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Other Name
"SPEED GUN"
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1985
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, PLASTIC, FOAM
Catalogue Number
P20120014000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"SPEED GUN"
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1985
Materials
STEEL, PLASTIC, FOAM
No. Pieces
5
Height
13
Length
45
Width
32
Description
A. CASE, SPEED GUN, 45CM LONG X 32CM WIDE X 13CM TALL. BLACK SYNTHETIC LEATHER EXTERIOR WITH SILVER TRIM ALONG LID, TWO SILVER METAL CLASPS WITH LOCKS ON FRONT, FOUR ROUND, SILVER METAL FEET ON BACK, AND SILVER METAL HINGES ON BACK. FRONT OF CASE HAS BLACK PLASTIC HANDLE ATTACHED TO SILVER METAL MOUNT. CASE INTERIOR HAS GREEN FOAM INSERTS INSIDE LID AND BASE; BASE FOAM INSERT HAS CUT-OUTS FOR SPEED GUN TO REST. CASE EXTERIOR IS SCUFFED AND WORN; TOP AND FRONT OF CASE STAINED WHITE AND BROWN; HANDLE HAS LABEL RESIDE ON TOP AND INSIDE; FOAM INSIDE CASE IS HAS INDENTS FROM SPEED GUN. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. SPEED GUN, 75.4CM LONG WITH CORD, GUN 30.8CM LONG X 9.2CM WIDE. BLACK METAL GUN BODY WITH CONICAL FRONT END; SPEED GUN HAS BLACK HANDLE WITH ENGRAVED CROSS-HATCHED GRIP, AND BLACK TAPE WRAPPED AROUND THE BASE; BASE OF HANDLE HAS BLACK CORD ATTACHED. CORD HAS WHITE TAPE WOUND AROUND TOP, WHITE RUBBER CABLE GUARD; CORD IS SPIRALED WITH BLACK VEHICLE ADAPTER FITTED AT END; ADAPTER IS BLACK PLASTIC WITH ROUND SILVER METAL FITTING. SPEED GUN HAS BLACK PLASTIC TRIGGER AT FRONT OF HANDLE BELOW BODY; FRONT OF SPEED GUN HAS BLACK FOAM FITTED INSIDE CONICAL END. SPEED GUN BODY HAS WHITE TEXT ON SIDE “SPEEDGUN EIGHT” WITH ARROW RUNNING THROUGH WORDS; BODY HAS SILVER SWITCH, TWO WHITE DIALS LABELLED “ALARM”, SILVER DIAL, AND BLACK PLASTIC SWITCH LABELLED “MAN.” “AUTO” “(REL).” BESIDE TEXT. SPEED GUN HAS WHITE TEXT ON REVERSE SIDE “SPEEDGUN EIGHT” WITH ARROW RUNNING THROUGH TEXT. UNDERNEATH OF SPEED GUN BODY HAS SILVER AND BLACK METAL PLATE FIXED WITH SILVER TEXT “CMI INC, MINTURN, CO. USA, TRANSMITTER TYPE JF100, PAT. NO. 3,689,921 & RE 29, 401, S/N 38-001367”. BACK OF SPEED GUN HAS DARKENED GLASS DISPLAY WINDOW, WITH TWO GREEN AND TWO RED BULBS VISIBLE INSIDE. BACK OF SPEED GUN HAS SILVER SWITCH LABELLED “(CAL), MOV, STA.” BELOW DISPLAY WINDOW, AND BELOW A SECOND SILVER SWITCH LABELLED “OFF, ON”. BACK OF SPEED GUN HAS WHITE TEXT “CMI INCORPORATED” BELOW DISPLAY WINDOW. BODY OF SPEED GUN IS SCUFFED AND WORN, WITH CHIPS IN BLACK PAINT; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. C. LEATHER CASE, 14.4CM LONG X 6.7CM WIDE. BLACK LEATHER EXTERIOR WITH BLACK COTTON AND FOAM-LINED INTERIOR; FRONT OF CASE HAS GOLD TEXT STAMPED NEAR TOP EDGE “DECATUR ELECTRONICS, INC, 715 BRIGHT STREET, DECATUR, ILLINOIS 82522”. CASE MACHINE-STITCHED ALONG RIGHT AND BOTTOM EDGES; TOP EDGE HAS RIM ENGRAVED IN LEATHER. CASE INTERIOR IS FLAKING; TEXT ON FRONT OF CASE IS WORN AND FADED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. D. TUNING FORK, 12.5CM LONG X 2.5CM WIDE. SILVER WITH TWO SQUARE PRONGS AND HANDLE; FRONT HAS TEXT ENGRAVED BELOW HANDLE “65 KPH, X BAND”. BACK HAS TEXT ENGRAVED BELOW HANDLE “11443”. TOP OF HANDLE HAS CUT-OUT CIRCLE IN MIDDLE. TUNING FORK HAS BLACK FOAM RESIDUE ON PRONGS FROM LEATHER CASE INTERIOR; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. E. TUNING FORK, 12.5CM LONG X 2.5CM WIDE. SILVER WITH TWO SQUARE PRONGS AND HANDLE; FRONT HAS TEXT ENGRAVED BELOW HANDLE “88 KPH”. BACK HAS TEXT ENGRAVED BELOW HANDLE “C22333”. TOP OF HANDLE HAS CUT-OUT CIRCLE IN MIDDLE. TUNING FORK HAS BLACK FOAM RESIDUE ON PRONGS FROM LEATHER CASE INTERIOR; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
MECHANICAL T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON DECEMBER 22, 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED TIM STOBBS, FORMER LETHBRIDGE POLICE SERVICES OFFICER, ON THE DONATION OF THE SPEED GUN. ON THE SPEED GUN, STOBBS ELABORATED, “[THE SPEED GUN 8] REALLY CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD WORKED. [IT] ALLOWED US TO SET AN ALARM, IT COULD BE MOUNTED ON THE DASH OF THE CAR TO BE MOBILE, OR IT COULD BE HELD IN A STATIONARY POSITION.” “THIS IS THE LAST ITERATION OF THE SPEED GUN SERIES OF RADAR THAT THE POLICE SERVICES USED IN THE LATE ‘60S…PROBABLY A LOT OF PLACES USED THEM INTO THE EIGHTIES, AND LATER BECAUSE THEY WERE SUCH A GOOD UNIT. THE SPEED GUN 6 WAS A PRECURSOR TO THIS AND IT WOULD [BE] A PLAIN SPEED GUN WHICH LOOKED IDENTICAL TO [THIS] MODEL. BUT IT HAD NONE OF THE FANCY ITERATIONS LIKE ALARMS AND MANUAL AND AUTO SETTINGS ON IT. IT WAS THE FIRST ITERATION THAT ALLOWED THE POLICE, OR AN ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, TO ACTUALLY HAVE A PORTABLE UNIT THAT THEY COULD HOLD IN THEIR HAND [TO] GIVE THEM A READING ON A CAR…VERSUS EVERYTHING THAT THEY HAD WHICH WAS BUILT INTO THE CAR BEFORE AND ACTUALLY FIXED IN THE CAR. PRIOR TO THAT YOU WOULD BE OUTSIDE AND YOU WOULD HAVE A MOUNTED PIECE THAT WOULD BE A TIMING DEVICE, AND YOU WOULD HAVE PIECES OF TUBING ON THE GROUND AND IT WOULD GIVE YOU SPEED FROM TUBES. THIS WAS A STEP FORWARD INTO THE MODERN 2000 FUTURE. EVERYBODY THOUGHT THIS WAS FROM THE PLANET MARS, IT WAS AWESOME." “THE INITIAL ONES THAT STARTED OUT WERE 6’S…[BY 1979 WHEN I ARRIVED] WE WERE MOVING TO 8’S. 8’S HAD ALL THESE WONDERFUL FEATURES IN THEM, THEY HAD COME SO FAR [WITH] THE ALARM, THE AUTO AND MANUAL SETTINGS, THE STATIONARY MOVEMENT, VERY QUICKLY YOU COULD MOVE FROM STATIONARY TO MOVING. THE INTERNAL CALIBRATION WAS A BIG [FEATURE] BECAUSE YOU COULD VALIDATE YOUR SPEEDS WITH YOUR TUNING FORKS, BUT IT WAS ALWAYS NICE TO JUST PERIODICALLY RUN AN INTERNAL CALIBRATION TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WAS RUNNING GOOD.” “THEY ONLY LASTED PROBABLY ANOTHER 5 YEARS AFTER I GOT THERE, IF THAT, BECAUSE WE STARTED MOVING TO…A DOUBLE SYSTEM WHERE WE HAD HARD MOUNTED, MOVING RADAR. IT ALSO DID STATIONARY FRONT AND BACK. WE ALSO STARTED MOVING TO A HANDHELD STATIONARY RADAR, WHICH GAVE US MORE VERSATILITY AS WELL. NOW YOU HAD YOUR RADAR LIKE THIS [SPEED GUN] AND YOU COULD RUN TO THE SIDE, YOU COULD DO MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS AT ONCE.” “[WE RAN] 6’S AND 8’S AT THE SAME TIME.” “THIS PARTICULAR MODEL IS QUITE A HIGH END ONE, IT HAS A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SETTINGS