Friday, June 08, 2007


So in the few years I've been sporadically posting this blog, I don't think I have actually ever explained the meaning of Code6Charles.

Simply put, it's the term broadcast on the radio by the LAPD when a unit has run a warrant check on an individual and that check comes back with a felony warrant. Instead of broadcasting to the officer that the suspect he or she is standing near is wanted for a serious crime, the dispatcher uses the term "Code6Charles" and then asks the officer if he's "Code 4," meaning is everything okay (i.e. is the suspect in custody and the situation is under control). Usually, the suspect is either already in handcuffs, or the warrant isn't for that particular individual--similar names often confuse the computer and it will issue a false positive for a warrant.

If the officer is not "Code 4" he can request additional units to help him or can then move to place the suspect in custody and still have the element of surprise if the suspect hasn't deciphered the meaning of Code6Charles.

Unlike most police agencies in the nation, the LAPD does not use the so-called "10-code" system made famous in many cheesy movies and CB radio references. They prefer a plain speak radio system with their own codes thrown in and the California penal code designations to indicate the type of crime (e.g. the infamous "187" rap stars love to bandy about in their songs, which is the penal code for murder).

Anyhoo, I stumbled along this slick site today Never saw it before, but it's clearly been around for awhile. Good blanket public safety information site for all of LA County. Hat tip to a guy named Todd Pompey who apparently runs the site.

Code2High is an LAPD term that has been relegated into the dust bin over the past few years.
When units respond to emergency calls with lights and sirens, they got "Code 3." When they go to non-emergent calls, they go "Code 2," with a sense of urgency, but no lights or sirens. Code2High was a middle ground the LAPD used to employ in days before Chief Bratton changed the scheme and now has all the LAPD coppers going Code 3 to all manner of calls. Code 2 High was basically Code 3 without the lights and sirens but lots of fast, dodgy driving.

Anyway, nice to see the old term "immortalized" on the Web.


Anonymous said...


Just had a good time catching up with Code 6 Charles. Funny - I could have sworn the title was a shout out to CHiPs. Thanks for the explanation. However, I think "David 606" would have been a better title (read in an Australian / Austinite blended inflection). But maybe that will be a separate project.


Anonymous said...

This message is for the writer of code6charles. You were almost correct when you explained the meaning of code6charles when used by LAPD. It actually is a code to mean that the warrant has been issued for a person who would/could be considered armed and dangerous. It could be for the current charge of the outstanding warrant, or it could be because of the persons criminal history. Just any old felony warrant (fraud,theft over $400, probation violation, or child/elder abuse) will not be broadcast as code6charles. Also a vehicle can be code6charles if it was used or taken in a violent crime.

Todd said...

Hey, thanks for pluggin my site! You would not believe how many people have asked me to change the name of the website. I get a lot of people for the fire side more than the PD side but I won't change it...