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Hollywood Police Department

Hollywood Police Department

Shortly after Hollywood was incorporated as a city of the sixth class, Daeida Wilcox Beverage donated a lot on Cahuenga Avenue, just south of Prospect Avenue, for use as the City Hall and Police Department. A small, two room wood-frame bungalow was erected, which house the police department, city engineer, and city clerk. Photos of the Hollywood Police Department and the city hall are on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

The police force, which consisted of two officers, originally made their calls on horseback, but as time wore on, they raced to the scene on bicycles.

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New Hollywood Police Station

Three years after Hollywood was annexed to the city of Los Angeles, in 1910, the sixth division of the Los Angeles police department was established and assigned to the two-room station with Sgt. E Carpenter in charge. In October 1913, a new, modern structure Hollywood Police Department was built at 1625 – 29 North Cahuenga Ave., next to the old Hollywood Police Department bungalow, and served as both the police and fire department. The following year, the police force of 20 peace officers answered 1948 calls and made 247 arrests.

With the increase in both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the division grew rapidly and was augmented by several traffic officers. Their job was to control intersections in the absence of mechanically controlled signals. It wasn't until the mid-20s that these signals were installed on busier corners.

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Traffic officers were identified by a patch, worn on their shoulders, showing a horse head superimposed over a wagon wheel. On Sunday afternoons, three of these men worked a standard assignment. One officer was transported to the top of the Cahuenga Pass, another was stationed halfway down the hill into third was placed at the bottom. Since the pass consisted of a single lane road with a small stream at the side, their duty was to assist stalled motorist and direct others who were touring between the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood. Their primary purpose was to keep the lane open so others could continue their journey.Cahuenga Pass photos.

Patrol officers utilize several vehicles referred to as jitneys and it was required that all jitney officers should ring in on a Gamewell Box every 15 minutes to receive their calls and relay information. Radio cars were still in dream of the future and were not to come into being until the mid-1930s.

The foot beat officers reported every half hour by their box number and pulling a handle activating a tape in the station, which would record the ring. Supplementing the jitneys where the detective vehicles or fast cars. These were even equipped with red lights and sirens while the jitney cars had not. When something calling for quick action occurred, the detectives would jump in there fast cars and race to the scene. Jitney officers obviously had to use their ingenuity after honking their horn failed to persuade a sit citizen to pull to the side.

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Separate Police & Fire Departments

By the late 1920s, both the fire and police departments realized that the Cahuenga Avenue fire and police station was insufficient, and they needed separate quarters in order to expand their operation. At the time, the Mueller Brothers owned a plot of land at the corner of Wilcox and DeLongpre Avenues, while the city had some acreage on Sunset Boulevard. Mueller desired the Sunset Blvd. land and began to dicker for it. City funds provided enough money for a new police station but not enough to furnish it. Consequently, an agreement was reached whereby the land on Sunset Boulevard went to the Mueller Brothers, who, in turn, agreed to provide the plot at Wilcox and DeLongpre and completely furnished the new police station after its construction.

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New Police Station

March, 1930 saw the opening of the new Hollywood division police station at 1358 North Wilcox Ave. The Wilcox Avenue station served the needs of the sixth division until 1977 when it was abandoned and demolished because it did not meet the city's rigid earthquake standards. The sixth division moved into temporary offices at 6501 Fountain Ave. while the new police station was being built in the same location as the station on Wilcox Avenue.

Many Hollywood police station photos can be seen on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

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