2 years ago

JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

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  • Blues
  • Ford
  • Vehicles
  • Enforcement
  • Interceptor
  • Calories
  • Pursuit
  • Dodge
  • Departments
  • Vaccine
JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

get allowed police cars

get allowed police cars to really take off. Created, in its modern form, by Senior Constable Frederick William Downie from the Victorian police in Australia, the two-way radio was the first means of communications which used no wires to transmit data. The Victorian police was the first one in the world, in 1923, to use such a system in a car, forever replacing the lengthy, ineffective calls via telephone boxes. In the US, the new technology started taking off in 1929. The Detroit city police began broadcasting on their KOP station in the late 1920s, a move which soon inspired a world’s first. In Michigan, following a ,000 investment in equipment and the support of the Federal Communications Commission, the world’s first state-operated police radio came to be, in 1929: station WRDS. WRDS was just about the only transmitter at the time and its importance exceeded state borders. The station could be heard in 44 State Police cars, some 80 State Police HQs and countless other local police departments. The advent of a centralized communications system allowed the police car to get to the next level. Whereas up until then cars were used for transport and patrol means, coordination meant they could get a more aggressive stance towards crime. In 1933, a blockade system was established in 41 Detroit-area counties and soon after, interstate-coordination started. On the parallel front, the vehicles themselves were turning into forces to be reckoned with. By the 1930s, there were three major players competing for a place in police garages: Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth. Ever since 1918, when Chevrolet introduced the Model D, a car powered by a V8 engine and developing twice as much power as the T (55 hp), Ford’s supremacy began rocking. With the introduction of the over-head valve 6-cylinder engine in 1929, Chevrolet was beginning to threaten Ford’s huge slice of the police departments’ budgets. Ford fought back. The star of the cops and robbers chase became Ford’s new flathead V8, introduced by the manufacturer in 1932 on the V-8 model. Equally cherished by the center figures of the “public enemy era” (Bonnie and Clyde or John Dillinger) and the police chasing them, the V-8 would establish high-powered, fast vehicles as the cars of choice for police departments. Also known as Model 18, the V-8 developed over three times as much power as the T used to do, namely 85 hp. SETTING THEM APPART As the use of cars for police purposes picked up, so did chases, roads blocks and any other type of hood-to-hood confrontation. For the innocent, captivated bystander however, it was not always clear who is chasing who. As Henry Ford said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Although the palette was more diverse than that, the color of choice for both police officers and criminals alike remained black. Few, if any markings let the others know a car is being used by police. In the early days, police cars were given just an insignia, stating the car’s purpose on the ... the 20s - 50s 44 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 45

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