Glendale Arizona Police Teletype
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There is a long history of teletypewriter use by police organizations.
Recently photos of TTY equipment in old police operations have been 
offered on One mention of police service in the Eastern U.S.
is given in a paper "Modern Practices in Private Wire Telegraph Service"
by R. E. Pierce of AT&T, AIEE Transactions, June 1931, p. 426.

Circa 1960 Teletype had a switching system called TASP that I was told
was marketed primarily to police departments. Some patents describing
this system are 2,625,601 (1953) and 3,251,929 (1966). It's curious that
Teletype offered such a system, since switching arrangements were usually
considered to be on Bell Labs' turf. (Or Western Union, for non-Bell
users) Teletype was allowed to do switching work for customers where
it was felt there was no general Bell System market. Therefore I assume
TASP was marketed to police (and other agencies) that wanted ownership
of the equipment rather than a leased service.

When amateur RTTY first got started in the late 1940s the majority of
Teletype machines available to amateurs were Model 12 page printers,
and most of them seemed to come out of New York. I remember reading
somewhere that most of them had come out of the New York police 
department. The NYPD had replaced its tty machines out of necessity
when Teletype quit making maintenance parts for them.

jhhaynes at earthlink dot net








An interest in teletype machines  and a friend at the Glendale
 Police Museum, started Ed Sharpe on an interesting  quest.

By Bette Sharpe  - Glendale Daily Planet



An interest in teletype machines  and a friend at the Glendale Police Museum, started Ed Sharpe on an interesting  quest.

(Photo Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet At Left Ed Sharpe Archivist for SMECC and at Right - Dan Kallberg Curator of the Glendale Police Museum located in the lobby of Glendale PD) 

Years  back,  Ed Sharpe  Archivist for  the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation had  been discussing  police  communications  with Dan Kallberg,  a retired police officer and the  curator of the Glendale Police Museum.  At that  time it  was  located in the FOP  hall east of The  Glendale  Public Safety Building.  Dan  had mentioned   that  the Glendale Police Department had used a teletype machine in the  1960s. 

Time Passed....

Time  went on and Ed ended up  with a group of teletypes  he was using to   build a history display on telecommunications for the deaf.  Remembering back to his conversation with  Dan,  Ed was curious as to what model Teletype the  Glendale PD had  used.   Dan showed Ed  a  photograph  or an officer  sitting in front of a Teletype Model 28 KSR, a 5 level Baudot machine.

SMECC likes to put things out at other museums  for  display  so plans were made to loan the police museum a teletype just like the one in the photo. Ed was curious as to who the officer was and suggested that they  try to find  him  and pose him  with the  teletype unit  at the museum  sort of a before and after  photo!

Dan Kallberg   told Ed the officers name was  Sal Vetrano, and that   the photo had been taken in the new  (at that  time!!)  police station. (torn down and the Civic Center stands on that ground  now!)  Sal had  joined the Glendale Police Department in 1953 as a reserve officer, then went on as a full time officer in 1956. Sal stayed on until 1970 when  he  left the department..  Dan states "When Sal was an officer he was the one responsible for starting up the PD's photo lab, maintaining and controlling the records section of the PD and running the front desk and assisting citizens when they came in to the Police Dept. Sal ran the teletype machine which was connected to California, Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona."  

Armed  with that information  Sharpe was  able to  start  searching Sal out on the internet and  based on  age ad some  vague hints on prior  locale  found  Sal living in  Leakey Texas and running Vinny's Pizzeria at over 82 years of age!

Sal will come to pose  for a 'current' photo with a teletype when he comes to Arizona  to visit his children he tells us.

The teletype is all in place in the  museum  for you to visit and  Dan Kallberg the Curator states

"The Teletype machine although slow by today's standards it was a fast was of obtaining critical information about felony crimes that had just occurred within the four corners area. The teletype also freed up the telephone line at the police dept. for other incoming calls for service. Thanks to the efforts of Ed Sharpe the Glendale Police Museum was able to obtain this teletype machine for display. With Ed's help we were able to preserve a small piece of history and put it on display so everyone could enjoy ."

