On-duty patrol units are named using a Number-Letter-Number combination. The first number is the shift, the letter is the sector, and the second number is the beat. For example, 3-Adam-2 is the officer on shift 3 for beat 2 in sector A. Shift numbers are used because shifts overlap, so there may be more than one officer on a beat at one time.
Some units (e.g., Beat Teams, George Sector, Paul Sector, etc.) use two digits for the last number in their identifier. In this case, the first digit identifies the beat and the second digit identifies the unit. For example, 6-Adam-34 patrols the Adam-3 beat as part of a beat team and is the fourth highest ranking officer on that team.
Actual beats are known simply by their Letter-Number combination, for example Adam-2 or Baker-1. Sectors are letters A-P (excluding F, H, I, L, O), one, two, or three sectors making up each of five districts. Each sector is divided into two or more beats.
|9||County-Wide Special Units|
Shift times are as follows: 0600-1600 ("Day"), 1500-0100 ("Evening"), and 2000-0600 ("Midnight"). Shifts 1-4 alternate working day and evening shifts (they only work one shift in a given day). The numbering for shifts 1-7 is not confirmed for the Charlie sector (Rockville City Police). 8-Charlie units are Rockville City Neighborhood Services (e.g., animal control) units.
Sergeants (supervisors) have unit numbers in even multiples of 10 (e.g., Adam-10, Adam-20, etc.). Corporals have unit numbers ending in 1 (e.g., Adam-11, Adam-21, etc.) Shift back-up units (usually the highest ranking officer(s) on a shift) are designated as "Sam" units, for example, 3-Adam-Sam-1 or 4-Baker-Sam-2 ("Sam" units are numbered in ascending order starting with one).
District-based special units (those not assigned letter designations, see "District Car Number Designations," below) are identified by "car number" (e.g., motor, DB, etc.). High-level officers are identified only by car number. Car 10 is the county-wide Duty Commander. The Duty Commander job rotates among Lieutenants and Captains. Car 10 must be notified of all major incidents in the county, including officers' use of force. Car 1 is the department chief. Car 12 is the ECC Captain. Cars 70-77 are Office of Internal Affairs units. Car numbers 9x are Office of Media Services Section units (Public Information Officers). 9-King-15 is a bomb dog.
Fire Marshals and Sheriffs (completely separate from the Police department) use the Police radio channels. Fire Marshals and Sheriffs are identified by their respective unit numbers prefaced by either "FM" or "Sheriff" (e.g., FM 56, Sheriff 40). 9-King-90 is the Sheriff's canine unit (bomb dog). Fire Marshals operate on both the Police and Fire/Rescue channels, and also may be heard on the Montgomery County Park Police frequency.
Occasionally, Montgomery County Park Police units will use the county radios. They identify themselves using their Park Police unit identifier, prefaced by "Park." Park Police canine units are identified as 9-King-3x units.
Very rarely, Maryland State Police Troopers will be heard on the county radios, these units have been heard identifying themselves as "MSP" or "Trooper Patrol" followed by a number (the same way Sheriff and FM units are identified).
U.S. Park Rangers (C&O Canal) also have been heard identifying with their Park Service radio ID (3 digit number) prefaced by "Park Ranger."
Off-duty units identify using "OD" followed by their "ID number" (Montgomery County Police do not have "badge numbers"). All on-duty radio identifiers for patrol and non-patrol units are associated with an officer's unique ID number in the CAD. 3-digit ID numbers and 4-digit ID numbers starting with 1 (i.e., 1xxx) are Montgomery County Police units. 5xxx are Rockville City Police units, 6xxx are County Sheriff units, and 7xxx are Gaithersburg City Police units. 17xx, 18xx , and 19xx ID numbers are for County Police dispatchers (civilian staff).
Car numbers follow a pattern based on the district and type of unit. The first number represents the district (the same numbers as channel assignments), 1xx-Rockville, 2xx-Bethesda, 3xx-Silver Spring, 4xx-Wheaton/Glenmont, 5xx-Germantown, 6xx-Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village. The second number indicates the type of unit (see table, below). The third number is simply the individual unit identifier (units are numbered from highest rank to lowest rank in ascending order, i.e., 0 is reserved for the sergeant, 1 for corporal, etc.).
|x00||District Commander (Captain)||unmarked|
|Deputy Commanders (Lieutenants)||unmarked|
Community Outreach Unit? - Officer?|
Community Outreach Unit? - Corporal?