ON IT AND, YOU CAN LOOK ON THE SIDE AND IT SAYS “ALARM”. THIS WAS A UNIQUE THING BACK IN THE DAY—YOU COULD SET, WHEN YOU WERE TRAVELING DOWN THE HIGHWAY OR ON THE ROAD, A PRE-SET SPEED. LET’S SAY FOR AN EXAMPLE YOU GAVE A 15 KM/H DIFFERENTIAL. YOU WOULD SET THIS AT 65 KM/H AND YOU WOULD PUT THE TOP SWITCH TO THE “ON” POSITION, AND YOU LEAVE THIS BACK ROCKER SWITCH IN THE CENTER POSITION, AND WHEN YOU’RE TRAVELING DOWN THE ROAD, ANY VEHICLE THAT WAS IN VIOLATION OF THAT 65 IT WOULD AUTOMATICALLY BEEP AND IT WOULD LOCK THEIR SPEED ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE. YOUR PATROL SPEED WOULD BE DEMONSTRATED IN THE GREEN ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE BACK DISPLAY AND ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE WOULD BE THE RED DISPLAY WHICH WOULD BE YOUR TARGET SPEED. IT WOULD LOCK IT. WITH RADAR, THIS IS A DEVICE THAT CAN BE USED TO TEST A SPEED OF A MOTOR VEHICLE, BUT THE INITIAL OBSERVATION HAS TO BE MADE BY THE OFFICER TO SAY THAT, “I LOOKED AT A VEHICLE, I SAW THE VEHICLE WAS TRAVELLING AT WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE A SPEED OF FASTER THAN 65KM/H, I CHECKED AND VALIDATED IT WITH MY RADAR.” THIS [SPEED GUN], YOU COULD TOTALLY DEPEND UPON THE RADAR TO LOCK IT UP, EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T SEE THE VEHICLE. THIS ONE WAS A MILE STEP AHEAD OF ANYTHING AT THAT TIME THAT WE HAD.” “[THE SPEED GUNS] WORKED WELL IN COLD, THEY WORKED WELL IN HOT, THEY WERE VERY PORTABLE. WE COULD PUT A BATTERY PACK ON THESE, A 12 VOLT BATTERY PACK AND WE COULD STAND OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE WITH THE BATTERY PACK. THEY WERE A PRETTY GOOD UNIT FOR THE DAY. THE ONLY THING THAT YOU REQUIRED THE OFFICER FOR WAS TO ENSURE THAT YOU DIDN’T GET THE WRONG READING, BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE TWO CARS COMING AT YOU AND YOU HAVE TWO OF THEM IN THE BEAM, THE OFFICER HAS TO MAKE A DIFFERENTIAL WHETHER OR NOT IT WOULD WORK.” “WE HAD A NUMBER OF DASH MOUNTED UNITS WHICH HAD THE SAME CAPABILITIES, BUT NOTHING HAD THE ALLOWANCE FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO PULL IT OUT IN A SECOND AND POINT IT OUT THE SIDE WINDOW TO CATCH SOMEBODY COMING AT YOU FROM THE SIDE OR THE REAR. IT WAS A VERY UNIQUE AND WELL THOUGHT OF BEAST. THE ONLY PROBLEMS WE HAD WITH THESE IS IF YOU CAN NOTICE THERE IS AT THE END [THERE’S A PIECE THAT LOOKS] LIKE A HORN. ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES IS MOST POLICEMEN ARE RELATIVELY HARD ON EQUIPMENT IN THE CARS. THEY’VE GOT THE [SPEED GUN] AND THEY DROP IT ON THE GROUND AFTER THEY GET A SPEED. WE [USED] TO KNOCK THE HORNS OFF [SPEED GUNS] QUITE A BIT AND HAVE TO SEND THEM BACK, OR THE HORNS [BECAME] DEFORMED, AND THE REASON IT’S DEFORMED IS ITS BEEN DROPPED OR BANGED AGAINST SOMETHING. WHILE THAT WOULD BE A NORMAL FOR THIS TYPE OF INSTRUMENT, THAT WAS THE ONLY WEAK POINT IN THIS. IF YOU LOOK AT THE MORE MODERN HANDHELD UNITS THEY WENT AWAY FROM A HORN AND PUT A CONE ON THE OUTSIDE TO PROTECT THE INTAKE OF THE RADAR UNIT. THIS ONE HERE…HAS A STYROFOAM INSERT [IN] IT [TO PROTECT IT]. THOSE ALSO WERE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO BEING BANGED AND SMASHED OUT. WE WERE ALWAYS MAKING SOMETHING NEW TO PUT BACK IN THERE AND GLUE THEM BACK IN TO PROTECT THE INNARDS OF THE UNIT; THAT WAS PRETTY MUCH THE ONLY DOWNFALL OF THE UNIT.” “ANOTHER THING IT HAD, WHICH THE OLD ONES DIDN’T HAVE, IS IT HAS A STATIONARY MODE ON THE TOP SWITCH AND A MOVING MODE. THEN IT ALSO HAD A CALIBRATE MODE. IT HAD AN INTERNAL TESTING SYSTEM THAT WHEN YOU HIT CALIBRATE IT WOULD RUN AN INTERNAL CALIBRATION ON IT TO HELP YOU, WITH YOUR TUNING FORKS, TO ENSURE THAT THIS WAS WORKING RIGHT. YOU WOULD GENERALLY TEST THIS AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR SHIFT AND IF YOU STOPPED FOR LUNCH YOU WOULD TEST IT AGAIN DURING THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SHIFT. THEN YOU’D TEST AT THE END OF YOUR SHIFT TO VALIDATE THAT THIS INSTRUMENT HAD BEEN OPERATING CORRECTLY DURING THE DURATION OF YOUR SHIFT.” “THIS CALIBRATION INTERNALLY WOULD RUN AN INTERNAL TEST TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CALCULATIONS INSIDE WERE WORKING CORRECTLY, THE ELECTRONICS. BECAUSE THIS IS A PIECE OF ELECTRONICS AND IT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO HOT AND COLD. THE WHOLE IDEA OF THIS IS TO ENSURE THAT WHEN YOU WENT TO COURT, WITH THE TUNING FORK TEST AND WITH THE INTERNAL CALIBRATION TEST, YOU COULD STAND UP BEFORE THE COURT AND [SAY], “I TESTED THE UNIT, AND IN MY OPINION, AND MY TRAINING, THIS UNIT WORKED CORRECTLY AND AS IT SHOULD TO DETERMINE ACCURATELY THE SPEED OF A MOTOR VEHICLE, EITHER WITH ME MOVING IT OR ME STATIONARY”. YOU HAVE TO GIVE THAT EVIDENCE…AND THAT [CALIBRATION] ALLOWED THAT. [THE] TUNING FORK TEST AND THE INTERNAL [MODE] VALIDATED YOUR ABILITY TO SAY THAT.” “EVERY TIME YOU TOOK OVER A CAR, OR SAY YOU CHANGE CARS MID-SHIFT, [AND] YOU HAD ONE OF THESE UNITS OR ANY RADAR UNIT IN IT, THE FIRST THING YOU’D DO IS YOU WOULD TEST AND ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THIS UNIT. [THAT WOULD] ENSURE THAT WHEN YOU LEFT, IF YOU GOT SOMEBODY ON RADAR, IT WOULD BE GIVING YOU AN ACCURATE READING. THEY’RE USUALLY ACCURATE, PLUS OR MINUS LESS THAN 1%. AT A 100KM/H IT WOULD BE LESS THAN 1KM/H OFF. THERE ARE VARIOUS THINGS WITH RADAR THAT ARE [BENEFICIAL]. IF YOU’RE SITTING AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND YOU’RE SHOOTING AT AN ANGLE, THE HIGHER THE ANGLE THE LOWER THE SPEED BECAUSE IT’S LIKE A TONE. IF YOU THINK OF RADAR AS HEARING A TRAIN COMING TOWARDS YOU, YOU HEAR IT COMING, IT GETS LOUD, AND THEN IT GOES AWAY AND IT CHANGES TONE. [THE SPEED GUN] GIVES US THE SAME THING AND THAT’S WHAT THIS READS. SO THAT’S GOOD. THIS [SPEED GUN] WAS THE ULTIMATE IN THE SPEED GUNS, THIS WAS EXCELLENT.” “THE COOL THING ABOUT IT WAS FOR THE COURT SYSTEM, IT CAME WITH TWO SETS OF TUNING FORKS. THE TUNING FORKS WERE USUALLY CALIBRATED TO A SPEED. THESE ONES ARE X-BAND TYPE TUNING FORKS, AND THEY WERE SENT AWAY ANNUALLY TO BE CALIBRATED TO ENSURE THAT THEY MAINTAINED THEIR FREQUENCIES. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IS THAT YOU WOULD TAKE AND PUT [THE SPEED GUN] IN STATIONARY MODE, AND YOU WOULD TEST THE DEVICE TO ENSURE THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY READING CORRECTLY, ON BOTH OF [TUNING FORKS]. YOU TESTED THE COMPUTATIONAL SPEED OF THE UNIT. YOU’D STRIKE TWO OF THE TUNING FORKS AND PUT THEM TOGETHER IN FRONT OF THE UNIT, AND IT WOULD MAKE A COMPUTATION ON THE TWO TONES TO GIVE YOU THE BASIC SPEED DIFFERENTIAL BETWEEN THE TWO TUNING FORKS. THIS WAS ANOTHER MEANS TO ENSURE THAT WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS GETTING THE PROPER SPEED OUT OF YOUR UNIT. IT WAS REALLY A STEP FORWARD IN INSURING THAT THE CREDIBILITY AND CAPABILITY OF THE UNIT WAS VALIDATED, AND THE COURTS ACTUALLY LOVE THAT.” “ANNUALLY YOU RECERTIFY YOUR TUNING FORKS, YOUR TUNING FORK CERTIFICATION FOR TWO TUNING FORKS IS PROBABLY ABOUT $120 A YEAR. IF ANYTHING STARTS HAPPENING TO THESE, BECAUSE THEY GET BOUNCED IN THE CAR, VIBRATION, HOT, COLD, THEY’RE IN THE CAR ALL THE TIME. THEY START TO WEAR OUT. IT STARTS BECOMING COST PROHIBITIVE TO SEND THEM BACK TO THE FACTORY FOR REFURBISHING. THERE’S A THING IN [THE SPEED GUNS] CALLED THE OSCILLATOR. UNDER THE NEWER UNITS THE OSCILLATOR IS IN THE HEAD, AWAY FROM THE MAIN UNIT. THE OSCILLATOR FOR THIS [MODEL] IS BUILT INSIDE, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE [THE] WHOLE UNIT AND SHIP IT OFF. THEY HAVE TO PEAL IT ALL APART, PUT AN OSCILLATOR INTO IT. WHEREAS WITH THE NEW UNITS, WITH THE SEPARATE HEADS WITH THE OSCILLATOR, YOU CAN JUST GET ANOTHER HEAD, PUT ANOTHER HEAD ON, SEND THAT HEAD AWAY TO THE, AND FOR A $160 YOU GET THE OSCILLATOR FIXED. WHEN THESE START TO BREAK DOWN, IT’S USUALLY CATASTROPHIC. THIS IS USUALLY ALMOST COST PROHIBITIVE—LIKE MOST ELECTRONICS, THEY HAVE A VERY LIMITED SHELF LIFE. THEY DON’T GET TREATED EXACTLY THE NICEST. MOST POLICE CARS WILL HAVE POWER SEATS BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT [HAVE] TO BE IN THEM AND THE DIFFERENT POSITIONS THEY HAVE TO BE IN, AND A REGULAR SLIDING SEAT GENERALLY DOESN’T GIVE ENOUGH TO FIT ENOUGH PEOPLE. IF SOMEBODY HAD USED THIS, AND PUT IT DOWN, AND IT FELL BEHIND THE SEAT, AND THEY PUSHED THE SEAT BACK, THOSE POWER SEATS ARE FAIRLY STRONG, THEY CAN DO A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF DAMAGE TO ONE OF THESE UNITS INADVERTENTLY. YOU HAVE TO ASSESS HOW THEY’VE BEEN TREATED, WHAT THE COST IS GOING TO BE TO MAINTAIN THEM, LONG-TERM INVESTMENT. AS SOON AS A SPEED GUN 8 OSCILLATOR’S DONE, IT’S DONE. BECAUSE IT’S NOT WORTH SENDING IT BACK TO HAVE RE-DONE.” “[THE] TRAFFIC SERGEANT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN CHARGE OF THE PROCUREMENT OF [RADAR EQUIPMENT]. AT THAT TIME I’M NOT SURE WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN SERGEANT, BUT IT WAS ONE OF MY SERGEANTS THERE. HE HAD BEEN ON TRAFFIC FOR QUITE A WHILE AT THE TIME…SHORTLY THEREAFTER, WHILE I WAS TENURED THERE, SERGEANT NORRIS VANHORN WAS ALSO ON TRAFFIC WHEN I WAS ON THERE. THESE [SPEED GUNS] WERE FANTASTIC…WHEN WE GOT THESE, THESE WERE EYE OPENERS…YOU THOUGHT YOU’D DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN BECAUSE OF THE VERSATILITY IT GAVE YOU TO DO YOUR JOB.” “YOU CHANGE THE TECHNOLOGY TO TRY TO KEEP UP WITH THE NEEDS OF THE GUYS THAT ARE WORKING. IT MAKES YOU MORE EFFICIENT…I MANAGED THE PEACE OFFICERS IN OKOTOKS, AND I CAN TELL YOU, I CAN BUY