  The photo that started it all! Courtesy Glendale Police Museum       

6835 N 57th Drive, Glendale, AZ 85301
Museum Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
SEE SMECC Communications Museum web site
who provided the teletype at: WWW.SMECC.ORG

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet

Teletype on display! Note photo of Sal hanging above the Teletype
A descriptive sign is being made telling about it. We have further 
polished the unit up and gotten the white paint off the front of the
keyboard etc.


Read  the deals of Sal's career  below -  



 Sal , whose full name is Salvatore Theodore Vetrano, Jr. was born in Queens, NY 4/20/1930.

Raised in East New York, Brooklyn, NY.

Graduated from East New York Vocational High School where he studied boat building. Was a member of the Blue Jackets of America from age 10 until 15. Was in the State Guard from 1945 (age 15) until joining the Navy July 1, 1947 (age 17).

Was in the Navy 1947 until 1952. Four years were served aboard the Battleship USS Missouri (March 1948 until March 1952) in the Electrical Division with a duty station working on the main generators and in the Number One Engine Room. This was during the Korean Conflict and the Missouri was active during the first and second invasions of Inchon.

Discharged 4/7/1952 as Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Petty Officer.

Worked in Pennsylvania as a journeyman electrician for one year.

1953 moved to Arizona. Worked for three years for Miller Tire and Supply as a television and appliance repairman.

1954 joined the Reserve Glendale AZ police department as a patrolman (I rode once a week with a regular officer, patrolling).

1956 took the test for the Glendale Police Dept and was accepted.
Duties: Dispatcher, jailer, records.

1957 made the first dark room at the old police department on 1st Avenue in a small passageway between the chief and the captain's office. Until that time development had been contracted out and with the dark room I was able to start developing the film for the department.

1958 Department obtained a mugshot camera where we started taking our own pictures of prisoners for booking with 35 mm film.

Approximately 1960 or 1961 the department moved into the new City/County building on 3rd Avenue. We had a darkroom/photo lab copied after an FBI design. We were able to enlarge latent finger print charts for court use. I attended Kodak law enforcement training school. I am scanning copies of certificates of attendance for seminars to forward to you. To the best of my recollection the department got the teletype machine around that same time. The telephone department trained those who worked in the office and at the desk on use of the teletype.

Approximately 1970 I left the Glendale Police Department.

After that I owned a sporting goods store and boat repair shop (specializing in fiberglass repairs and painting).

1972 Sold the sporting goods store and went to work for Motorola as plant electrician

1978 Left Motorola to go to work at the Nuclear Power Plant in Buckeye

1979 Lay off at the Power Plant, went to work as a union electrician working in Midland
Worked electrical jobs at lease sites in malls in major cities in Texas, settled in Corpus Christi

1982 Got my first Electrical Master's License
Worked as independent electrical contractor around the state.

1985 Went to work at the Corpus Christi Independent School District as Master Electrician of record and Foreman of the Electrical (and later) the Audio-Visual Department. Was foreman of 18 men servicing 63 campuses and other District facilities.

2000 Retired from the school district, moved to the Texas Hill Country

2003 Opened Vinny's Italian Restaurant, Leakey, TX and continue to operate it as a pizzeria

Still hold a Texas Master's license and held an Texas Electrical Contractor license until last month.
Still do some small electrical jobs for friends.



      Photo Courtesy of Glendale Police Museum


OCTOBER 12, 1961,

Teletype Speeds Four-State Crime News To Glendale

A new teletype recently installed in the Glendale Police Station, is keeping the department alerted on crime in the four-state area of Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. 

Immediate news of car thefts, escaped prisoners, bad check artists, runaways, and wanted criminals who maybe headed toward

Glendale, is registered on the teletype. giving police a printed record which may be filed for reference.

Similar machines are located in the sheriff's office, the FBI in Phoenix, the main Phoenix police station, the Arizona Highway Patrol office and in Tucson, Chandler and Scottsdale.