Community Outreach Unit - Sergeant
Potomac Patrol Detail
Middlebrook Patrol Detail
|x2x||Special Assignment Team (SAT)||unmarked|
|x5x||Traffic Enforcement Unit (Motor)||marked|
|x7x||Investigative Section (IS), a.k.a. Detective Bureau (DB)||unmarked|
|Investigative Section (additional units)
County-wide, non-beat units (listed below) are designated as "shift 9" to distinguish them from sectors, e.g. 9-Frank-12, 9-Zebra-14. There are some exceptions, e.g., Charlie, Delta, and Mary, for localities which "piggy-back" on the county police radio channels. All letters A-Z have been assigned to special units, so this list is not yet complete.
|Adam||Training Academy or Personnel Section (depending on number)|
Rockville City Police Department (non-beat units only)
CSD: Crime Prevention (numbers greater than 9)
|Delta||Gaithersburg City Police Department|
|Edward||Police Explorers (not actual law enforcement officers)|
|Frank||Technical Services Section (forensics)|
|George||Fugitive Unit or Fraud Section (depending on number)|
Major Crimes Division (Homicide-Sex Section and Robbery Section)
Abandoned Motor Vehicle Unit (numbers greater than 80)
|Ida||SID: Vice and Intelligence|
|John||Central Processing Unit (CPU)|
|Lincoln||Office of Internal Affairs|
|Mary||Chevy Chase Village Police Department|
|Nancy||SID: Tactical Drug Enforcement Unit (narcotics)|
|Ocean||CID: units not assigned other letter designation|
|Paul||SID: Repeat Offender Program Enforcement (ROPE)|
|Robert||CSD: Community Relations|
|Sam||CSD: School Safety|
|Tango||TOD: Tactical (ERT/SWAT)|
|Union||Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU)|
|Victor||Centralized Auto Theft Team (CATT)|
|Whiskey||Alcohol Enforcement Unit (AEU)|
|Yankee||Family Services Division|
|Zebra||TOD: Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU)|
Rockville District (Sectors A, B, C)
Adam sector is the eastern portion of the district, primarily the city limits of Rockville east of I-270 and some immediately surrounding areas to the north and east (including a majority of the Derwood area, south of Shady Grove Road and west of Muncaster Mill Road); sergeant is Adam-10; corporal is Adam-11; beats are numbered 1-4, in ascending order from south to north (Adam-1, Twinbrook/Viers Mill; Adam-2, Twinbrook/east Rockville; Adam-3, central Rockville; Adam-4, north Rockville and Derwood). Adam-3x units make up the Adam-3 beat team (Lincoln Park substation).
Baker sector is the western portion of the district plus a portion of southwest Rockville, but primarily the Potomac area; beats are numbered 1-4 (Baker-1, south central Rockville city; Baker-2, Rockville City west of I-270; Baker-3, Potomac-south; Baker-4, Potomac-west).
Charlie sector is a pseudo-sector designating Rockville City Police units. Rockville City Police units are dispatched by the county dispatcher on channel 1 for all their calls. However, they continue to have their own channel and city dispatcher on channel 9.
Bethesda District (Sectors D, E)
Delta sector is the eastern portion of the district, including downtown Bethesda. Beats are numbered 1-3.
Edward sector is the northern and western portion of the district, including the White Flint area. Beats are numbered 1-4.
Mary (shift 9) units on channel 2 are Chevy Chase Village Police units. 9-Mary units are dispatched by the county dispatcher on 911 calls that occur within the village. Their jurisdiction extends north from Chevy Chase Circle (at the DC line) to Bradley Lane (about 1/2 mile) and west from Wisconsin Avenue to Chevy Chase Section 3 (about 9 miles of road in total). They usually have one officer and one dispatcher/call-taker on-duty. They use the same 10-codes and activity codes as the county police. The on-duty officer usually has the vehicle radio on county police channel 2 and his/her portable radio on the CCVP frequency.
Silver Spring District (Sector G)
George sector composes the entire district (the Henry sector was eliminated and combined with George in early 2001). Beats are numbered 1-5.
Wheaton-Glenmont District (Sectors J, K)
John sector is the northern portion of the district. John-2 beat is the Aspen Hill area. John-3 beat includes Olney, Airpark, and the portion of Derwood east of Muncaster Mill Road. John-4 beat is the Brookeville area. John-3x units make up the John-3 beat team (Olney substation). Beats are numbered 1-4.
King sector is the southern portion of the district, including Wheaton and Glenmont. Beats are numbered 1-4.
Germantown District (Sectors M, N, P)
Mary sector is the portion of the district east of I-270, including Germantown (part), Damascus, and Laytonsville. Beats are numbered 1-2, in increasing order from west to east.
Nancy sector is the portion of the district west of Interstate 270, including Germantown (part) and Poolesville. Beats are numbered 1-3, in increasing order from east to west.
