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"Officer in dire need of assistance"

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by nikerret, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Mar 29, 2005
    Around here, there is Signal 13 or Signal 14, depending where you are at. The more common is Signl 13 for "Officer in dire need of assistance", the S has H T F.

    In nearly five years of being a LEO, I have only heard it come over the radio one time.

    A few years ago, two PD guys got jumped at one of the bars by a group of around eight African American males, some of which were on the current roster for University football. They went to arrest one of the men for choking his girlfriend. When the cuffs came out, the brawl started. Unfortunately, I had just enough time to pick up my fresh Reserve Deputy and get about six miles away from the bar (out of City limits), before the choking call came out.

    We busted ass accross town, in a torrential downpour. Every time a PD guy called out on scene the next transmission was "we need more help". As I was driving at speeds that were theoretically three times the posted speed limit, I put my gloves on. The Reserve asked if he needed to put his gloves on. "Yes."

    I was the first Deputy to arrive to back the PD. I pulled up to find bodies getting tossed every which way. Three guys came flying out of the bar as I got to the door. I looked in to see chaos and bodies getting flung about, but the cops were winning. There was one African American who was tossing bodies, but not the cops, so everyone let him continue (enemy of my enemy is my friend). When the three guys tried to go back in, I stopped them. They kept the Reserve and I busy for the next several minutes as the other Deputies showed up. By that time, mosts of the activity was outside and some of the cops were getting a breather.

    Turns out, the African American helping the cops out was an off-duty KCMO PD guy. Even he said we had a damn good brawl going.

    The next weekend, we repeated the whole thing with the same group, but there was no distress call put out. I just happened to be driving by and got out to see what they had when the two cops going in to stop a fight got jumped by the guys arrested the week prior. The problem guys weren't even involved in the fight the cops were there for; one just decided to punch the cop in the back of the head and the whole group jumped. By the end of it, we had another nice little fight in the middle of the street. It was about ten on ten by the time everyone arrived.

    What are your stories? How many times have you heard a LEO cry out for help? Have you had to call out?
  2. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    I have no stories, but in the 1980s, we had several "officer needs assistance" calls in Denver.
    A few were very bad (officer shot by a prisoner, and such), but most were over by the time I could get across town.

    They were always across town from me. Even when I was a wild car.
    I guess you could say that my fellow officers were safe when they were near me.
    Or you could say that it was boring near me.

    We did punch the panic button once when I was training a new guy, saw a car shoot out of 7-11, we stopped it, had another car screech to a halt behind us (looking like it was full of a Mexican gang) yelling that the other car had a shotgun.

    An occupant of the first car exited and put himself in a felony kneeling position all by himself, and we had the beginnings of a gang fight.

    We cooled it down before backup arrived.

    That was as exciting as it got around me.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

  3. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    While we theoretically have a code for such a thing, if it's come to that point, it's rarely used. I have been on some all-county calls where you might end up with a couple dozen officers from five or six agencies at one scene.

    By far the most frightening call I have ever heard (I did not respond as I believe I was tied up) was a dispatcher keying up to advise that they were getting 911 calls of an officer being assaulted at a particular fairly busy intersection. Nobody had called out there, so they only had the calls. A 29 year veteran supervisor went out with a drunken idiot student who had walked out in traffic. This guy wasn't trying to jam the kid up, and the mere fact that he deemed him worth stopping tells me how egregiously stupid and careless the attention drawing behavior must have been. The kid ended up behind the officer with his arm around the officer's neck, pulling up and leveraging with the hood of the car. The officer lost consciousness, but a bystander's threat to call the police scared him off.

    Everybody made it home, nobody was seriously hurt, and the perpetrator was eventually located, arrested, and convicted, but it was an absolutely surreal thing to hear broadcast like that.
  4. Ducowti


    Jan 11, 2009
    Only one, not terribly exciting. Two deps breaking up a fight inside an apt party, one called for help, could hear the distress in his voice. I and two other units arrived within 3', but by then things were already simmering down.

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  5. Butcher

    Butcher NRA Life Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    There's at least a few signal 13's dropped across our war zone... I mean city, daily. Usually when an officer asks for backup then gets preoccupied and doesn't answer the radio to tell dispatch what's going on. In our first year out, one of my academy classmates said he wanted to go into a vacant house to do some surveillance on drug dealers. Didn't tell anyone what exact address he'd be at, nor did he pay attention to where he went. He ended up falling through the second floor of a fire-damaged vacant dwelling and was hanging on for dear life, his feet dangling down through the ground floor ceiling. Dropped a signal 13 on himself and we all went door to door canvassing the area for him. He was ok in the end, and it was hilarious. Never let him live that one down lol

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  6. k9medic


    Sep 16, 2000
    at an LZ near you
    Our code is "10-24." In 15 years as a LEO, I have heard it twice.

