Boston Police Department Bureaus, Units, Terms, Slang, Radio Codes, and Everything In Between

Table of Contents:

Boston Police Service Areas and Locations:

Boston Police District A-1: Downtown, North End & Waterfront, West End, China Town, Theater District, Boston Commons, Beacon Hill

Boston Police District A-15: Charlestown

Boston Police District A-7: East Boston

Boston Police District B-2: Roxbury

Boston Police District B-3: Mattapan

Boston Police District C-6: South Boston

Boston Police Headquarters, where the Homicide Unit, Crime Scene Response Unit and others are based is located at One Schroeder Plaza, on the boarder of District D-4 and B-2 near the Ruggles MBTA Stations. Additionally, the Gang Unit (Officially known as the Youth Violence Strike Force), the City Wide Drug Control Unit, Auto-Theft Taskforce and other specialized units have bases around the city in undisclosed locations.

Boston Police Bureaus and Units

The Boston Police Department is comprised of ten branches which include the Office of the Police Commissioner, the Office of the Superintendent-in-Chief, the Bureau of Field Service, the Bureau of Investigative Services, the Bureau of Professional Standards, the Bureau of Professional Development, the Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis, the Bureau of Administration and Technology, the Bureau of Community Engagement, and the Office of the Legal Advisor. Here is there breakdown of all the notable major components of the Boston Police department and what they do.

Office of the Police Commissioner:

The Office off the Police Commissioner or OPC is the Office of the Executive Head of the Department and is responsible for the management, planning, direction and control of the Department. In addition to the Police Commissioner’s administrative and support staff and the Unit(s) listed below, the Offices and Bureaus which report directly to the Police Commissioner are as follows;

Office of the Chief of StaffAssists the Police Commissioner with policy and planning issues and with on-going operations of events, projects, and the Department’s goals and initiatives.
Dignitary Protection UnitProvides security and protection for the Office of the Mayor and the Office of the Police Commissioner, and visiting dignitaries and guests of those two offices. This Unit reports to the Chief of Staff.
Office of Research and DevelopmentAcquires and manages external funding for the Department; conducts research, development, and evaluation of crime prevention and intervention programming; assists in crime analysis and acts as a clearinghouse for crime statistics for the Department; conducts Department wide performance measurement and benchmarking; and acts as a liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement, community and governmental entities.
Office of Staff InspectionsThis Office has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with rules and procedures regulating court overtime and paid detail earnings.
Paid Detail Assignment UnitResponsible for the assignment and oversight of paid details through authorized vendors.
Court UnitProvides oversight of the activities of officers when appearing in court.
Office of the Legal AdvisorThis Office formulates legal opinions and provides legal perspectives on policy matters. Also, provides legal advice to members of the Department; represents the Department in selected civil litigation; presents cases where disciplinary charges are brought against Department employees; defends the Department in employment related matters.
Office of Administrative HearingsThis Office has primary responsibility for managing the schedule of hearings, ruling on pre- and post-hearing motions, and conducting pre- hearing conferences and disciplinary trial boards.
Office of Labor RelationsThis Office is responsible for representing the Police Commissioner at employee collective bargaining negotiations, conferences and grievance discussions and for assisting in the development of policies regarding labor relations and negotiations.
Street Outreach TeamThe unit promotes community-based outreach prevention and intervention and provides a professional response to individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder and the homeless community while upholding the values of community policing. The unit also develops and oversees the department’s multi-faceted strategies for responding to vulnerable individuals with behavioral health problems and the homeless, and provides guidance in the areas of safety, services and proactive police response.

Bureau of Professional Standards:

Reporting directly to the Police Commissioner, this Bureau has responsibility for ensuring that the professional standards and integrity of the Department and its members are maintained.

