The police
October 25, 2016 01:21PM
I remember when growing up in OC that Dallas police cars had these flashing red light beacons affixed to the top. There were two: one on each side. We called them "cherries" in the 50-60s. I also recall that accident investigators had white head dress and ,I believe, their cars were white also. When did DPD modernize their squad cars and go to light bars and the red/blue motif? Jim
Re: The police
October 25, 2016 10:27PM
When I hired on in 1968 the Patrol Bureau vehicles were solid white. The 1968 model Ford Galaxie four door sedans were the first to have air conditioning, so in the summer those with the most seniority got the air conditioned vehicles, poor rookies just got what was remaining and sweated a lot. Had to wear caps anytime out of the vehicle and while in the vehicle.

The vehicles were equipped with the old style sirens, powered by a starter motor looking affair and two very small red lights, visible from the front and rear supposedly. The Traffic Division marked vehicle did have a blue roof, but same red lights and siren.

In 1970 they purchased Plymouth sedans and installed two of the same type red lights, only larger. The Traffic Division began the Freeway Patrol and their vehicles were the first equipped with rotating red lights, two large blue lights all mounted on a roof bar along with two large chrome speakers for the electronic siren. Below is a photo of one of the first freeway patrol vehicles.

In 1972 if I recall correctly two police vehicles collided, both en route to an Assist Officer Call, at Fitzhugh Avenue and Live Oak Street. A Reserve Officer, Joe Jones was killed in the collision and two other officers injured. The investigation disclosed that the front and rear visible lights on the roof did not allow for side visibility.

The next year the vehicles were a weird blue color with roof mounted rotating lights and a single chrome siren speaker, all mounted on a bar. A driver door mounted spot light was also mounted for the first time.

Traffic Division car remained white with a blue roof.

Traffic Division Officers wore a white cap with white bill. Supervisors (Sergeant and above) wore white caps with black bills.

Vehicles returned to solid white in 1975 when they purchased Pontiac Lemans, the worse excuse for a vehicle other than the AMC Matadors they purchased in 1974.

I drove them all and the very best vehicles I ever drove was the 1970 Ford Galaxie 500. The first to have automatic transmissions and a very reliable vehicle. The fastest without a doubt was the Plymouth Fury III sedan equipped with the 440 engine. The only problem it had terrible brakes and the exhaust pipes rattled no matter how they were mounted. Impossible to sneak upon a scene.

One year they installed a switch that would deactivate the brake lights. Everybody forget to turn them back on and it became a real hazard, so they were removed.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2016 10:32PM by DallasCop2566.
Re: The police
November 02, 2016 02:32PM
Great Photo! I can "see" the Magnolia Petroleum Flying Red Horse and the Mercantile Bank Bldg spire, as it was just a few feet higher than the Red Horse.
My Dad worked in the Magnolia Bldg.
Re: The police
December 04, 2016 07:49PM
I remember seeing the white Plymouth Fury squad cars when I was a kid, and their unmistakable mufflers. Were they glass-packs? Those pipes rumbled and bubbled. No other cars in my neighborhood sounded like them.

Re: The police
December 05, 2016 10:18AM
That Freeway Patrol car pictured looks like a '70 Ford Custom 500. If I had to guess, it's powered by a 429.

Remember when they went to the metallic blue Plymouth Fury, with the reflective gold markings? I want to say that was 1972. I think I even still have a DMN newspaper clipping about them, that includes a color picture.
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