    Once was for an officer who was involved in a very bad wreck. He was able to get to his shoulder mike and all he could say was "10-24." A few moments later a passing motorist came on the radio saying something along the lines of "hello? hello? dispatch? there's an officer hurt really bad in a crash." That one sends chills.

    The second time was Memorial day weekend in 1999. I was working an off duty detail at a park with a bunch of other officers from other agencies (city, state and wildlife guys). A call of "10-24" came from our dispatch reference a riot in the next city. It was like a Christmas parade - everything from DARE vehicles to Game and Fish officers with their boats in tow. Long story short, a rookie officer tried to break up a block party in a less than affluent part of town. His mistake was pulling out a shotgun and threatening people with it. It was taken from him and thankfully not used on him.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  7. It's usually 10-33, 10-99, "shot fired!" or just a simple "help" that gets the wheels moving. In our squad and agency, saying "expedite!" gets the response. Booked a few times to that.

    Early in my career, I was dropping off a subject in downtown Seattle when my partner in the adjoining small agency (shared dispatch channel) yelled into his radio that he we in a fight and needed help. Call was immediately toned out as the "help the officer" call. If you are familiar with the 520 floating bridge in Seattle, imaging going 119 at mid span, driving a 95 caprice with an LT1 under the hood. I remember it getting loose because I was catching air. Got there the same time as surrounding agencies did.

    That was my second year and it woke me up to the fact of "Drive safe, arrive alive."
  8. series1811

    series1811 Enforcerator. CLM

    I showed up on one and didn't even know it in Baltimore one time. My partner and I turned down an alley off of North because we saw a large crowd gathered in it and just wanted to see what they were doing. When I drove up into it, there was a lone female officer trying to handcuff a resisting subject she had chased into the alley, with about fifty "citizens" watching and rooting for the subject.

    About the time we got the cuffs on him, I started hearing about thirty different sirens and I asked the officer if she had called in a Signal 13 (I didn't have my BPD handheld with me that day). She had, and it took us about twenty minutes to get out of that alley after both ends got filled up with units. :supergrin:
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  9. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
    Our latest fatal shooting involved one of the officers calling (code 5 code 3) which is our ZOMG SEND POPO KTHXBAI radio code.

    I have had occasion to use it a few times but I haven't.

    Last few times we had someone resist pretty good, I just got on the air and said "*radio number*, we're in a fight." Help comes quick here.

    When I got rammed by a DUI driver, I said "*radio number, he just rammed me."
  10. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    I kicked out a few 999s in my day and responded to a bunch more, but the one that sticks in my mind was one that happened in 2004.

    It was a typical summer evening shift with priority 2 calls backed up columns deep and we'd be lucky to even get to a priority 3 or lower. A priority 2 all call went out for a loud family argument at notorious trailer park where family trees were nothing more than tap roots running deep, IQs were measured in celsius, and the banjo music ran loud and out of tune. Of course, no one is available or doesn't want to break to take the call.

    Since no one answered up, I headed down. As I drove, the call was revised into criminal damage and then into a physical fight. One other officer broke away and was inbound with an ETA of about 20 minutes.

    I parked just around the corner and as I walked up, I could hear stuff crashing around and yelling. As I walked to the south end of the trailer, I hear a thud and a young adult male yells out obscenities and 'that's what you get, *****'. Crying and screaming from a female ensues.

    A second later, I am showered with broken glass as the male jumps out of the southern window and lands almost on top of me as I approach. He's covered with blood and the fight is on. After a few seconds, I realize that this guy is fighting me while under the influence of something and it isn't alcohol. He tries to emulate a MMA style and after I take him to the ground, I reach for my remote mike and realize it isn't on my shirt. I reach down and hit the E-tone button to get the second wave there faster.

    The next thing I hear is, '[unit ID] - reset your radio'. I am still engaged full on with Wilbur White Trash and don't have time to disengage and search for the darn thing. I again hit the E-tone button and hope that the clueless fat moron at the Comm console puts down the Ranch dipped snacks and sends me some cops now. Again, I hear '[unit ID] - you're tying up the frequency. reset your portable!' Meanwhile, the trailer park has emptied out into the street and I am being surrounded by hostile associates, relatives, and warrant holders looking for some revenge.

