In police work acronyms have become part of the normal lexicon. For some of my co-workers, it seems like they feel some acronyms have actually become words.
These acronyms often have been developed to shorten radio communication. Some are also used, so officers do not use vulgar words around civilians. A few are clever code phrases officers use on the radio, so people listening to the police scanner do not know what is going on.
Below is the first of what will likely be multiple lists of acronyms used by police.
ART – Approaching room temperature, used to describe a dead person. As in people losing body heat and cooling off post mortem. For example, an officer might call on the radio “Dispatch be advised ART is on the scene…”
ATL – Attempt to locate. Typically a request for officers to keep alert for a suspect.
BOLO – Be on the lookout. (Same as above)
CH – Criminal History. The list of crimes a person has been convicted of.
ETOH – Intoxicated or drunk, this is the chemical symbol for Ethyl Alcohol, the alcohol found in beer and booze
GOA – Gone on arrival. When an officer is sent to a complaint but the suspect left before officers arrived.
GNDN – Goes nowhere does nothing. Minor crime case that will not require detectives to follow up on. For example, a person calling about missing garden gnome.
GSW – Gunshot wound.
HBO – Horrible body odor.
MDT or MDC – Moblie data terminal or mobile data computer. Laptops mounted in the squad cars for communication with dispatch.
NCIC – National Crime Information Center. The database we run names through to see if someone is wanted for a crime. It also holds the criminal history data.
OIC – Officer in Charge. The person in control of a scene or ashift.
RDO – Regular day off
RP – Reporting person. The citizen who called the police about a problem.
ROD – Retired on duty. A lazy older cop who does no work making the young officers take all the calls.
SRO – School resource officer. A police officer working in a school.
TMB – Too many birthdays. Typically used when dealing with a traffic crash caused by an elderly driver
VOJ – Vortex of Justice. High crime area that has multiple calls for police or persons arrested in short time. Also used to describe high traffic area resulting in multiple traffic tickets on a daily basis.
YOLO – You only live once. Term made popular by youth to justify binge drinking and crazy party behavior. Police use the term to when explaining injuries that happen as a result of binge drinking and crazy party conduct.