Picking Up Police Lingo
Behind the Scenes of Wild Justice: Gator Invader
When I started riding around in a cop car all the time shooting law enforcement series, my vocabulary changed. Instead of saying “car,” I started to call it a “vehicle.” But ever since riding around in a truck with Fish & Game wardens, I now call it a “rig.”
Instead of asking if they’re heading out to arrest somebody, I ask if they’re going to “hook” the guy. When I can’t find someone, I now say they’re “in the wind.”
There’s a new 50-cent word in my vocabulary. I no longer ask if a legal case has been resolved by a trial or a plea-bargain—I ask if it’s been “adjudicated.”
And then there are a host of acronyms. BOLO is not something a man wears around his neck—it’s “Be on the Lookout.” UC is “undercover” and CI is a “confidential informant.” PC is “probable cause” and RP is the “reporting party”—the citizen who called the police.
Numbers play a big role in cop-speak. Rolling Code 3 means driving with lights and/or sirens. Code 4 means the situation has been resolved.
And then there’s a number that strictly pertains to California—215—and Fish & Game wardens deal with it frequently. If you’re “two-fifteen” or have a “two-fifteen card” it means you have a medical marijuana license and are therefore allowed to possess and grow pot, according to Proposition 215, also known as the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” If you don’t have a “two-fifteen card” and you are in possession, well, just hope your situation will quickly be adjudicated in your favor.