In 1917. Ford cars were first used in the Police Department. Forty-two Ford touring cars were first purchased and distributed to the different districts. They were manned by four men in citizens dress. There was no mark of any kind on the car to show that it was a police car except a gong. These cars were held at the district stations and responded to all alarms.
In 1921 fifty new touring cars were purchased. In 1923 fifty additional touring cars were purchased. These cars were manned by three men in uniform and toured the district reporting to the district station every half hour.
In 1925 one hundred Ford roadsters were purchased. These cars were marked and lettered on sides and too. making them easily identified from tipper windows as well as from sidewalk and street. Thev were equipped with electric lights, a gong, and cushion tires replaced pneumatic tires. These cars were manned by two men in uniform. trained in the care and driving of a Ford auto in the Police School.
The Police Ford equipment and Ford school are under the supervision of a Captain of Police who has organized an efficient branch of service by selecting tbe men best qualified for this class of work.
Ford crews report over the police telephone every twenty minutes. The territory in large districts where a small number of officers are available is now covered more thoroughly and frequently. The feeling of doubt as to a Ford being: suited to police work has been removed. The repeated requests from all Commanding Officers for additional Fords in their respective districts prove the efficiency of this type of patrol service.
An interior view of a squad car with gun rack open showing torches and other equipment.
Seven Ford sedans and coupes are in use at the Detective Bureau and Auto Detail. The Auto Detail has one car equipped with acetylene and oxygen unit complete for immediate use in tracing changed or removed numbers on stolen autos. The Bureau of Identification has a Ford Sedan to carry photographers and experts on finger prints, etc. to and from the scene of important crimes.
At the present time a request is before the City Council for forty touring cars and sixty roadsters. This will give the Department a total of two hundred and ten Fords. This will make an average of about six cars per district and with the squad cars from the Detective Bureau, the policing of the City of Chicago will compare favorably with any city in the United States.
Another view of a section of Ford squad cars with crews of two uniformed officers for each car at inspection. These squads are in communication with their respective station by telephone every twenty minutes; and are then informed of the latest development.
Chicago Police Annual Report, 1925