EQUIPMENT EVERY DAY…THAT STUFF’S CHEAP. PEOPLE ARE EXPENSIVE…YOU WOULD TRY TO KEEP THEM IN EQUIPMENT THAT KEEPS THEM VERY EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE, AND YOU’D GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK OUT OF THE PEOPLE WORKING…THIS TYPE OF EQUIPMENT HAS USUALLY A SHORT SHELF LIFE. WE DID OTHER THINGS WITH THEM. WE USED TO LEND OUT THESE RADAR GUNS TO THE SOFT BALL KIDS…OR THE HARD BALL KIDS…AND THEY COULD SEE HOW FAST THEY COULD PITCH. OR WHEN THEY HAD SOAPBOX DERBIES…YOU’D GIVE THESE [SPEED GUNS] AND THEY COULD POST IT ON THE NEWS “AH LITTLE JOHNNY CAME DOWN THE HILL AND HE WAS DOING 37 KM/H IN HIS HOME MADE THING”. THERE [WERE] LOTS OF OTHER APPLICATIONS THAT THIS WAS SORT OF RE-CIRCULATED TO, FOR THE COMMUNITY. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’D JUST DISCARD THE [EQUIPMENT], YOU’D TRY TO MAKE ANOTHER USE FOR IT. A LOT OF THIS [EQUIPMENT] FOR MANY YEARS, MADE ITS WAY AROUND THE COMMUNITY IN OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS TO ASSIST THE COMMUNITY IN WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO AND SEE.” STOBBS RECALLED HIS TIME WITH THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE SERVICE, NOTING, “I WAS VERY FORTUNATE. I WORKED FOR LETHBRIDGE POLICE SERVICE [STARTING IN 1979]. I ALSO WORKED FOR THE RED CLIFF POLICE SERVICE PRIOR TO THAT, AND WE RAN THESE UNITS WHEN I WAS A YOUNG CONSTABLE. I WORKED IN TRAFFIC FOR OVER 3 AND A HALF OR 4 YEARS.” “THESE [SPEED GUNS] WERE VERY COMMON IN OUR CARS WHEN I CAME HERE. I WAS VERY FORTUNATE—I DROVE A BLACK WIDOW…ONE OF OUR WIDOWS HAD THIS IN IT…WE HAD TWO CARS IN TOWN THAT WERE RENOWNED WITH THE KIDS. THEY WERE TWO BLACK FORDS WITH BIG 429’S IN THEM. THEY HAD SPEED GUNS IN THEM AND THEY ALSO HAD OTHER RADARS IN THEM. THAT [SPEED GUN] WAS ONE OF THE ITERATIONS WE HAD IN THEM, AND WE USED THESE A LOT FOR OUR ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM. THEY COULD GIVE US SUCH VERSATILITY FOR THE OFFICER TO SIT STATIONARY OR TO BE MOVING. WHEN YOU’RE IN A SCHOOL ZONE, SOMETIMES YOU WANT TO STAND OUTSIDE YOUR CAR, YOU WANT TO RUN BACKWARDS, OR YOU WANT TO RUN TO THE SIDE. IF YOU’RE IN A PLAYGROUND ZONE, IT’S MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO BE SITTING ON A SIDE STREET THAN SITTING WITH THE CARS PASSING YOU. IT GAVE US SUCH VERSATILITY WHICH WE NEVER HAD BEFORE.” “BACK IN THE DAY, OUR FLEET WAS…WE CALLED IT THE ‘SMARTIE’ FLEET. IT WAS MULTIPLE COLOURS AND I DON’T KNOW THE PURPOSE BEHIND IT. WHEN I WAS IN [LETHBRIDGE], IF YOU WOUND UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLEET WHEN I STARTED IN ‘79, THERE WERE TWO CARS. THERE WERE ALWAYS TWO BLACK CARS, AND THEY WERE CALLED THE BLACK WIDOWS. THERE WERE DIFFERENT ITERATIONS. THE FIRST TWO WERE FORD INTERCEPTORS WITH 429’S ALL DECKED OUT, AND THEY WERE PURSUIT TYPE CARS, THEY ALL WERE IN THOSE DAYS. THEN WE HAD A NUMBER OF OTHER VEHICLES. ONE OF THE CARS THAT, WHEN I FIRST WENT THERE, I DROVE [WAS] A SECONDARY MARKED ENFORCEMENT CAR AND IT WAS A PINKIE SALMON COLOUR. I DON’T EVEN KNOW, AND IT WAS GREAT, BUT IT WAS A GREAT BIG LTD AS WELL. THEN WE HAD A COUPLE OTHER CARS THAT WERE A COLLISION CAR AND A