    Pissed off, I pull my Taser, manage to rip off the cartridge, and then drive stun Wilbur at T2 on his spine. This locks him up enough that I can yank the radio out of its holster and broadcast: '[unit ID] - Get off the radio and shut up! I am Code 999, repeat Code 999 and surrounded by hostiles. Inbound officers... do not approach from the south! Outbound fire going south in One!'

    The male Comm supervisor comes on the radio and clears the freq and verifies my situation. Knowing that he was a 'Nam grunt, I confirm - 'Comm - Prairie Fire! Engaging hostiles to the south. Friendlies - north!'

    The bad guy is covered in blood and face down on the ground struggling to get me off of his back, broken glass is in him, and I can't tell if I'm bleeding. The hostile crowd is wavering because of the Glock now pointed at them and the sirens in the distance are getting louder by the second.

    All ended well and the Comm supervisor said it was just like being back in the Corps.

    Several months before, we had gotten new mobile and portable radios. The E-tone buttons were poorly placed by the installer and kept getting accidentally activated. Someone in Comm got complacent and lazy, someone else nearly paid the price.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  11. faceplant


    Feb 8, 2006
    Cochese, how was it toned out the night of the shooting? That was a true SHTF call.
  12. 11A


    Nov 28, 2011
    I was actually thinking about posting this anyways because it keeps playing though my mind, and I was going to ask the collective minds how you cope.

    Last Friday I was driving down a main road in our city when I saw a guy with a bat trying to swing it at a passing car; this was at 4:00am. I was probably about 45ft from him when he stepped into the road, so probably about 30ft away when my cruiser came to a stop.

    As I exited the cruiser the male (6'1" 280lbs and I'm 5'6" 165lbs) rose the bat above his head and started coming towards me. He was talking nonsense and extremely sweaty and animated; I knew he was on something but not sure what.

    I ordered him to drop the bat at gun point, and he did but wouldn't comply with any other commands. He kept backing away from me, and it appeared as of he was reaching behind his back around his waist band. I put out a 10-3 (officer in trouble) on myself when he wouldn't comply.

    When I saw him reaching for his waistband I tased him, but it was ineffective due to a loose fitting hoodie. He squared up on me and I attempted to tase him again with my second cartridge; ineffective. I put him back at gun point and waited for backup to arrive, as I could see them flying down the road towards me.

    After we had him cuffed, a family member told us that he had snorted cocaine that was laced with something bad...most likely bath salts.

    All of this took place in probably 60-90 seconds although it felt a heck of a lot longer, and we ended up about 150yds West of our starting place. I had left my flashlight in my cruiser b/c i started my draw as I was leaving the cruiser, and didn't have a baton b/c of belt space (31" waist). I have since found/made room b/c of this incident.

    This is the first time I have had an experience like this, although I've responded to a couple. I can honestly say its the first time I've been absolutely terrified since pinning on my badge in late June.

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  13. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    I would have been tempted to re-enter the car and run him over.

    Then again, when I was doing this there were no such things as cameras in the cars. :)
  14. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004

    Photographers' gaffer tape is great stuff. It's tactical duct tape. :whistling:
  15. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

    Aug 22, 2003
    A couple days ago I think my transmission was "send everybody" All went well but it was a little sketchy at first.
  16. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    "My partner's been shot, send me the world."

    The response still chokes me up. There were guys enroute to jail being unarrested and thrown out of patrol cars. There were office pogues showing up in decrepit old Tauruses with brakes smoking. I can't even talk about what EMS did. I've never been so proud of my agency and the local hose-draggers.
  17. We call it Assist The Officer in Philly. Unfortunately there are too many incidents to count.
  18. GoBigOrange


    May 22, 2010
    East TN
    Similar thing happened in Knoxville TN a few years ago. The ambulance actually broke down while taking the officer to the hospital. They were able to get another ambulance over there and the officer still made it to the ER within 15 minutes IIRC.

    Pretty sure the officer recovered without any severe long term damage though I think he retired. That was the 2nd time he was shot while on duty. He didn't wear a vest.

    Glad he's ok.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  19. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Back in the 80's (reserve), we were told do NOT ask for help on the radio, ask for assistance. Unless it was life or death, cause help would basically get all hands on deck at high speed, reserved for the direst of emergencies.


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  20. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    We have emergency buttons on our radios. When pushed it pops up the GPS location onto every mdc for that side of town. We also have the button built into our squads with same gps activation. This immediately closed the channel and brings everyone to you. Happens a few times a month id say. It's a good feeling knowing all you have to do is push a button and not worry about coming through with all the details.

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