Paul sector includes the Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village areas. It makes up the area assigned to the "6th District Substation." Eventually it will become a sector in the future 6th police district. Beats are numbered 1-6 with beats 1-2 west of I-270 and beats 3-6 east of I-270.
Delta (shift 9) units are Gaithersburg City Police units. Gaithersburg City Police units are dispatched on channel 5 by the county dispatcher for all their calls.
Common 10 codes will often be referred to simply by their number, without the preceding "10." Some of the more common 10 codes are shown in bold.
|10-3||Emergency use of channel only|
|10-4||Acknowledgment (message received)|
|10-5||On the scene|
|10-7||Out of service|
|10-9||Repeat last message|
|10-10||Out of service, but available for call at location|
|10-11||You are dispatching too rapidly|
|10-12||Advise weather and road conditions|
|10-13||Request wrecker for passenger car at location|
|10-15||Transporting prisoner in custody|
|10-16||Wish to meet unit _____ at location|
|10-19||Request shift commander at location|
|10-20||What is your location|
|10-21||Request field supervisor at location|
|10-22||Cancel or disregard last message|
|10-23||Check for valid license|
|10-24||Contact your desk clerk, your convenience|
|10-25||Do you have contact with _____|
|10-26||Report to your station|
|10-27||Advise a phone number for _____|
|10-28||Registration check (listing)|
|10-29||Check for Wanted/Stolen|
|10-30||Does not conform to regulations|
|10-31||Do you have any calls for me|
|10-32||I have nothing for you|
|10-40||Advise your welfare|
|10-41||Welfare is OK, no assistance needed|
|10-50||Officer in trouble, needs immediate assistance|
|10-51||Request assistance at location (non-emergency)|
|10-61||Contagious disease exposure precautions recommended|
|10-62||Is your (radio) air clear?|
|10-86||Call your spouse|
|10-97||How is my reception?|
|10-99||Message acknowledged, two officer unit|
|10-100||Riot or large disturbance in progress at _____, request assistance|
These are generally referred to as "code XX" but may be referenced only by their number. Some of the more common codes are shown in bold.
|Code 11||Traffic court - in county|
|Code 12||Non-traffic court - in county|
|Code 13||Crossing detail|
|Code 16||Routine commercial establishment check|
|Code 19||Serving summons|
|Code 21||Traffic warrant service|
|Code 22||Assisting another unit|
|Code 23||Traffic escort|
|Code 24||Criminal warrant service/Criminal arrest|
|Code 25||Transport other county agency|
|Code 26||Suspicious situation/vehicle/person|
|Code 27||Investigation - preliminary/follow-up|
|Code 28||ID field investigation|
|Code 29||K-9 activities|
|Code 31||Transport - MCP|
|Code 32||Out of county - investigation/business/court|
|Code 33||Vehicle maintenance/refueling|
|Code 34||School safety|
|Code 38||Uniform OD job - start|
|Code 39||Uniform OD job - stop|
|Code 51||Detail (not traffic)|
|Code 52||Traffic control detail - prearranged|
|Code 53||Traffic problem - on patrol|
|Code 54||Traffic stop|
|Code 55||Radar/Traffic enforcement|
|Code 56||Community policing/POP activity|
|Code 62||Emergency petition service|
|Code 91||Supervisory/Administrative duty|
|Code 99||All other miscellaneous|
These will be used along with a 4-digit event code to "clear" calls before units go back in service. They will be preceded by an event code and "dash." For example, 2991-5, where "5" is the event clearance code.
|Dash 1||Verified, No Report, No Arrest/Charge|
|Dash 2||Verified, Report, No Arrest/Charge|
|Dash 3||Verified, No Report, Arrest/Charge|
|Dash 4||Verified, Report, Arrest/Charge|
|Dash 5||Not Verified, No Report|
|Dash 6||Unfounded, No Report|
|Dash 7||Event Investigated, Turned Over to Other Police Agency, No Report|
These 4-digit codes will be used to "clear" calls, thus placing the clearing unit(s) back in service. They will be followed by an event clearance code (see above). These codes will often be used on the radio in reference to certain types of situations, e.g., "2934" is used frequently by dispatchers and officers. The general "hundred" categories may also be used by officers to refer to certain types of incidents, e.g., "1800," "5300."
|18xx||Controlled Dangerous Substances|
|22xx||Liquor Law Violations|
|27xx||Other Offenses (not traffic)|
Miscellaneous Traffic Offenses
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
All Other Traffic Offenses
Other Commercial Alarms
Other Miscellaneous Calls
Fatal Traffic Collisions
Personal Injury Collisions
Property Damage Collisions
Codes are used to give a suspect or driver's race over the radio. These are usually referred to as "code X" but may also be called "number X," for example "code 2 male" or "number 1 female."
|Code 4||Native American|