of communicating with dispatchers via the "10 code." For instance, an accident would be reported as a 10-50. Misel says they’ll now use plain language in most emergency situation.
Misel says the change is to support "NIMS" or the National Incident Management System model being used nationwide to help emergency responders coordinate their efforts. Misel says, for the patrol, they’re condensing the "10 codes" they use. He says they had 130 different "10 codes" they used and now will be down to 30 different codes. Misel says some of the codes for driver’s license checks and license plate checks will still be used, but for an emergency, accident or fire, they’ll use plain language.
Misel says the "10 codes" were started to make it faster to communicate with dispatchers. Misel says a lot of people think the "10 code" was implemented to be a secret code, but Misel says that’s not the case. He says the code was started for brevity.
Misel says the changeover will take some time getting used to as the officers who have used the "10 code" for 20 or more years will probably take some time to adjust, but he says the dispatches will have the toughest time, as the dispatchers have used the 10 code to talk every day. Misel says the "10 code" change is just one of many changes officers have seen in recent years in communications.
Misel says in some places they have silent dispatching, where no call is put out over the radio, but is sent by a data transaction from the dispatch center. Misel says in 2006, the State Patrol’s six communication centers handled nearly two million radio transactions and received over 318,000 calls for assistance.