Monday, December 13, 2010

Police Radio in Iowa

The first state police radio in Iowa was created not by state, county or local government.  It was the bankers.   In 1924, the Iowa Bankers Association arranged for WHO to broadcast information on bank robberies and burglaries.  In 1932 said Bankers Association established a 400-watt station in their very own offices. The State Bureau of Investigation sent bulletins to the Bankers Association radio station which would broadcast the messages to officers throughout the state. What if the bankers were all out sick with the flu?  Hmmm?  In 1933 the Iowa Legislature woke up and smelled the crime.  They allocated money for 2 state-run stations, one in Waterloo and one in Storm Lake. And they kept the bankers' station.  The state radio system officially launched in 1937.  By this time they had the hang of it and broadcasts were sent to sheriffs, police departments, state highway patrols - some sort of law enforcement agency in all 99 counties received the alerts. I'm sure the bankers were wonderful, diligent people, but Hurray! 
Source:  Des Moines Register 12/27/1968 p.5
Photo Courtesy State Library of New South Wales

No comments: