What Is The Alphabet Used By Police Officers?

9 Answers

Kathryn Patten Profile
Kathryn Patten answered
When repeating information, often over the radio, police officers use what is known as The Police Letters Alphabet or the Phonetic alphabet.  This form of alphabet is also used by other professional communicators such as military personnel, members of the armed forces and emergency personnel.  The police letters alphabet is used when spelling out words, abbreviations or initials as to ensure that the correct information is passed along.  Although there are different variations of the police letters alphabet, the most commonly known and used is:
A-Alpha
B-Bravo
C-Charlie
D-Delta
E-Echo
F-Foxtrot
G-Golf
H-Hotel
I-India
J-Juliet
K-Kilo
L-Lima
M-Mike
N-November
O-Oscar
P-Papa
Q-Quebec
R-Romeo
S-Sierra
T-Tango
you-Uniform
V-Victor
W-Whiskey
X-X-ray
Y-Yankee
Z-Zulu
Professional communicators have been using phonetic alphabets since 1927 when it was first adopted by the International Telecommunication Union.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
At my department it is different than in the military.  It is used to keep there from being any confusion in relaying information to radio communications.
A-adam
B-boy
C-charles
D-david
E-edward
F-frank
G-george
H-henry
I-ida
J-john
K-king
L-lincoln
M-mary
N-nora
O-ocean
P-paul
Q-queen
R-robert
S-sam
T-tom
you-union
V-victor
W-william
X-x-ray
Y-young
Z-zebra
Will Morris Profile
Will Morris answered
Please keep in mind that every police department chooses and governs how it communicates over its own radio system.  This may be beginning to change somewhat, with the federal government trying to forward the notion of "interoperability" between departments, but as a practical matter the department, i.e. The chief of police, really determines what shorthand, codes, signals, ten codes, et al. Mean what on their own radio system.  So to answer the question, the first thing you must do is determine which specific police department you want an answer for.  I hope this helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It's called the phonetic alphabet. American and Canadian's are slightly different so be careful which one you choose.
Brian Profile
Brian answered
They use the same alphabet the military uses.  Why?  Because speaking into their radio might muff up a transmission.  Say the license plate you want checked is 147-NPO, the letter N might sound like the Letter M, so you say a word that starts with N like "November." the letter P could sound like G or D or B or E or C or V or T, so you say "Papa" because it starts with P.  And you say "Oscar" for O.

Transmission would sound like this:  "Plate Check for Wun Fower Seven November Papa Oscar."  in turn the dispatcher would understand easier.

A:  Alpha B:  Bravo C:  Charlie D:  Delta E:  Echo F:  Foxtrot G:  Golf H:  Hotel I:  India J:  Juliet K:  Kilo L:  Lima M:  Mike N:  November O:  Oscar P:  Papa Q:  Quebec R:  Romeo S:  Sierra T:  Tango  you:  Uniform V:  Victor W:  Whiskey X:  X-Ray Y:  Yankee Z:  Zulu

1:  Wun 2:  Too 3:  Tree 4:  Fower 5:  Fife 6:  Siks 7:  Seven 8:  Ait 9:  Niner 0:  Zeero
Josh Profile
Josh answered
Unlike the ignorant answer above, the police, fire, and ems services have a phonetic alphabet, just like the military has their own version of the alphabet.

Military: Alpha bravo charlie delta echo foxtrot golf hotel india juliet kilo lima mike november oscar papa quebec romeo sierra tango uniform victor wiskey x-ray yankee zulu

Police/Fire/EMS: Adam boy charlie david edward frank george henry ida john king lincoln mary nora ocean paul queen robert sam tom union victor william x-ray young zebra

Most police officers have had previous military duty and already know both versions along with the 100 various 10 codes and 50 signal codes, as do firefighters. Police also have to learn and remember all of the traffic laws, civil and domestic laws, as they are ever changing.You should have a little more respect for the people that try their best to keep you safe.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

LOL

natalie johnson Profile
natalie johnson answered
So your are saying that the police have their own alphabet? I don't think they do. Most police aren't smart enough to learn the one that we all have let alone earn a new one.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I know that this answer is from June of 2009 but You are absolutley correct, we do not have our own alphabet but we can hold a conversation with the many codes and signals we have to learn when we are hired that you will never figure out what we are talking about. SO, we ARE smart enough to learn new and adjust where needed. Thank you very much.

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