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What does 10-79 mean?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

What does 10-79 mean?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
January 3, 2012


To keep radio communications between law-enforcement officers and dispatchers brief, a set of "ten" codes has been in use for many years. Occasionally, the meaning of some of the codes will change over the years, but most remain the same. The codes also serve to keep citizens with scanners in the dark; or at least on their toes.

I sure riled up one McHenry County government office today, which resulted in threats of criminal prosecution against me. One employee there demanded that I remove a license plate from one of my articles, claimed that she was being stalked and said publishing her license plate put her life in danger.

If you want to drive an unrecognizable vehicle while you are working, then you don't pick one like my red "basic undercover car" - a red VW Beetle.And, if you are government employee driving your personal vehicle for work-related purposes, you might decide whether your choice of a bright yellow, boxy-looking, tall, stand-out vehicle is a good choice. Especially if you put a personalized plate on it that easily reveals your occupation..

But if your choices of vehicle and license plate are made, can you then gripe about attention to them? After all, aren't they your personal (non-taxpayer-supported) vehicle and personally paid-for registration and license plate? If a person wants anonymity when driving around McHenry County, there are a lot of other choices for vehicle and license plate.

My attorney advised me that I didn't need to remove the license plate number from an earlier article.

My attorney also said I don't need to worry about threats to file criminal charges against me for putting that license plate number in my article. And my attorney said I needn't worry about any conversation that might have taken place between that upset County employee and anyone in the State's Attorney's Office.

Being the nice guy that I am, I removed the license plate number from the article.

Oh, by the way; what does 10-79 mean? "Notify Coroner".



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