Anti-Corruption DivisionReporting directly to the Bureau Chief, investigates instances in which a City employee is reported or suspected of involvement in criminal activity involving abuse of position and any other investigation at the direction of the Bureau Chief or the Police Commissioner.
Internal Affairs DivisionReporting directly to the Bureau Chief, oversees the Internal Investigations Unit, the Recruit Investigations Unit and the Auditing and Review Unit.
Internal Investigations UnitReporting directly to the Assistant Bureau Chief, investigates incidents of alleged police misconduct; reviews complaint investigations to assure that investigations are thorough and complete; analyzes all complaint data; and proactively assists in the development of needed training modules. Coordinates the Department’s efforts relative to the Early Intervention System (EIS) in those circumstances where intervention may prevent subsequent problems or complaints. Reviews the investigative efforts of personnel assigned to conduct recruit investigations.
Recruit Investigations UnitReporting directly to the Assistant Bureau Chief, conducts background investigations on all police recruit applicants and other Department employees.
Auditing and Review UnitReporting directly to Bureau Chief, performs periodic audits of specific functions within Units and Districts to assess their level of performance and their compliance with Department policies and Rules and Procedures; makes recommendations for the development or modification of organizational strategies and procedures.

Office of the Superintendent-in-Chief:

Reporting directly to the Police Commissioner, the Superintendent-in-Chief is the highest-ranking police officer in the Department. The Superintendent-in-Chief is responsible for the development, review, evaluation, and recommendation to the Police Commissioner of policies, procedures, and programs necessary to ensure the implementation of community policing and the effective delivery of police services to the public.

Office of the Night SuperintendentResponsible for overseeing and supervising the delivery of general and tactical police services during the first half (evening) and last half (night or morning watch) tours of duty.
Office of Family AssistanceProvides assistance to employees of the Department and their families, active and retired, in coping with personal loss, crisis, and transition of sworn personnel into retirement.
Office of Multi-MediaPrepares illustrations, Department forms, graphic layouts, crime scene sketches and other artwork as required by the various Units and Divisions of the Department. Produces training and informational videos and provides videotaping services for crime scene investigations, line-ups, demonstrations, and special events.
Peer Support UnitResponsible for rendering assistance and counseling to Boston Police Officers.
Office of Media RelationsThis Office is responsible for keeping members of the Department, general public, and news media informed of police activities by responding to media and informational inquiries and through the preparation and dissemination of news releases.

Bureau of Field Services:

The Bureau of Field Services has primary responsibility for the implementation of Community Policing and the delivery of effective and efficient police services to the community, as well as primary responsibility for the delivery of general, tactical police services and joint Bureau operations, unless otherwise directed by the Police Commissioner.

Special Operations DivisionSpecial Operations is responsible for specialized patrol, tactical, and selective enforcement operations.
Tactical OperationsResponsible for providing specialized patrol, tactical, and selective enforcement operations in situations requiring a high degree of specialized training and/or equipment. Tactical Operations includes Mobile Operations Patrol, the SWAT Team, and the Negotiation Team.
Special Operations Support GroupThe Commander of the Special Operations Support Group represents the Commissioner and the BFS Superintendent on the City of Boston Environmental Strike Team and, as requested, at various judicial and regulatory hearings and procedures. The Group consists of the Harbor Patrol Unit, the Hazardous Materials Response Unit, the Explosive Ordnance Unit, the Canine Unit, and the Commercial Vehicle Unit.
Special Events ManagementPrepares all operational and contingency special event plans in line with the Department’s All-Hazards Approach to Homeland Security. Special Events Management includes the Special Events Planning Unit and the Homeland Security Planning Unit. It also serves as liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management.
Patrol DivisionsResponsible for the implementation of Community Policing and the provision of all police services to residents and visitors to the city. For administrative purposes, Districts are grouped into the following Areas, which, at the discretion of the Police Commissioner, may be placed under the command of an Area Commander
Field Support DivisionAssists the Bureau Chief in supporting the Bureau’s primary mission, assists in coordinating and managing resources for the implementation of Community Policing, and monitors and governs the expenditure of grant money and overtime funds allocated to the Bureau. The Division includes the Citywide Bicycle Unit and the Youth Violence Strike Force.
Citywide Bicycle UnitThis unit has a goal of decreasing criminal activity by walking and riding bicycles in hot spot neighborhoods. The Unit is available for citywide deployment based on Department need.
Youth Violence Strike ForceThe Strike Force’s goal is to reduce the criminal activity and anti-social behavior of youthful offenders and youth gangs through directed and community-based policing strategies.

