Understanding, and helpng to the NOPD backlog / manpower forum:
At current, NOPD has three shift changes during the course of the day. At the beginning of a new watch, each district relays to the dispatcher their district's “Lineup” of available units. At this time, as well as other times of the day, the dispatcher will also advise each district of their current backlog of calls for service.
When listening to the scanner, it's very easy to understand who is rank, who is a patrol unit, and who is on the desk at the station. Let's start with the basics:
- District units have a three-number designation. The first number designates the district. For example, (police unit) 302 would be a Third District unit. 402 would be a Forth District unit... and so on.
- District rank units are labeled as 10, 20, 30, 40. The lower the number, the higher the rank. For example, 310 would be a third district ranking officer. 410 would be a forth district ranking officer. 340 would be a district ranking officer, but will have less seniority to say... 320. Rank cars are almost always a one-man car... unless rank is training a rookie or has to “double-up” with a patrol officer due to a shortage of police cars.
- District patrol units are either single “man” units are two “man” units. Single man patrol cars are odd-numbered. Two-man patrol units are even numbered. For example, in the third district, single man units may be 301, 303, 305, etc. Examples of two-man patrol units in the third district would be 302, 304, 308, 312, etc.
- Each district has a desk officer. Traditionally, this unit's designation ends in “49”. For example, the third district's desk officer would be unit 349. The officer working the desk in the first district would be 149.
- Note – With the exception of report-writing calls, most police calls for service require at least 2 police officers for officer safety reasons. When a single-man unit responds to an emergency, another police unit will provide backup. Some calls for service require a rank officer and two or more patrol officers to be present before action be taken.
When the dispatcher gives the backlog, he/ she will announce how may Code 1s, Code 2s, and Code 3s are “holding”... awaiting to be dispatched so that a police unit may respond.
- Code 1s are mostly report-writing calls. It's typical to see Code 1's holding sometimes for hours. In this case, no one should be in danger... just badly inconvenienced, waiting for a police officer to come and take a report. Examples of this may be simple thefts, burglaries, accidents without injuries, and miscellaneous complaints.
- Code 2s are more serious rolls than Code 1s, and typically involve a person in danger, crimes in progress, or a major crime just reported. Code 2 rolls should be instantly dispatched once arriving through the 911 system. Should a patrol officer not be available and a Code 2 roll be entered into the backlog, the dispatcher will contact a ranking district officer and advise him/her that there is a Code 2 holding. Either rank needs to find someone to take it, or rank should take the Code 2 call himself/ herself.
- Code 3 rolls are the most serious calls for service, involving the greatest potential for immediate loss of life or serious bodily injury. Never, ever, should a Code 3 call be entered into backlog. Compared to Code 1 and Code 2 calls, Code 3 calls are surprisingly rare... as most calls for service involving criminal acts are considered Code 2 rolls.