This is a July 1963 photo of the New Orleans Police Department that I found in an old travel magazine. The photo is meant to show everyday folks like you and me the various personnel and equipment required to operate a modern police force.
Some of the individuals in this photo may very well be the investigators assigned to Lonzy’s case. The photo caption reads, ‘It Takes A Heap Of Gear To Equip A Police Force.’
There’s more to a police department than a force of patrolmen and detectives with guns and badges, as the picture at the left indicates. Shown here is just part of the personnel and equipment required to operate a modern police force in a metropolitan area. Although the exact nature of the equipment used to combat crime depends on a city’s size and location (the gear used by a police department in a coastal community, for example, differs from that of a city in a mountain area), most large city police departments require a variety of equipment similar to that picture, which is used by the New Orleans Police Department. (The Department spent three days rounding up gear and personnel for the scene, specially posed for FRIENDS.) Greater new Orleans covers a 363.5-square-mile area. Within the city limits are large rural zones, as well as heavily populated districts. The Mississippi River and a number of bayous wind through the city. Duties of police personnel range from operating an electronics machine to walking a beat, and equipment varies from airplanes and boats to filing cabinets and rubber boots.
1. Boat and motor used in search and rescue on lakes, bayous, and Mississippi River. 2. Mounted policeman, who patrols park areas and controls crowds. 3. Police wrecker. 4. Civilian aircraft, called on at times for search missions. 5. Stretcher and first-aid kit. 6. Electronics technician with equipment – tape recorders, test instruments, walkie-talkie, and oscilloscopes. 7. Accident unit and investigation officer, with traffic accident investigation kit. 8. Police photographer and mobile photo unit. 9. Crime lab technician with some of his equipment – microscope, analysis kit, Bunsen burner, flasks, and lab furnace. 10. Rescue officer and equipment, including air pumps for diving rigs. 11. Motorcycle for traffic and crowd control. 12. Diving gear. 13. Foul-weather and personal gear for special assignments; includes night stick, hurricane suit, handcuffs, leg irons, and riot gun. 14. Crowd control barricades. 15. Police officer with K-9 corps dog and special motorcycle in which dog is carried. 16. Police pilot and highway-control aircraft. 17. Special crash and search equipment – portable search lights, flares, and generators. 18. Crash and traffic unit, equipped with high-powered public address system and first-aid equipment. 19. Police records clerk and office equipment. 20. Teletype. 21. Automatic card sorter used in identification work. 22. Portable gas apparatus and gas mask. 23. Weapons, including high-powered rifles, tear gas gun, submachine gun, pistols, and automatic side-arms. 24. Identification bureau technician with fingerprint kit, ballistics test box, polygraph, camera, and test kit. 25. Bullet-proof vest. 26. Armor shield for assault work.
Morey, William J., Ed. “It Takes a Heap of Gear to Equip a Police Force.” Friends Magazine. Jul 1963. Detroit: Ceco Publishing Company, 1963. Print. pp. 6-7.
Magazine courtesy of ‘Pancake Chevrolet, Inc. Pomney, W. VA’