Bureau of Investigative Service:

The Bureau oversees the activities of the citywide investigative Divisions.

Investigative Planning UnitProvides administrative and operational logistical support to the Bureau Chief.
Major Case DivisionResponsible for conducting investigations of criminal activity by both individuals and organized groups.
Special Investigations UnitResponsible for conducting general and specialized investigations of criminal activity by both individuals and organized groups.
Drug Control UnitResponsible for investigations of incidents of drug trafficking. The Drug Control Unit includes Opioid Response Unit.
Support GroupIncludes the Civil Rights Unit, Fire Investigation Unit, the Auto Theft Unit, the District Attorney’s Office Unit, the Licensed Premises Unit and the Sex Offender Registry Information Unit.
Criminal Investigation DivisionResponsible for conducting general and specialized investigations. The Division includes the Homicide Unit, the Fugitive Section and District Detectives.
Homicide UnitAt the direction of the District Attorney’s Office, investigates and prepares cases on all homicides, suspicious deaths, serious assaults, and battered children cases in which the victim is in danger of death, as well as the investigation of the sudden death of
infants or those apparently stillborn. Included in the Homicide Unit is the Fatal Collision Investigative Team (FCIT).
Fugitive SectionReporting directly to the Homicide Unit Commander, responsible for tracking and prosecuting persons wanted as Fugitives from Justice. The unit is comprised of the Investigations/Rendition Squad and the Apprehension/HIDT Squad.
District DetectivesResponsible for general investigations of crime committed within the geographical boundaries of the respective districts to which they are assigned.
Family Justice DivisionResponsible for the Department’s response to, and investigation of incidents of sexual assault and domestic abuse. The Division connects victims and witnesses with services and support through the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County and other service providers.
Crimes Against Children UnitResponsible for the investigation of incidents of crimes against children.
Domestic Violence UnitResponsible for the investigation of incidents of domestic abuse.
Human Trafficking UnitResponsible for investigation of incidents of human trafficking.
Sexual Assault UnitResponsible for the investigation of incidents of sexual assault.
Forensic DivisionResponsible for obtaining, preserving and analyzing physical evidence for eventual court presentation and for assisting in the development of techniques and procedures for effective crime scene search and criminal identification and apprehension. The Forensic Group consists of the Firearms Analysis Unit, the Crime Lab Unit, the Latent Print Unit, and the Crime Scene Response Unit

Bureau of Professional Development:

Responsible for providing extensive training to all Department personnel, including student officers, in-service, and specialized training.

Academy DivisionResponsible for recruit training, in-service training, promotional training, specialized training and executive level management training.
Student Officers GroupComprised of student officers of the Academy Division
Firearms Training UnitResponsible for recruit and in-service training in firearms.
Police Cadet UnitPolice Cadets are assigned to the Bureau of Professional Development’s Academy Division and are detailed to various Bureaus, Districts and Units for duty.

Bureau of Administration and Technology:

Assists with the management, personnel, fiscal, maintenance, communication, and procurement functions required for the Department to accomplish its mission.

