Salisbury Police Take to the Air in 1941

Salisbury Police radio network takes to the air.  Source:  Salisbury Daily Times, Aug 8, 1941

Salisbury Police radio network takes to the air. Source: Salisbury Daily Times, Aug 8, 1941

The rapid response of Salisbury police officers puzzled wayward types in the tranquil summer of 1941, as officers started arriving on calls at surprisingly fast speeds. When someone phoned headquarters to report a suspicious activity, it seemed as if the officer was waiting around the corner.  More and more a patrol car screeched up on the scene before the troublemaker hastily departed the area.

This greatly enhanced efficiency wasn’t because of increased manpower, with added beats in every section of the City. Instead it was the application of the latest technology, a two-way radio system.

A few months earlier, the City Council spent $1,245 to purchase the network, made up of a base station at headquarters, two mobile units for prowl cars, and one for the motorcycle. With this system Salisbury became the second city in Maryland to place a two-way radio system in operation, the Salisbury Daily Times reported.

Headquarters Station WBVQ, went on the air at 8 a.m. Friday, August 8, 1941. A couple of hours later, the first call went out at 10:14 a.m. when Chief of Police William Catham sent patrolmen to investigate a complaint.  They handled the matter promptly, clearing the call in six minutes, the newspaper reported,

While the City Council was focused on modernization, the board decided to really step up. Two automobile sirens were purchased for the cars, in order to aid in getting around traffic.

 

Salisbury Police radio network on the air.  Source:  Aug 8, 1941

Salisbury Police radio network on the air. Source: Aug 8, 1941

The American City, March 1950.  The GE Radio System in Salisbury

The American City, March 1950. The GE Radio System in Salisbury

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