So to carry on my run of articles on this website, I’ve planned to share one of our favourite posts this week. I used to be hesitant to add it to this site as I really didn’t wish to offend the original author, but I hope he/she is happy that I loved reading their article and wanted to share it with my readers.
OK, you said ‘cops’ which isn’t a word we generally use here in the UK. We Brits traditionally tend to refer, politely, to our ‘boys in blue’ as ‘bobbies’ or ‘the old bill’.
Anyway, given that, I’m going to assume that you’re asking about the American police and their longstanding partnership with the Motorola Corporation. OK, here goes…
According to Motorola’s official website,
“Law enforcement communications and police communications are essential assets to the safety and security initiatives in any community. Advancing police communications allow law enforcement to be more mobile and more rapidly respond to issues. Motorola offers an extensive product line to enhance law enforcement communications with less paperwork and faster, highly reliable performance”.
Motorola manufactured car radios as early as the 1920’s and US police and the fire brigade used a few of these, but it wasn’t until 1930 that the first police car radio was designed and built by Motorola. According to the official website,
“Sales of Motorola police radios began in November 1930. Among the first customers (all in the U.S. state of Illinois) were the Village of River Forest; Village of Bellwood Police Department; City of Evanston Police; Illinois State Highway Police; and Cook County Police in the Chicago area. As more police departments used radios, challenges emerged. Rough roads, engine noises, interference, high power consumption, and frequency instability led Paul Galvin to recognize that police departments needed a radio specifically engineered for patrol cars”.
In 1936, the Motorola Police Cruiser Radio was released. It was a success and Motorola have been a trusted brand by US Police ever since. In 1939, engineer Don Mitchell created the Mobile T6920 AM Transmitter. It was another success, becoming a logical choice for the police because,
“This complete Motorola two-way radio system was priced about one-fourth as much as the competition’s, and the transmitters could be installed in cars that already had receivers in the same frequency band. In 1940 the Police Department in Bowling Green, Kentucky, became the first customer for a complete Motorola AM two-way radio system. The radios were so well-designed that Galvin Manufacturing produced the same models for several years, until FM technology replaced them in the 1940s”.
Clearly, the US police have a long and fruitful relationship with the Motorola Company. This obviously applies to walkie-talkies as well. It makes good sense to employ a trusted, easy to use brand for successive generations of officers, who often have to respond swiftly and instinctively to various problems.
The first police to use two-way radios were actually Australian, but following the Second World War, mobile radios became standard issue in most first world countries.