Administrative Collections UnitResponsible for overseeing the collection and processing of any administrative fees associated with false alarms, mooring fees and lost/stolen Department property.
Mail Services UnitResponsible for collection, sorting, distribution, and delivery of Department mail.
Evidence and Supply Management DivisionResponsible for supply and material support of Department functions and evidence management. The Division includes the Central Supply Unit, the Evidence Control Unit, the Records Center and Archives Section and the Found/Abandoned Property Unit.
Fleet Management DivisionResponsible for the acquisition, repair, maintenance and inventory of police vehicles and for evaluating all Departmental motor vehicle accidents and reports.
Licensing and Public Services DivisionResponsible for overseeing and setting policy for the following Units in areas that govern the operation of hackney carriages and sightseeing vehicles, the issuing of licenses approved by the Police Commissioner, the maintenance and retrieval of incident and arrest records, and the monitoring of pawn shops
Facilities Management DivisionResponsible for the preparation of the capital budget and the execution of the Capital Plan and for all maintenance and alterations of buildings.
Human Resources DivisionThe Human Resources Division is responsible for developing and implementing human resource policies, procedures and training programs for Department personnel. The Division includes the Employment Services Unit, the Records Management Unit, the Attendance Management Unit, the Occupational Health Unit, and the Extended Leave Group. The Extended Leave Group includes the Medically Incapacitated Section, the Extended Leave Section, the Suspended Section, the Administrative Leave Section, and the Leave of Absence Section.
Technology Services DivisionThis Division manages the Department’s technology systems and radio communications infrastructure.
Information Systems GroupResponsible for identifying, managing and supporting the technology needs of the Department. The Group includes the Application Development and Support Unit, the Desktop and Peripheral Support Unit, the Legacy Systems Unit, and the Network Management Unit.
Communications GroupResponsible for identifying, managing and supporting the communications needs of the Department. This Group includes the Systems Management Unit, the Voice and Video Unit, the In-Vehicle Install and Maintenance Unit, and the Engineering and Frequency Unit.
Video Evidence UnitResponsible for the management and maintenance of the BPD camera/video system. The VEU processes all requests for BPD camera system video that involve BPD Districts, Units and BPD Facilities. The VEU is also responsible for the Body Worn Camera management. maintenance, storage and retrieval of all Body Worn Camera Video and related equipment.
Finance DivisionThe primary responsibility of the Finance Division is to ensure that the Department operates in compliance with the legally mandated budget adopted by the City Council. The Units within the Finance Division include: Budget & Financial Reporting, Grants, Contracts, Payroll, Central Cashier, Paid Details Payment, and the Data Entry Section.
Operations DivisionResponsible for the receipt of calls for assistance and for directing the deployment of response units as called for by the community policing response plan. The Division is also responsible for headquarters security. The Division includes the 9-1-1 Call/Dispatch Center, the Building Security Unit, the Stolen Car Unit, the Warrant Section, and the Missing Persons Section.

Bureau of the Intelligence and Analysis:

Management responsibility for implementing data and information fusion and facilitating the sharing of homeland security- related and crime-related information and intelligence. BIA manages the overarching process of coordinating the flow of information across all bureaus of the department and across all levels and sectors of government and private industry. Bureau efforts support risk-based, information- driven decision making and addresses immediate and/or threat-related circumstances and events by producing real-time, actionable intelligence products.

Division BRICBoston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC): Responsible for coordinating a regional intelligence capability in Boston and the surrounding Metropolitan area. The BRIC collaborates with local, state and federal law enforcement, public safety and private sector resources from the nine city UASI region for the purpose of preventing and responding to all threats, hazards and crimes. The BRIC Division includes the Intelligence Group, Field Operations Group, Technical Services Group, and the Critical Infrastructure and Support Services Group.
Intelligence GroupAnalytical component of the Bureau responsible for planning and direction, data collection and processing, analysis and production, and dissemination. The analytical process of the Intelligence Group drives the collection responsibilities of the Field Operations Group. Further responsibilities include developing and managing analytical search tools, Intelligence databases, GIS tools and the Real Time Crime Center.
Field Operations GroupResponsible for field collections, monitoring and review of criminal activity and counter-terrorism. Develops leads into potential criminal enforcement and provides that information to relevant units or outside agencies including the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for enforcement action. Through involvement with other local, state, federal and private sector partners, detectives facilitate the sharing of criminal intelligence to all necessary entities including the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. Field Operations Group provides resources to internal and external emergency preparedness requirements and also manages the Bureau’s human intelligence efforts.
Technical Services GroupThe Technical Services Group is the Boston Police Department’s designated technical surveillance support entity. Responsibilities include training, deploying, maintaining, and reporting on all use of sophisticated electronic investigative equipment. Personnel will maintain and educate BPD users in the core competencies and technical skill sets to assure mission readiness and expertise in the following areas: legal use, deployment, installation and analysis of departmental GPS equipment, covert listening devices, surveillance platform and associated equipment, covert camera and pole camera equipment, and communication analysis and exploitation hardware and software. Group does not manage issues related to the collection and/or disclosure of evidence.
Critical Infrastructure and Support Services GroupResponsible for managing an information and data protection program that enhances critical infrastructure information sharing between the police department and the private sector. This Group is required to collect, analyze and secure critical infrastructure data and protected systems, identify vulnerabilities and develop risk assessments, and enhance recovery preparedness measures. Support services include managing the security requirements involving classified rooms and the handling and storing of classified materials as well as Bureau and departmental requirements specific to intelligence based training and education.

