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).


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