519 police Code

What Is A 519 Police Code?

Police code 519 can be used to alert officers to cases involving:

  • illegal use of property
  • trespassing
  • vandalism

Origin of Police Codes

Police codes, including the 519 police code, have their roots in the early days of law enforcement when officers relied on radio communication to exchange information. The introduction of two-way radio systems in the 1930s revolutionized the way police officers communicated with each other and their dispatch centers.

Understanding the 519 Code in Context

To better comprehend the 519 police code’s application, let’s examine it in the context of illegal use of property, trespassing, and vandalism.

Illegal Use of Property

The 519 code can alert officers to situations where individuals are using someone else’s property without permission. This could include squatting in vacant buildings, occupying land without the owner’s consent, or utilizing a property for unlawful activities.


Trespassing refers to entering or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission, and it’s one of the most common scenarios associated with the 519 police code. Trespassing can range from minor offenses to more severe cases.

Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

In some jurisdictions, the 519 police code may also signify vandalism or malicious mischief. Vandalism encompasses acts of property damage like graffiti or smashing windows, while malicious mischief involves intentionally causing damage out of ill will or spite.

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Importance of Accurate Communication

Using standardized police codes allows officers to share information about incidents quickly, reducing response times. However, confusion can arise when codes have different meanings across jurisdictions. To address this, many agencies now use plain language instead of codes.

Challenges with Police Codes

The meanings of codes can vary across jurisdictions, leading to confusion when officers collaborate. Furthermore, some codes have become outdated or fallen out of use.

Transition to Plain Language

To minimize confusion, many agencies now use plain language instead of codes in radio communications. This ensures everyone involved understands the message.


While police codes serve an important purpose, their meanings can vary and cause miscommunication. The trend is toward plain language to ensure clarity. Understanding codes provides insight into law enforcement communications.


Are police codes the same in all states?

No, police codes can vary by jurisdiction and agency. The same code may have slightly different meanings in different areas.

Do police still use codes or have they switched to plain language?

Many agencies are transitioning to plain language, but some still use traditional police codes depending on the jurisdiction. Usage varies between agencies.

What does the 519 code mean if trespassing isn’t occurring?

If no trespassing is occurring, 519 can indicate other situations like illegal occupancy of a property or using a property to facilitate illegal activities. The exact meaning depends on the specific department’s usage.

Can the public find meanings of police codes online?

Some police departments publish information on their codes online. However, meanings are not standardized nationwide, so codes may differ between areas. It’s best to check with your local agency.

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What should I do if I don’t understand a police code?

If you hear officers use a police code you don’t recognize, do not interfere. Wait for them to provide clarification or check with your local department later for more information. Safety should be the top priority.

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