Bureau of Community Engagement:

The Bureau is tasked with implementing the Commissioner’s vision of community policing throughout the city and the Department. The Bureau of Community Engagement will ensure that every District has a dedicated and consistent community policing effort, concentrating on building relationships in neighborhoods where they do not currently exist. The Bureau will further strengthen relationships and trust with community and community partners; create new partnerships and initiatives with the community and other agencies; and promote inclusion and diversity within the department, as well as working with marginalized and disenfranchised populations. The Bureau includes the School Police Unit, the Neighborhood Watch Unit and the Crime Stoppers Unit.

School Police UnitCoordinating with the Boston Public School Department, the unit’s goal is to ensure that full communication and collaboration exist between the Boston Public Schools Safety Services Department and the Boston Police Department to promote a safe and secure school and community.
Neighborhood Watch UnitResponsible for the coordination of Neighborhood Watch groups and works with residents on issues related to crime and safety.
Crime Stoppers UnitResponsible for managing the anonymous crime tip hotline and text-a-tip line, as well as proactive outreach to the community to report tips.

Boston Police Radio Codes

Service Codes are used to assign units to general or common activities such as fixed posts such as units that sit down at Mass Ave and Melnea Cass on fixed posts also known as “Fixed Code 19s”.

Code 1: Vehicle Maintenance Code 16: Routine Traffic Stop
Code 2: Radio MaintenanceCode 17: Car Wash
Code 3: Training/ EducationCode 18: Moon Island Range
Code 4: Transporting a FemaleCode 19: Post (Walking, Fixed, etc.)
Code 5: Transporting a PrisonerCode 20: Fuel Assignment
Code 6: Court BuisnessCode 21: Between Posts
Code 7: Escort AssignmentCode 22: Shelter Ride
Code 8: School Crossing AssignmentCode 23: Guarding a Prisioner
Code 9: Station/HQ AssignmentCode 24: 209A/ Restraining Order
Code 10: Meal BreakCode 25: Community Meeting
Code 11: Warent ServiceCode 26: Event Assignment
Code 12: Warent Unit PickupCode 27: Unkown
Code 13: Out of Area AssignmentCode 28: Search of Female Subject
Code 14: Motor Vehicle TowCode 29: Turn Off Bodycam
Code 15: Traffic EnforcementCode 35: License Premise

Additional Codes that are used are the ‘Rule 303’ and ‘Rule 200’ service codes. These two ‘Rules’ refer to critical incidents and use of force, which include but aren’t limited to hostage situations, active shooters, explosive threats and other major incidents as well as Officer’s responding use of force including lethal as well as less than lethal force.

