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Calling All CarsRadio Dragnets and the Technology of Policing$
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Kathleen Battles

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816649136

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816649136.001.0001

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Heeding the Call

Heeding the Call

(p.1) Introduction Heeding the Call
Calling All Cars

Kathleen Battles

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter discusses how the police made use of radio technology in response to the increasing crime numbers as a result of automobile exploitation. Literary sources from the 1930s suggest that police radio represents speed, efficiency, excitement, geographical command, two-way communication, modernity, and more importantly, the assurance of unavoidable capture. The buzz of radio served an important role in police reorganization and improving of its dull public image. The phrase “calling all cars,” for the police force, indicates the attempt to build a technologically improved, organized, and efficient department; while for the radio industry, it means the excitement essential in catering both their corporate sponsors and the public. These two parties then work together in revering the achievement of modern police forces.

Keywords:   radio technology, police radio, 1930s, police reorganization, police force, radio industry

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