Last call for 'Police Call'

Gene Hughes was 13 and fiddling with his AM radio in a Los Angeles foster home in 1940 when he picked up the LAPD dispatcher frequency. Entranced by this discovery and its window on the real world, he began collecting everything he could find about police frequencies and became a total radio geek. In 1964 Hughes pulled it all together as Police Call, a sixteen-page guide that became the bible for paparazzi, journalists, tow truck drivers, ambulance chasers and cop nerds who use scanners to monitor L.A. emergency calls. A story by Kevin Poulsen at Wired News tells how Police Call went national and sold half-a-million copies yearly. Hughes is ceasing publication now that he is 77 and many police radio calls are encrypted or out of reach of the radio scanners people can buy. He still listens to his personal bank of scanners at home, and also works twenty hours a week at the front desk of the LAPD's Wilshire Division. (Link via BoingBoing).


More by Kevin Roderick:
John Severson, 83, founder of Surfer magazine
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more
Recent stories on LA Observed:
John Severson, 83, founder of Surfer magazine
Amy Goodman
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
'Tosca' glitters, Calleja swoons, Abraham and Taylor dance
Stendahl Gallery
Help for the homeless a phone call away?
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
Previous story: Is L.A. an Angels town?

Next story: New lawyer in town


 

LA Observed on Twitter