Thursday, September 18, 2008

MOCIC conference

The Mid-States Organized Crime Center (MOCIC) is holding it's annual conference in Lincoln this week. There are 406 participants registered, primarily law enforcement officers and civilian intelligence analysts from the nine states that comprise MOCIC's area: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

MOCIC, located in Springfield, MO, is one of six regional information sharing systems (RISS) in the United States. The RISS centers exist to provide a variety a nationwide information and intelligence sharing network to law enforcement, and to provide technical support and assistance. MOCIC's name belies a much broader role than just organized crime.

The conference has an extensive lineup of training sessions on forensic evidence, critical incidents, investigative techniques, and more. It's great to see the high attendance this year. A week-long conference attended by hundreds of out-of-town guests is always a nice thing for our City. At the opening session yesterday, the usual line up of welcoming remarks were planned: City Councilman Doug Emery on behalf of the City, followed by Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Col. Bryan Tuma, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner, and yours truly.

Col. Tuma set the bar rather high, making some insightful remarks about the importance of the conference and the mission of the RISS centers in an era of dynamic threats to public safety. Terry Wagner and I were glancing at one another nervously, because I think we had both planned on something more like: "Welcome to Lincoln! Try a Runza." I had the tough spot and the end of this train of welcomes, so I spared the audience a speech, and gave them my short list of locally-owned restaurants I enjoy, followed by three pieces of advice that got a hearty laugh:
  • Parking tickets are $10, so take your chances.
  • You'll look pathetic in the bars on O Street, unless you're under age 23.
  • If you encounter a nice-looking hooker, it's an undercover Lincoln police officer.
I ended by encouraging the participants to network with one another, because the best stuff at all conferences normally comes during the social times: on breaks, over beers, at the restaurant as the participants process what they learned at the sessions and share ideas and thoughts with one another. I also invited everyone who was interested to come down to the police station this afternoon at the end of the day.

Cops are always interested in seeing the digs of their counterparts when traveling, but in our case we've got something that would be particularly interesting to these attendees: a rather incredible information system that provides an unusually rich research capability to every single member of the department. Anyone attending a RISS conference would be particularly intrigued by that. A few people who couldn't make it today came by yesterday afternoon, and I think our visitors from DuPage County and from the Iowa Department of Public Safety left with their heads spinning and some new ideas percolating.


Anonymous said...

I hope they weren't laughing because they aren't taking you seriously on the $10 parking tickets. ;) Although having that many like-minded folks in the bars might not be a bad thing!

Seven Mary

Anonymous said...

What are the purpose of codes. When a code 19 is last seen stumbling on 19th and O street. It is quite easy to figure you are saying drunk or intoxicated. Code?
Whats the point?

Tom Casady said...

7MXXX @ 11:03-

The folks from Chicago got the joke.


There is no point. What's your point?

Anonymous said...

I think 12:14 might be wondering why use a code 19 instead just say intoxicated person???

Anonymous said...

I think LPD is the only agency in Nebraska to use their own type of code jargon...why not just use plain English?

Anonymous said...

Chicago, what a great place to live, especially if you can't afford an upscale neighborhood. Rent a place with a cast-iron bathtub - and sleep in it. Look at the bright side, you might get murdered on the way to pay those pricey tickets.

It would seem that the codes would facilitate brevity, streamlining communication on the radio net.

Anonymous said...

The "code" seems like some sort of way to be secret. Kind of remids me of James Bond 007
Shoe phones, Fife, Mr. Maxwell Smart and agent 99 go well here.
It seems just as easy to say an intoxicated person. Like She is 38, It is not rocket science to figure out that means mental. Why not just say a mental problem. Code this and that seems like what we did as kids playing tag and such.

Tom Casady said...

1:43, 1:44-

Plain English is just fine, but old habits die hard. Why do you still say "dial the phone?" Your phone hasn't had a dial since Jimmy Carter was President. Do you upload your photos to Snapfish to have them "developed?" How come when somebody's pocket starts playing music, we say "your cell phone is ringing?" It's not ringing, it's singing. Why do you turn the volume down on your TV? What the heck are you "turning?" Why does your nose run, and your feet smell? Shouldn't it be the other way around? These are the mysteries of life. I'm sure there's a web site out there with a few hundred similar examples.

So, I had been a Lincoln police officer for several months, and I kept hearing a radio code that I had never learned. It wasn't on any of the cards. No, it wasn't "802", it was "635." I was too embarrassed to ask, because this was a code you heard on the radio regularly. I thought I'd look stupid. The one day I spotted the address sign on the police garage building: 635 J Street.

Jim Malone said...

Anon 12:14-
It's not a secret, it isn't a riddle that you have to unravel and if so you win a cookie... Congrats for figuring out that brain buster...
Some codes are easier on the ears and sound more PC coming over the radio, which you have displayed the public with no personal lives sit around and listen to A LOT..., for example. 'The female caller is code 19 and possibly code 38.' As opposed to, 'The female caller is drunk and crazy as a sh*t house rat.' Which do you prefer???
I think that among other reasons is why we use some codes and use some plain talk for other things... but thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...


The code that got me when I came on was "4040". I'm not sure you ever needed it but I'll bet 183 or 271 remember it.

Tom Casady said...


Yep, that was way over my head, too. There were, of course, two 4040s, although one of the two became a sort of shorthand to describe Virginia's Travelers Cafe.

Here's a clue to the uninitiated. The other one would be a couple blocks north of Pioneers Blvd. on _____.

172 said...

That would be on S.40th (district 10). Anyone remember why? It was 1970 when several Omaha officers were called to a building that was then blown up (Larry Minard was killed).

We had a few of our own "skirmishes" here, and the policy was when you were called on the radio, you answered with your location. The department thought it would be better to just use a code that would be harder to catch on to, such as 3048 instead of 48th and Adams. Of course, that only worked for car 19, since car 29 would have been at 48th and about Pawnee.

Of course, now the code is even better as when everyone is called, they are all at a location called "go ahead".

Anonymous said...

To anon 1:44,

LPD is not the only agency using these codes. LSO and UNLPD also uses these codes

Anonymous said...


I must not have a personal life. Golly sitting around and listening to the scanner has made me like a couch potato, a snoop or just plain ole lazy.

I guess my start in a radio hobby has been the greatest thing I could do. A great job came out of my radio hobby. A good living to go with that great job. A mass of friends that enjoy the same stuff and a wife that agrees with what ever keeps me around the house with the family.

I guess the fun in listening to LPD is that not only do I get to hear the adrenalin in the voices of those newbie's when the s*** hits the fan and the calm of the folks that have been there done that. But I as a victim of the past get to hear it first hand when LPD gets one of those idiots off the street before they harm someone or maybe even my family.

So just think about it next time you if you are an officer and make a good arrest that has the life saving potential, that one of us who cant be there in your position is listening and saying thanks!

Now about the codes:

When a couple of close friends who BTW were in the same group of hobbiest as I, were Code 35'd recently on 98th. It would have been much worse for me to hear that they were dead and the cause in some form of plain talk.

The deputy that responded used the phrase "35 times 2". It was much easier on the ears!

Keep using the codes some of us appreciate the professionalism.

Scanner Listener.

Anonymous said...

There is a robbery in today's incident listing table, but as yet no summary for that incident. Nothing in the local news media either. I asked my Magic 8-Ball if it was a business or non-business robbery, but it just said "ask again later".

Kendra said...

Yes, LPD is not the only agency that uses codes. I worked for NSP and they use the "10 code" system. They actually say "10-4" on the radio! :) There are 98 or so "10 codes" with different meanings. I'm sure it's a lot for the "newbies" to memorize. LPD's is much simpler and easier to understand. And I agree that it's much more PC to say a person is "38" rather than "nuts" or "35" rather than "dead". And I"m sure its much nicer for the officers that CH 50 says, "He's 62, are you 72?" Rather than, "He has an active warrant/broadcast" and then watch their PR take off running. (Unless of course it's one of those officers that enjoys a foot pursuit, i.e. Mark Fluitt)

Anonymous said...

why not use the same 10 codes as other agencies in Nebraska? Instead make up your own? Just curious...for the record I am all for codes.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that to be compliant with NIMS, "plain speak" was required. I know there are some Federal funding issues if agencies dont comply. LFR seems to be gravitating away from some comon (to them) terms like "clear" rather than saying message received or enroute as they leave the station. Now they use "Patient in sight" when they actualy find the person needing assistance.

NSP is also working on some radio speak changes for implimentation in the near future... It should make listening to the scanner easier to folow along when you hear injury accident rather than 10-45.

LPD has more important issues to worry about than how they talk on the radio... until funding becomes an issue anyway.