KJBS and the San Francisco Police Department

Police Chief William Quinn on KJBS

Beginning in December, 1929, the station cooperated with the San Francisco Police Department by broadcasting police dispatches to special radio-equipped San Francisco patrol cars. This experimental effort was initially only a part of the all-night "Owl" program. Harry Wickersham, former KJBS announcer, recalled that the bulletins were phoned to KJBS from the Police Station and taken down by a Sargeant on duty in the studios. The announcer would then interrupt whatever program was on the air by sounding a police siren under his desk, and he would then read the bulletin on the air.  The effort was so successful that by 1931 the city had installed its own police radio station, KGPO - one of the first in the country.

In this photo, police chief William J. Quinn is narrating a weekly series of radio scripts by Carleton E. Morse about the San Francisco Police Department; such episodes as 'Tales of the Chinatown Squad' and 'The Roll of Honor'."  (San Francisco Public Library photo)


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