Do you think that is a good idea that some police departments are moving away from ten codes and other jargon to "plain talk" and why? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For the most part, I think that this is a good idea.  However, there may be some situations in which codes are important.

In general, codes do not seem to be all that useful in today’s world.  Today’s radio technology is much better than the technology was when codes were invented.  This negates the technological need for codes.

In many cases, codes are not really any better than using plain language.  For example, asking “what’s your 20” does not save any appreciable amount of time when compared to asking “where are you?”  If the code does not save any time, it does not have much use.

In addition, the use of codes can hinder communication.  If different departments, for example, use different codes, they can have a harder time talking to one another.  It is also inefficient to have officers who are new to a department having to learn codes, sometimes having to unlearn old codes that they learned elsewhere. 

There are aspects to codes, however, that are useful.  It can be psychologically easier to talk in terms of codes rather than having to say things like “rape” or “murder.”  This can help to preserve the privacy of victims as well in cases like ones where an officer is talking on the radio near to a crowd of people.  Finally, codes can foster a sense of camaraderie among police officers.  The use of such jargon makes them feel like a special group of people.  This can be important in a line of work that is as stressful as policing.

So, the movement away from ten codes and other jargon can be a good thing, but it is not without its drawbacks.

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