More About Police: How Did They Get Around?

How did police get around in the Roaring Twenties? By walking their beat, of course, but how else?

Horses were common in most cities in the Twenties. And in some places, mounted police are still active today. In the past two years, the lousy economy has forced cities like Boston, Tulsa, San Diego, and Portland to eliminate their mounted police. Larger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago have no plans to discontinue theirs, so useful are they in crowd control and public relations.

Although every city had a different timetable, it seems that motorcycles were introduced to police work before automobiles, probably because they were cheaper. Philadelphia was one of the first cities to buy police motorcycles, starting in 1906. A few cities began using automobiles in the Twenties, but they weren’t common until the Thirties. Because I’m focused on Hollywood, I was most interested in the Los Angeles Police Department. I checked into their use of cars and learned that the first type purchased was a touring car. The year was 1913. So for my stories, set in Hollywood in 1925, policemen can drive around in cars, in a limited way at least.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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