Rule 200 Service Codes:Rule 303 Service Codes:
Code 99: “Special Threat Situation” including but not limited to Barricaded Subjects/Hostage Situations/Threatened SuicidesCode 303: Firearm Discharged by Officer, Use of Deadly Force
Code 100: “Crowd Control Situation” induing Organized Marches & Demonstrations, Peaceful Civil Disobedience, Non-Peaceful Civil DisobedienceCode 303A: Usage of Less Lethal Force
Code 101: “Fire and Structural Collapse Incidents” Code 303B: Usage of Less Lethal Force- Conducted Electrical Weapons (Taser)
Code 102: “Mass Casualty Incident” including Large Scale Crashes and Other Incidents with Large Scale Injuries and DeathCode 303C: Usage of Patrol Rifles with Less than Lethal Force
Code 103: “Natural Disasters” including Hurricanes, Major Storms, Nor’Easters etc.Code 303D: Usage of Less–Lethal Force (40 mm Direct Impact Launcher)
Code 104: Hazardous Materials (HazMat) and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) IncidentsCode 304: Use of Non-Lethal Force
Code 105: Active Shooter Incident Rapid Deployment Protocol

Boston Police “Miscel” or Disposition Codes

When officers are done with a call they are required to “miscel” their call to the dispatcher. “Miscel” stands for Miscellaneous Codes, another term for a Disposition Code. The first part is the number, the second is a letter. For example a Here’s the breakdown for “an 8-John”… or a basic “FIO”… Lets take a look:

1- Alarm2- Citizen Alarm (?)
3- Person calling for help4- Escort
5- Fire Alarm6- Domestic
7- Disturbance8- Investigate Persons
9- Investigate Premises10- Landlord-Tenant Dispute
11- Lockout12- Noise complaint
13- Prowler14- Police services (traffic)
15- Intoxicated person (“DK”)16- Disturbance in structure
23- Emotionally Disturbed Person19- Post (Walking, Fixed, etc.)

Followed by…

(A) Adam- Not a Bona Fide Incident(B) Boy- No Person Can Be Found
(C) Charlie- No Such Address(D) David- No Police Services Needed
(E) Edward- Suspect Gone on Arrival(F) Frank- Peace Restored
(G) George- Advised Warrant(H) Henry- Advised to Call Back
(I) Ida- Taken to District Station(J) John- FIOE Prepared
(K) King- Issued Traffic Citation(L) Lincoln- Issued Parking Ticket
(M) Mary- Advised to Seek Legal Help(N) Nora- Accidental Alarm
(O) Ocean- False Alarm(P) Paul- Services Rendered
(X) X-Ray- Clear from Code 19

Boston Police Slang and Jargon

Additional terminology that should be noted include abbreviation as well as commonly used slang terms. In this next section we will focus on commonly heard terms and phrases used over radio communications that may be confusing for civilians.

Emergency Deployment Team or EDTsThe Emergency Deployment Team (EDT) is used to assemble a large group of police officers when an immediate response is required. The EDT may be used for, but not limited to, demonstrations, missing children, major fires or explosions, terrorist assaults, security for large crime scenes, etc.
209A, 94c, or 90.24These reference the MGL or Massachusetts General Laws that correspond with certain crimes. 209A is in reference to Domestic Violence arrests. 94c is in reference to possession of narcotics and 90.24 is in reference to suspected OUIs.
Officer Trouble or OTAn “OT” is the radio code for when an Officer finds themselves in trouble and needs immediate assistance, a call is put out city wide to all units and agencies to respond and assist.
Law Enforcement Command Center or LECCThis abbreviation is often times heard during large scale events such as the 4th of July, Marathon and others in reference to the communications center where all radio traffic and command staff are routed though.
“Long L20s”This refers to when a unit clears a call however they need a longer than usual amount of time before being ready to return to service. This often is due to a need to finishing writing a report, decontaminating a vehicle or equipment or other time consuming tasks.
Field Interaction Observation Encounter Report or FIOsFIOs provides officers with a mechanism to document interactions and describe the conditions and relative circumstances involved in interactions with people they come into contact with throughout their shift, allowing them to document and accumulate up-to-date information concerning known criminals and their associates, the clothing they may be wearing, the vehicles they use, the places they frequent, and persons suspected of unlawful design.
A “DK” PersonDK is a slang term usually in reference to an extremely drunk or intoxicated person
ShotSpotterImplemented by the Boston Police Department in 2007, Shot Spotter serves as an acoustical technology that precisely locates where the area where gunshots have been fired provides immediate notification. On average, notifications arrive one to two minutes before 911 calls. Sometimes, notifications arrive without a 911 call. This state-of-the-art program and enhanced response time better enables us to identify hotspots, recover evidence, and locate people in possession of guns.
Emotionally Disturbed Person or EDPsThis terms is frequently used to describe anyone ranging from a mild suicidal or depressed person, to a fully schizophrenic mental breakdown.
DVIP vs NIDVDVIP stands for Domestic Violence Intimate Parter where as NIDV Stands for Non Intimate Domestic Violence.
CAD and MDTCAD stands for Computer Aided Dispatch and is the automated system used by operations to mange their fleet and units. MDT stands for Mobile Data Terminal and it is the computer that is in the vehicles that allows Officers to have updates while on the go.
Patrol Supervisor (PS) and a Duty Supervisor (DS)A PS is typically a sergeant, with usually two assigned per shift. They are in the field to help with more complex matters and issues that require a decision made beyond the responding officers’ understanding. A DS is typically a Lieutenant, and they are in charge of everything that happens in the district during their shift (including in-station, booking, CSO, and other areas).
“Go Up” or “Up to 7” or “Go to 9”This is in reference to changing the radio channel to either channel 7 or channel 9 when the conversation is either sensitive or just irrelevant to the general operations of the department.
ABPO & ABDWABPO stands for Assault and Battery on a Police Officer while ABDW stands for Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.
Full Notifications or Full NotesFull notifications is in reference to when usually a Sergeant requests Operations make a page notifying all appropriate Special Units to respond to the scene. It usually is in reference to a Homicide but it can be used for other types of incidents as well.
BOP or Board of ProbationA persons BOP is a record used by law enforcement to see previous charges, convictions and others.
“Adam Robert” & “Charlie Robert”these are used to show status on scene; “AR” as Arriving and “CR” as in Clear.

Basic Boston Police Call Signs

Unit designators are usually expressed as four characters, like “Lima 211.” These are often referenced as callsigns. The first, a letter, denotes a location: each district has one, listed below. The second character denotes the type of unit, e.g. a wagon, 2-man unit, K9 unit, etc. The last two is a unique unit identifier. (Primary source: BPD Rules and Procedures,

Online Listening to Boston Police Operations can be found though Broadcastify here.


Call SignLocationFrequency
Alpha UnitsDistrict A-1Ch 2- 460.45000
Bravo UnitsDistrict B-2Ch 3- 460.22500
Charlie UnitsDistrict B-3Ch 3- 460.22500
Delta UnitsDistrict D-4Ch 5- 460.50000
Echo UnitsDistrict E-5Ch 4- 460.40000
Fox UnitsDistrict C-6Ch 6- 460.17500
Gold UnitsDistrict A-7Ch 2- 460.45000
Harry UnitsDistrict C-11Ch 6- 460.17500
Jake UnitsDistrict E-13Ch 4- 460.40000
Kilo UnitsDistrict D-14Ch 5- 460.50000
Lima UnitsDistrict E-18Ch 4- 460.40000
Mike UnitsSpecial EventsCh 1- 460.35000
Nova UnitsOpperationsCh 8- 460.12500
Paul UnitsAcademyN/A
Romeo UnitsCentral Artery DetailsN/A
Silver UnitsAdmin and TechN/A
Tango UnitsSpecial OperationsCh 12 & Ch 16
Victor UnitsUnit DetectivesCh 9 & Ch 13
X-Ray UnitsInternal InvestigationsCh 14
Yankee UnitsAdministationCh 15

Unit Type:

