The Radio

Radio Traffic

The Radio

Radio Consoles

Radio Consoles 

Dispatchers in each troop area will be trained on how to operate the radio console. The dispatcher needs to know what radio channel to select for a particular geographic area, how to key up using the different methods, appropriate radio language, and how to use the appropriate radio channels to communicate with other NSP dispatch centers and outside agencies. The dispatcher will also be trained on how to play back previous radio traffic and telephone calls using the NICE recorder.

Each workstation is equipped with a monitor displaying the necessary radio channels used to dispatch the troops in the appropriate troop areas. Dispatchers can key up on the appropriate radio channel using four methods, the desk microphone, the foot pedal located below the workstation, the radio headset, or by clicking on the transmit button (Lightning Bolt). When the dispatcher is keyed up, a red lightning bolt will appear on that channel. When another dispatcher is keyed up, a yellow lightning bolt will appear. When a unit is transmitting in, a “speaker” icon will appear.

Radio Language

Basic FCC Rules & Regulations 

The Nebraska State Patrol, providing public safety services, is authorized by the Federal Communication Commission to transmit radio communications directly related to official public safety activities. False calls, unidentified communications, fraudulent distress signals, and obscene, indecent, or profane language are prohibited. (Refer to CLEIN manual Introduction Section and the NSP policy manual Section 09-01 for list of call signs and furthRer information.)

Ten Codes

Ten signals should be used on the radio whenever and wherever they apply. The opposite is true with teletype messages and broadcasts; teletype messages and broadcasts should be written as text, without using any ten codes, since the ten codes differ from state to state. (Refer to 10 signal card, NSP policy manual Section 09-02 and the CLEIN manual Part 1.10.)

Military Time 

Military time or Twenty-four hour time shall be used in all of NSP’s work. The time is always given ahead of the date. (Refer to CLEIN manual Part 1.12.)

Signing Off With the Time 

Communications should sign off with the time when an officer is 10-97 or 10-98 an assignment, when they put the station in and out of service, at the end of broadcasts, and at the end of general transmissions to signal that you understood the trooper’s last transmission and they don’t require another type of response. (Refer to CLEIN manual Part 1.17.)

Phonetics & Phonetics Alphabet

All State Patrol radio traffic will be in accordance with FCC regulations and will utilize the 10-signal method, phonetic alphabet, and plain text.

It is important to utilize the phonetic alphabet to clarify information. It is important to clarify in order to ensure units are able to get the correct information regarding individuals and locations.

Radio Basics

Call Up Procedures and Answering Units 

When communications desires contact with a mobile operator by radio, the dispatcher should announce the name of station followed by the number assigned to the mobile operator. The mobile operator will reply by giving his/her number and location.

Example: “Omaha 214.” 214 would reply “214 MM 450 I80 Westbound.”

Likewise, when a mobile operator desires contact with communications they would announce, “214 Omaha.” Omaha would respond with “214.”

Unit Status Checks/Unit Status 

Communications should conduct unit status checks on units every 90 minutes when the trooper has not initiated any radio traffic for the past 90 minutes.

When a trooper is on a traffic stop, and have not initiated any radio traffic for at least 15 minutes, they must be status checked. 

If There is No Response

When making radio call to a unit and there is no answer to the first call, the one calling shall wait at least 30 seconds, but no longer than a minute before making a second call. When you call a unit, make three calls thirty seconds apart before declaring no contact. At that time attempt to contact the officer via their phone. If you are still unable to make contact with the trooper, advise the supervisor and have the nearest unit go to the last know location to check on the trooper.

Officers, who believe they are stopping a suspicious persons, or a vehicle which they believe is unusual in nature, or are responding to a domestic disturbance call, will notify the communications center of the following:

1. Exact Location

2. Complete Description of vehicle or person (if known)

3. License number on vehicle or address of disturbance if available.

4. Reason for stop

5. The trooper will notify communications when completed with the stop or assignment.

6. If no contact has been made by the officer within 15 minutes, the dispatcher shall attempt to make contact with the officer originating the call.

7. If in the event that two attempts to recontact the officer have failed, the Communications Specialist shall send the nearest patrol unit to the location of the stop and on duty patrol supervisor.  

Location Changes and Updates

When troopers advise they are en route to another location, are on minor detail, or out of service at a location and are not currently on a call for service, the location change will be noted in the Unit Status program.


In order to ensure trooper safety it important that information be recorded and given out accurately.


Information must be given and received in a timely manner to ensure units have the most updated information for a call to help perform their job accurately and efficiently and remain as safe as possible.

