Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Get Ready for More Police Lights & Sirens

Photo by stevelyon via Flickr
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

When you see a patrol car speeding by with its lights and sirens blaring, that's a Code 3 call, otherwise known as someone or something is in danger right now. It's these cases when officers can break the law by speeding and running red lights. But there's an old school rule on the books: in general, when responding to emergencies, only one unit is allowed to go Code 3 and all other cars must come via street law. Obviously, that doesn't help in situations when more units are needed immediately.

The LAPD has generally ignored this city governing law using an unofficial code called "Code 2 High" (or as the LA Times calls it, Code 2 1/2). This usually enacted by the officers in the cars who believe they need to get to an incident faster than normal traffic allows.

Now they want the law changed to better reflect their needs. The LAPD Commission passed the new policy change, but City Council in a rare move interfered and took the issue up themselves. Yesterday, a council committee passed the policy and it will head next to the full council where it is expected to be passed.

Code 2 usually means someone or something might be in danger and units may not break the law. Non-coded calls are low priority ones such as loud parties.