Second CharacterMeaning
1Rapid Response (Two Man)
2Patrol Wagon (Two Man)
4Service Unit (Singel Man)
5Canine Unit
6Foot Patrol
7Mounted Unit
9Supervisors (Sergeant)
DOther (Often Drug Control Unit)
EBomb Squad (EOD)
GTactical Response
HHarbor Patrol
SWalking Unit
TTraffic Enforcement

The THIRD and FOURTH digits (00-99) denote the individual unit identification, for example the Bravo 202 would the District 2 Wagon. Additionally some specialized units call signs that are slightly unique such as the Dug Control Unit that often use the call signs like “VD##” or the Youth Violence Strike Force (Gang Unit) that often uses the call signs such as “VK##”.

Boston Police Command Staff Call Signs

Some specialty units and task forces use custom or irregular call signs, additionally the command staff have unique call signs for their positions. Here is what we have been able to compile

Call SignRank and TitleOffice or Unit
Yankee Charlie 1CommisionerOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 2Superintendent-in-ChiefOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 3Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of F.S.
Yankee Charlie 4Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of I.S.
Yankee Charlie 5SuperintendentOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 6Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of P.D.
Yankee Charlie 7Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of I.A.
Yankee Charlie 8Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of P.S.
Yankee Charlie 9Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of A.T.
Yankee Charlie 10Superintendent & Bureau ChiefBureau of C.E.
Yankee Charlie 11SuperintendentOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 12Superintendent & Night CommandOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 13Deputy Superintendent & Assistant Bureau ChiefBureau of F.S.
Yankee Charlie 14Deputy SuperintendentBureau of F.S.
Yankee Charlie 15Deputy SuperintendentB.F.S. Field Support Division
Yankee Charlie 16Deputy SuperintendentBureau of C.E.
Yankee Charlie 17Deputy SuperintendentO.P.C. Office of Admin Hearings
Yankee Charlie 18Deputy SuperintendentB.P.S. Internal Affairs Division
Yankee Charlie 19Deputy SuperintendentB.I.S. Family Justice Division
Yankee Charlie 20Deputy SuperintendentB.A.T. Operations Division
Yankee Charlie 21Deputy SuperintendentO.P.C. Labor Relations
Yankee Charlie 22Deputy SuperintendentB.I.S. Criminal Investigation Division
Yankee Charlie 23Deputy SuperintendentOffice of the P.C.
Yankee Charlie 25Mayor of BostonOffice of the Mayor
Yankee Charlie 26Sergeant DetectiveO.P.C., Office of Media Relations
Yankee Charlie 28Legal AdvisorO.P.C. Legal Advisor
Yankee Charlie 29Assistant Bureau ChiefBureau of Intelligence
Victor Charlie 1Captain Detective B.I.S. Forensic
Victor Charlie 2Captain DetectiveB.I.S Office of the Chief
Victor Charlie 3Captain DetectiveB.I.S. Family Justice Division
Victor Charlie 4Captain DetectiveB.I.S. Office of the Chief
Alpha Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District A-1
Bravo Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District B-2
Charlie Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District B-3
Charlie Charlie 2District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District B-3
Delta Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District D-4
Echo Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District E-5
Fox Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District C-6
Gold Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District A-7
Harry Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District C-11
Jake Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District E-13
Kilo Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District D-14
Kilo Charlie 2District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District D-14
Lima Charlie 1District Commander, CaptainB.F.S. District E-18
Nora Charlie 1CaptainB.A.T. Operations Division
Paul Charlie 1CaptainB.P.D. Academy
Tango Charlie 1CaptainB.F.S. Spec Ops Division
Silver Bravo 1CaptainB.A.T. Hackney Carriage Unit
Silver Bravo 2CaptainB.A.T. Evidence and Supply Management
Yankee Bravo 1Captain B.F.S. Homeland Security
Yankee Bravo 2CaptainO.P.C. Court Unit
Yankee Bravo 4CaptainB.F.S. Night Command
Yankee Bravo 5CaptainB.F.S. Night Command

If you can think of anything we are missing or have any questions feel free to drop a comment! Enjoy!