#TBT Detroit Police Radio Prowl Car

Detroit Police Radio Prowl Car
Detroit Police Radio Prowl Car, photo by Ronnie

I think the guy on the right is replaced by a computer in the 2015 version. About the photo, Ronnie writes:

Before the World War II started in Europe, 1939 was expected to be an exceptional year. America was filled with optimism, and with the Great Depression winding down, the nation was looking forward to what the coming decade of the 1940s would bring. Even the theme of the World’s Fair in New York was billed as “the world of tomorrow,” especially when it came to consumer and industrial electronics. However, for the Detroit Police Department one of the most important technological advancements in the world of law enforcement had become a reality.

Many electronics experts at the turn of the 1920s, said it would take another five decades before you would see two-way radios available for use in motor vehicles. While this philosophy was taken as gospel; several Amateur Radio operators pushed the envelope of experimentation to it’s zenith in their basements, and workshops across America. The fruits of their labor came to the forefront in the mid-to-late 1930s, which proved that two-way radio technology was viable for use by police officers in the field.

Earlier attempts at using two-way radio communications in the Motor City in 1934 had several drawbacks. The biggest was the cost, which was around $700 to equip each vehicle with the very large, and bulky equipment that took up the entire back seat and trunk of the patrol car. Not only did it take up a lot of space, but it really added a lot of weight that was hard on the vehicles’ suspension system.

Read on for more and to see the picture bigger and definitely check out Ronnie’s History photos for 100+ more photos from Michigan’s past with all kinds of great details!

More #TBT and more Michigan history on Michigan in Pictures.

4 thoughts on “#TBT Detroit Police Radio Prowl Car

    1. Yeah Buzz, pretty much just what you see here. Thanks for coming by to remind me that for some folks, the internet is just a place to wander around and say bad things anonymously.

      Like

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