A “Signal 13” is the universal call that alerts every police officer in the field that one of their own is in need of assistance. The alert and the accompanying message about an emergency are given the highest priority by the responding members of the department.
Frank J. Battaglia, a former Baltimore Police Department Commissioner, understood that daily police work is stressful and that an unexpected personal emergency could create an overwhelming situation for police personnel and their families. In 1982, Commissioner Battaglia devised a way to help active police personnel when they experience off-duty financial hardships. This independent body, consisting of business owners, philanthropists, and community leaders, formed the Frank J. Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization, in 1983.