Rate of Speech

The Communications Specialist should have the ability to speak clearly and distinctly, remain calm in times of emergencies and disasters, and the ability to combine disconnected material and statements into concise and accurate messages. The Communication Specialist should speak slowly enough that the officer can comprehend the information given.

Clearing the Air for Emergency Traffic 

Communications will clear the radio channels of any unnecessary traffic within the affected troop area and the troop area bordering the pursuit if necessary. Communications will request all units to clear the air for emergency traffic by advising what unit is in pursuit, description of vehicle being pursued, the location and the direction of travel. Example “10-59 10-33 air cleared emergency traffic only, 123 in pursuit of newer red Dodge pickup from the 452 I80 westbound.”

Putting the Station In and Out of Service 

When a station is going to be out of service for any predetermined reason, or when an operator is required to leave their position temporarily, when relief is not available, the operator should notify mobile operators, and adjacent stations if necessary. This is done by using the proper “10-singal” when leaving and again when returning. The expected length of time he/she will be gone should be announced also. This is done by announcing, “10-59 (name of station) 10-7 5 minutes.” Sign off with the station call sign and time. Upon returning, announce “10-59 (name of station) 10-8.” Again sign off with station call sign and time. (Refer to CLEIN manual Part 1.17.)

Effective Dispatching Techniques & Strategies

Use Appropriate Department Approved Language 

NSP uses 10 codes and the phonetic alphabet. Dispatchers are provided a copy of these during training and it is important that they review and memorize the information to ensure efficiency in dispatching units and communicating information with them.

Using a Calm, Clear Voice and Portraying Confidence 

It is important that the dispatcher us a calm and clear voice and speak confidently in order to ensure they are understood by the units.

Review Text of Call Before Beginning Broadcast 

To ensure the correct information is given out in an understandable way, make sure to briefly review the information to be broadcasted before putting out on the radio.

Reading Broadcasts

Communications shall disseminate major crime information as it is received to all officers on duty by way of all units’ traffic, 10-59. The information shall include, but is not limited to reckless drivers, recent high priority crimes in the area, and “Be on the lookout for” calls, etc. These items should be given to the officers on duty and also given to the next shift if it is believed that the car or person may still be in the area.

Broadcasts should be read over the radio with not more than three in one group. The broadcast should be read in a slow, and clear manner. (The CLEIN manual provides examples of reading broadcasts.)

Available Units and Resources 

In order to be more efficient, dispatchers must know what resources and units are available to them. It is important to know who is on duty and a general area of where they are. It is also important to note what troopers on duty may also have a specialty, i.e. Drug Recognition Expert, Accident Reconstruction, etc. should there be a need by another patrol unit or outside agency for a trooper with that specialty.

Geographic Considerations

It is important for the Communications Specialist to be aware of the different types of geography that may be in their designated troop areas. It is also important to note how this may affect radio reception in that area. Areas that are in valleys or rough terrain areas may not have audible radio reception and troopers may have to call in via telephone and may require telephone status checks.

Available Backup 

When dispatching a unit to a call, it is important to be aware what units may be available should the need arise. This also includes being aware of what county and/or city the trooper is in and what law enforcement resources may be available in the area.

Response Time 

In order to allow for the most efficient response time, the Communications Specialist must be able to relay information from a reporting party and/or agency to the units en route. The more serious the call, the more important it is for the units to be dispatched in a timely manner.

Rapidly Changing Incidents 

Situations can change rapidly at any given time. Dispatchers must be able to handle these rapid changes and address any of the unit(s) needs as they arise. Dispatchers must be able to pay attention to what is being said and what may be occurring in the background in order to handle changes, and anticipate a trooper’s needs.

Communicating With Other Agencies Via Radio

Each troop has additional radio channels that can be used to talk to outside agencies. Each area has a “ROC Call” channel, i.e. “A ROC Call” to communicate with local counties.

Listening to Background Noise 

Although at times there may be a lot of activity occurring, it is important to attempt to listen to the background noise when a unit is transmitting to help anticipate if they will have any additional needs.

Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures (Radio System Failure) 

In the event the radio system fails or some of the radio towers are inoperable, communications should notify headquarter dispatch, the traffic supervisor and the communications supervisor. After ascertaining the extent of the failure communications should, if possible, advise traffic units of what towers are out of service, and also, for agency safety purposes, advise the adjacent troop areas and other law enforcement agencies in that same area by either public service or teletype. (Refer to CLEIN manual NSP Part S13)

Mobile Emergency Operations Center 

The NSP Mobile Command Post (MCP) is principally a radio communications center that is available at any time to assist local law enforcement agencies. The radio call number for the Mobile Command Post is 509. Mobile Communications Trailers have been equipped to respond to any emergency situation/location within the State of Nebraska. Any request for the assignment of the Mobile Command Post shall be directed to the Administrative Services Major through the appropriate chain of command. (Refer to NSP policy manual Section 09-01 and CLEIN manual Part 1.19 for further information.)

10 Codes

10 Codes 

Review the 10 Codes above, as well as the full list below, as the next page of the training will be a short quiz. You'll want to continue to review your paper copy of the 10 code card throughout training. 

Many trainees find it helpful to keep their card in front of their keyboard to help them make sure they have quick access to it. 

Full List of 10 Codes 

Select the 4 Ways to Key Up on the Radio

  • Foot Pedal
  • Headset
  • Remote Control
  • Desk Mic
  • ESP
  • Transmit Button

Status checks should be done when a trooper hasn't had radio contact with dispatch after how many minutes?

  • 120
  • 45
  • 30
  • 90

Select Whether the Following Statements are True or False

  • Information should be recorded accurately to ensure trooper safety.
  • It is important to speak clear and concise on the radio to ensure understanding.
  • Troopers require status checks, when they on a traffic stop, after 30 minutes.
  • Each station is equipped with a monitor that is dedicated solely to the radio.
  • Our call sign is Lincoln. I.e. "Lincoln 152 status"

10 Code Match Up

  • 10-82
    Traffic Stop
  • 10-62
    Motorist Assist
  • 10-39
    Plate/Vehicle information
  • 10-29
    Check for wants
  • 10-60
    Check license for suspension
  • 10-33
    Emergency Traffic
  • 10-89
    Request Assistance
  • 10-18
    Expedite/"lights & sirens"

Dispatching Calls

General Dispatching

Dispatching Calls 

Most calls follow a similar format when dispatching troopers to them. 

1. You'll need to let the trooper know where they're going to. (Location) 

2. Next, you let them know what they're going there for. (Type of Call) 

3. After they know where they're going and why, you'll want to let them know any details you have and they will need. i.e. subject or vehicle descriptions, if another agency is there, if they need to expedite (10-18) or go normal status 


Dispatching BOLO calls 

BOLO/reckless driver/possible intoxicated driver calls are one of the more popular ones we receive and dispatch. In order to give out the information in the most efficient way, everyone does their broadcast like that picture aboved. 

At each console there is card, like the one above, that can be filled in using a dry erase marker. When first starting out, don't hesitate to utilize this tool to help you remember how to dispatch these calls. 

An actual BOLO call would be given like this: 

"Omaha 10-59 10-74 (Attention all units, Be on the lookout for) 


Omaha 10-59 10-74

I80 eastbound from the 434 

Black Chrysler Pacifica Nebraska AAA123 

Vehicle is unable to maintain lane and speeding. 

RP is no longer behind the vehicle.

032 (sign off with the time)

It's also helpful to keep this card close to you as the bottom portion serves as a good reminder of what information to get from the Reporting Party (RP) and to add it to the call. 

BOLO Practice

Omaha 10-59

Omaha 10-59 10-74

I80 from the 434

Silver Chrysler

Unable to

no longer behind vehicle

Reading Back Plates & People

10-39's & 10-28's

10-39's & 10-28's 

The above video covers the basics of vehicle registration. Should a trooper request a 10-28, they are simply requesting the registration information, INCLUDING the VIN. 


10-39 Review

10-39 Review 

On the picture below, find the Plate, VIN, Expiration Date, Owner Information, and Physical description of vehicle 

Creating Calls & Documentation Practice

Drag the Information to the correct spaces-Traffic Stop

  • T
  • 445 I80 WB
  • 594
  • XYZ123 NB
  • \\OFF\ 5405
  • 08/02/1975 F

Drag the Information to the correct spaces-BOLO

  • 432 I80 EB
  • BOLO
  • 123X7Z NB
  • 467
  • 152
  • 467 X77 FROM 432 TO 440 EB
  • \\OFF\ 5425

Drag the Information to the correct spaces-DWI

  • DWI
  • 22
  • ONE MALE X15 REF X47
  • X46 X97
  • RRR222 IA
  • 02/01/1993
  • \\OFF\ 5404 5405

Practice Pursuit

Pursuit Documentation 

Listen to the pursuit above and type it as if you are handling the actual pursuit. Make sure you type in any information that has been covered that you need, as well as any information you feel would be important to document.