A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

History: Advancement in Police Communications in Monmouth County (1936)

The 26 Jun 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal included this cover story about an advancement in regional police communications in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Hold First Tests Of Monmouth Police Radio; Success Reported
Mrs. Edwin C. Sloat Permitted To Make Several Of The First Few Calls; Matawan Chief Hears Wife's Voice While Cruising Near Matawan; Reception Perfect

The honor of being one of the first persons in the county to make a test call over WAKC, Monmouth County's new police radio, went to Mrs. Edwin C. Sloat, wife of the Matawan police chief Saturday afternoon.

Chief Sloat, a member of the three-man county police radio commission and instrumental in having the system installed, heard his wife's voice while he was cruising in a police car in Matawan. Mrs. Sloat was speaking into the microphone set up in the control room on the third floor of the court house at Freehold.

"WAKC, Monmouth County police radio located at Freehold, N. J., operating on a frequency of 3366 kilocycles. Test call for Chief Sloat. WAKC testing. Time 2:22 p.m.," were the words spoken by Mrs. Sloat to her husband.

Saturday's test broadcasts were the first in a series under direction of the Gamewell Co., Massachusetts, electrical engineering firm, which installed the $8,000 system. Mrs. Sloat was allowed to make several test broadcasts as she happened to be in the court house at the time.

Aside from the calls made to Chief Sloat, additional tests were made to other police officers in various sections of the county. Sherif George H. Roberts and Paul Watson, Fort Monmouth radio expert, received a number while cruising separately in the vicinity of Atlantic Highlands, Fort Monmouth, West Long Branch, Little Silver and other districts.

Everywhere in the county where test calls were received it was reported that they came thru clearly. To date no "blind spots," or areas where the announcer's voice can not be distinctly heard, have been encountered, according to reports.

Chief Sloat has been jubilant over the successful trial calls and is of the opinion that the successful operatlon of the county system will succeed materially in reducing the percentage of crime in Monmouth. Efforts will also be made to have police bodies in Middlesex and Ocean Counties tie-in with the Monmouth County system.

According to present plans the system will be operated twenty-four hours a day, with a time signal broadcast every thirty minutes. If a receiver in a police car or police headquarters does not sound this time signal on the thirty-minute periods the patrolman on duty is instructed to notify police headquarters.

Chief Sloat has indicated that one of the first results of the new system expected is to reduce the cost of theft insurance on motor cars in Monmouth County as much as $25,000 a year. The effect will also be noticeable in the outlying sections as the radio will permit a police car to be dispatched to those areas within several minutes after the alarm has been received.

Station WAKC will receive its police calls thru three telephone trunk lines leading from the principal districts of the county. A teletype of the state police system has also been installed in the broadcasting station and as reports are received over it they will be broadcast.


The Nov 1940 edition of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officers (APCO) Bulletin, pg 15, discusses the Monmouth County radio communications experiment in an article called New Jersey's Police Communications, by Lieutenant John E Murnane, Communications Officer, New Jersey State Police.

Gamewell Company is an earlier iteration of Gamewell Fire Control Instruments (Gamewell FCI) of Newton, Massachusetts. Gamewell is famous for its fire alarm systems.


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