Police Dispatch Radio
During the early twentieth century, Detroit police and their criminal foes both adopted the automobile as their preferred means of transportation. To regain an advantage, Detroit police pioneered a novel use for radio. In 1921, under Commissioner William P. Rutledge, the police began experimenting with radio-equipped cars. Police shared a frequency with a commercial station and cut into programming to dispatch patrols. On April 7, 1928 police radio operators broadcast for the first time on a dedicated frequency from this police station, which eliminated radio interference from downtown stations. Reduced response times and increased arrest rates quickly made radio-dispatching standard police practice nationwide.