Effectiveness of the teletype was illustrated  by Chief of Police Allen Adams who  cited the case of  a $5,000 supermarket robbery which occurred in another part of state Oct. 4. The mailed report took three days to reach Glendale.  A  teletype news report would have been seen in  the Glendale station five minutes  after the robbery. 





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Photo by Julie Becker - Hill Country Herald




Photo Courtesy  - Hill Country Herald

Photo by Julie Becker - Hill Country Herald


Photo by Julie Becker - Hill Country Herald

Ad Photo Courtesy Hill Country Herald



Photo Courtesy  Glendale Police Museum

The officer is Sal Vetrano, it is in the  then "new station" (was town down  to build Glendale Civic Center) 
at 7119 n. 57 Dr. Dan Kallberg from the Glendale Police museum states " looking at  Sal's time on force
 this photo would have been  somewhere between 1963 and 1969."


Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet















aug 23 1970 even appeared in





Computer Controls Police Teletype Net 

Aug 23 1970 this article even appeared in Pak City Daily News Aug 19 1970


Computer Controls
Police Teletype Net
Associated Press Writer
PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) - A
computer in » Phoenix cloakroom
is helping police all over
the country fight crime more efficiently.
The computer is the nerve
center for the Law Enforcement
Teletype System (LETS) and
the cloakroom is located in the
Arizona Highway Patrol's communication center. 

LETS is a nationwide 
teletype system that
allows law enforcement officers
to send messages to each other.
Messages from officers in each
state are routed through the
state's central LETS office and
from there to anywhere in the
continental United States.
Until 1966, police departments
sent such messages in Morse
(no-  used paper tape
 but was  Baudot not  MORSE!
- Ed Sharpe)

"It was pretty slow," recalled
Maj. J. W. Monschein, the Arizona
Highway Patrol's communications
officer. "We might not
get an urgent message off for
hours and we might not receive
a message for a couple of days.
Now you could hop a plane from
Phoenix to Los Angeles and my
message would be in Los Angeles
way ahead of you."
Maj. Monschein said the
LETS system was dreamed up
in 1965 at a national meeting of
state police and highway patrol
officers. The Arizona Highway
patrol was selected as the national
center because it had an
excellent communications unit.

The original electro-mechanical
system filled a good-sized
room with teletypes and tape
punchers and readers. In November
of this year the entire
system was computerized. Now
the same volume of messages is
handled by one teletype and a
refrigerator-sized computer console.

"Three or four years ago
when we were first putting in
the old system, we couldn't afford
a computer," Monschein
said. "But technology has come
so far so fast that by installing
computer we actually save the
states about $1,500 a month over
the old system. In addition, we
save the Arizona Highway Patrol
about $300 a month in paper
and tape."


The system is paid for entirely
by the member states. The
only role of the federal government,
is the six thousand miles
of circuits leased, at a reduced
rate, from the General Services
Messages for the LETS system
are punched onto paper
tape at the central outlet-entry
point in each state. At least
once every five minutes the
computer automatically "polls"
each outlet-entry point to see i*
it has any traffic. Any messages
are automatically read and
routed to their destinations.
"We use the tape because it's
faster," Monschein explained.
"No typist can keep up a rate of
100 words per minute for very


The system handles about
10,000 messages a day of a police
nature. Reports of crimes,
descriptions of stolen vehicles,
reports on weather and road
conditions and a host of other
information is sent by the computer
from the people who have
it to the people who need it.
"A report of a bank robbery
in Missouri can be sent to any
state, or any 10 states or to all
states," Monschein explained.
"It can include a description of
the subjects, their mode of travel,
their direction of travel—
anything that would help law officers
to apprehend them."




1961: A new teletype recently installed in the Glendale Police Station, is keeping the department alerted on crime in the four-state area of Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. 


1966: May 2, 1966, NLETS the National Law Enforcement Teletype System was born. Its switching computer was housed and operated in Phoenix, Az by the Arizona Highway Patrol. This set the technical standards for interstate teletype communications between law enforcement agencies.


1973: NLETS incorporates as a not-for-profit organization. Its board of directors are elected by representatives from each states terminal control agency.









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