When you hear the phrase call response it just about defines itself. It is the phrase used to determine how a police officer responds to a call. Now for every officer responding to a call there are two words that stand out, or rather, that take priority: quickly and safely.
There is an old saying that goes, “You can’t crash too quickly.” This goes on to say that if you crash en route you won’t be any help to your partner. You see both the humor and the reality of this statement.
So, as a responding officer you will either travel at one of three levels of code.
a. Code 1 – Lowest level of response. No lights, no sirens, follow and obey all traffic rules and rules of the road.
b. Code 2 – Mid-level response. Lights but no sirens and “get there quickly”, but follow the rules of the road, may exceed posted speed limit if safe to do so.
c. Code 3- Emergency response, get there now. Lights and sirens allowed and expected. The key thing to remember is that as a marked unit responding in a C-3 status you are still required to observe the rules of the road. Just because a police officer is traveling with lights and sirens he does not have the right to drive through intersections or other traffic control devices without due observance.
Another point to remember about code response is that it the ultimate decision and responsibility of how an officer responds is up to that responding officer.
The higher the level of threat the higher the level of response will be. If there is an officer involved incident, where the officer is now being threatened directly, the code response will go higher. If the suspect in a crime is listed as either armed and or dangerous, the repose will be higher. It there is an immediate threat to the public interest or safety then the code response will be higher. An administrative call, i.e. report taking or information gathering, then the response will be code-one. When an officer arrives on scene and the situation is controlled, the call is downgraded to Code-four, situation controlled or safe.
There is one other code option available to officers in the field and it is the cod-four alpha. This is a situation where an officer tells his partners that the situation is under control, but there is something, maybe indefinable that just feels or seems wrong. In this case his area partners will remain near the call even if they do not check out on it for assistance.
Next time we’ll talk about what are some of the things that can escalate a call to a code-four response.