HIT-AND-RUN CAR. THEY WERE DIFFERENT COLOURS AGAIN. I DON’T KNOW WHY THEY BOUGHT THEM THAT WAY, I DON’T KNOW WHETHER THAT WAS THE THOUGHT OF THE CHIEF AT THE TIME, BUT THAT WAS THE WAY THINGS WENT UNTIL FINALLY WE DECIDED LATER ON THAT OUR FLEET WAS GOING TO GO BLACK AND WHITE LIKE IN THE OLD DAYS. BEFORE THE “SMARTIE” FLEET IT WAS BLACK AND WHITE, WE WERE GOING BACK TO BLACK AND WHITE. WE WERE THE FIRST POLICE SERVICE IN ALBERTA THAT WENT BACK TO BLACK AND WHITE AND EVERYBODY’S FOLLOWING LETHBRIDGE SUIT, ACTUALLY. THAT’S A CULTURAL THING THOUGH AND LETHBRIDGE IS VERY PROUD OF THEIR BLACK AND WHITE CARS.” “RADAR WAS A DAY-TO-DAY THING; IT WAS INVOLVED HEAVILY IN A DIRECTED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM. WE USED TO HAVE A PIN-MAP, AND WE DIRECTED OUR ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES AROUND A NUMBER OF THINGS. FIRST AND FOREMOST WOULD BE OUR PIN-MAP AND OUR PIN-MAP WAS OUR COLLISION MAP. EVERY COLLISION WAS PINNED AND THEY WERE PINNED IN DIFFERENT COLOURS—THIS [IS] OLD TECHNOLOGY. A FATAL WOULD BE BLACK, AN INJURY WOULD BE RED, A NON-INJURY WOULD BE BLUE. WE COULD VISUALLY SEE FROM THE ENFORCEMENT ASPECT WHERE WE SHOULD BE INVESTING OUR TIME TO SLOW PEOPLE DOWN AT THESE COLLISION POINTS. SECONDLY IS, LETHBRIDGE HAD ALWAYS HAD OUR SCHOOLS CLOSE TOGETHER, SO WE INVESTED A LOT OF OUR TIME AND ENERGY AROUND THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WAS PROUD OF IS, FOR THE SIZE OF THE CITY AND THE TRAFFIC FLOWS THAT WE HAD, OUR FATALITY WITH YOUTH WAS VERY LOW. WE HAD A FEW KIDS HIT IN MY TIME AND A FEW OBVIOUSLY PASSED AWAY, IN A CITY OF THIS SIZE, BUT OVER THE YEARS MOST OF US TOOK GREAT PRIDE IN THE FACT THAT WE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY MAKE A VISUAL AND A NOTED IMPACT ON BEHAVIORS IN SCHOOLS, WHETHER IT BE U-TURNS, SPEEDING, IN THIS. PEOPLE WERE WELL AWARE WE WERE THERE.” “WE HAD AN EXCELLENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE KIDS…[IN THE 1970S-1980S WHEN] MUSCLE CARS WERE BIG. WE USED TO HAVE A COOL THING GOING WITH SOME OF THESE KIDS WHEN YOU’RE IN THE ENFORCEMENT GAME. WE USED TO HAVE A [SYSTEM OF] EVERY THIRD ONE’S FREE TYPE THING. THEY’D WORK ALL WINTER, A LOT OF THESE KIDS DIDN’T SMOKE, THEY DIDN’T DRINK, THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. ALL THEY WORKED [ON] WAS THEIR CARS, BUT ONCE SPRING ROLLED OUT, OUT CAME THE MUSCLE CARS. OVER THE COURSE OF THE SUMMER THEY DROVE THEM. THEY WOULD END UP AFOUL OF US, WHETHER IT BE FOR STUNTING OR SPEEDING. WITH SOME OF THESE KIDS, WE WOULD HAVE THIS FREQUENT FLYER MILE PROGRAM BECAUSE THEY WOULD GET THEMSELVES INTO A BIND, BUT THEY WERE SUCH GOOD KIDS THEY WERE JUST STUPID WITH THEIR CARS. WE USED TO CATCH THEM FOR SPEEDING WITH THESE [SPEED GUNS], OR STUNTING. THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE YOUTH, SOME OF THE YOUNGER PEOPLE, THAT ARE LATE-TEENS OR EARLY-TWENTIES WAS PRETTY GOOD, THESE GUYS THAT BUILT THESE CARS UP. WE HAD A PRETTY GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THEM AND WE WORKED WELL WITH THEM.” “WE RAN WHAT THEY CALLED A “DIRECTED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM”. THERE [WERE] A LOT OF OPTIONS FOR THE GUYS TO GO WHERE THEY WANTED, BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST WE CONCENTRATED ON HIGH COLLISION AREAS AND SCHOOLS. OBVIOUSLY WE KNEW WE HAD THE STRIP…WE HAD 3RD AVENUE AND MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE AND KIDS DROVE THE STRIP IN THE SUMMER, THAT’S WHERE THEY DID THEIR DRAG RACING…BACK IN THE DAY, WHEN I FIRST STARTED, MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE WENT STRAIGHT THROUGH TO NORTH MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE. THAT INTERSECTION [OF] 3RD AVENUE, MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE USED TO GO STRAIGHT THROUGH ON THE HIGHWAY. IT WAS A BUSY PLACE [WITH] LOTS OF COLLISIONS. WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME DOWN IN THERE ON MAYOR MAGRATH, AND THERE WERE OTHER PLACES IN TOWN WHICH WERE CONCERNS. YOU’D GET CITIZENS COMPLAINING ABOUT LOTS OF TRAFFIC AND SPEED, WE WOULD GO DOWN AND MONITOR IT, AND WE WOULD TRY TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY BY ATTENDING THAT AREA. USUALLY IT WAS ONE OR TWO PEOPLE IN THE AREA THAT WERE DOING IT AND YOU CAUGHT AND DEALT WITH THEM, AND THE PROBLEM PRETTY MUCH WENT AWAY. ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS TAUGHT AS A YOUNG CONSTABLE [WAS WHEN YOU] COME TO WORK AFTER YOUR DAYS OFF, THE FIRST THING YOU DO IS YOU GO LOOK AT YOUR PIN BOARD AND YOU SEE IF ANYTHING CHANGED, IF HAVE WE HAD A FATALITY. HAS THERE BEEN SOME SERIOUS COLLISIONS, HAS SOMETHING CHANGED? YOU ALWAYS KNEW IN YOUR MIND WHERE YOU HAD TO BE.” “WE SPENT LOTS OF TIME ON SCENIC DRIVE ANYWHERE. AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. IF YOU’RE RUNNING A MARKED VEHICLE, SOMETIMES WE WOULD JUST PARK ON A BOULEVARD SOMEWHERE IT WAS BUSY AND JUST SIT THERE. YOU’D MONITOR TRAFFIC AND OF COURSE SOMEBODY WOULD EVENTUALLY DO SOMETHING SILLY AND YOU’D HAVE STOP THEM, BUT THE WHOLE IDEA WOULD BE FOR THE VISIBILITY ASPECT.” “I REMEMBER WHEN WE GOT THE 8’S [SPEED GUNS] AND WE COULD PROGRAM THEM, WE THOUGHT WE’D DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN. WE ARE ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY. EVERY SHIFT YOU WOULD DEAL WITH TWENTY, THIRTY PEOPLE OR MORE. NOT INCLUDING COMPLAINTS, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT INTERACTIONS WITH PEOPLE THAT WERE VIOLATIONS SOMEHOW. [THE SPEED GUNS] GAVE YOU A TOOL TO INTERACT WITH SOMEBODY…AND A LOT OF OTHER THINGS COME FROM THIS. A LARGE AMOUNT OF CRIME IS SOLVED BY SOMEBODY STOPPING A CAR AND TALKING TO SOMEBODY, AND THE CAR’S STOLEN, THERE’S STOLEN PROPERTY IN THE CAR, THE GUY’S WANTED ON WARRANTS. THIS TOOL WAS A LEVERAGE AND AN ABILITY TO ENTER A WHOLE NEW REALM IN ASSISTING OUR COMMUNITY AND KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE. IT JUST WASN’T FROM THE TRAFFIC END OF IT, IT GAVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE THAT NORMALLY YOU WOULD NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO INTERACT WITH. AND DO IT IN A LAWFUL MANNER.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120014000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120014000
Acquisition Date
2012-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail