What Is a 10 46 Police Code

What Is a 10-46 Police Code?

Police codes are a vital tool used by law enforcement agencies to communicate efficiently and discreetly. One such code is the 10-46, which refers to a specific situation or incident that police officers encounter while on duty. In this article, we will explore the meaning of the 10-46 police code, its significance, and its usage in law enforcement agencies. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions related to this code to provide a comprehensive understanding.

The 10-46 police code is primarily used to denote a vehicle accident. When a police officer receives a call reporting an accident, they will often use the 10-46 code to alert other officers and emergency personnel about the incident. It allows for a quick and concise communication system, preventing confusion or misunderstandings during such critical situations.

The code itself is derived from the ten-code system, a standardized system of numeric codes used by law enforcement agencies worldwide. The ten-code system was first introduced in the 1930s by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) to enhance radio communication efficiency. Each code has a specific meaning, enabling officers to communicate important information without revealing sensitive details to the public or potential suspects.


Q: What other codes are commonly used by law enforcement agencies?
A: Law enforcement agencies utilize a wide range of codes to communicate various situations. Some common examples include 10-4 (acknowledgment), 10-20 (location), 10-33 (emergency), and 10-99 (wanted/stolen).

Q: How does the 10-46 police code assist officers at the scene of an accident?
A: The 10-46 code helps officers to quickly identify and respond to vehicle accidents. By using a specific code, they can communicate the nature of the incident to other officers and emergency personnel, allowing for appropriate resources to be dispatched promptly.

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Q: Are police codes the same globally?
A: No, police codes may vary among different countries and even within different regions of the same country. While some codes may share similar meanings across borders, it is crucial for officers to be familiar with the codes specific to their jurisdiction.

Q: Can the public access information about police codes?
A: While the ten-code system was initially created to maintain confidentiality, many codes have become widely known to the public over time. However, specific codes used in active investigations or sensitive situations may not be publicly disclosed.

Q: Are police codes still relevant in the age of digital communication?
A: Despite advancements in communication technology, police codes remain an essential aspect of law enforcement operations. They provide a quick and efficient means of communication, especially in situations where discretion is crucial or radio frequencies may be compromised.

Q: Can civilians use police codes?
A: While police codes are primarily intended for law enforcement use, some codes may be known to civilians due to popular culture references or widespread knowledge. However, it is essential to remember that misusing or misinterpreting codes can lead to confusion and potential legal consequences.

In conclusion, the 10-46 police code serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies in communicating vehicle accidents quickly and efficiently. Derived from the ten-code system, it allows officers to convey critical information while maintaining discretion. Although police codes may vary across jurisdictions, their significance in enhancing communication and coordination among officers remains paramount. Understanding these codes can provide valuable insight into the operations of law enforcement agencies and the importance of effective communication in emergency situations.

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