Just like the rest of us, Los Angeles policemen and women receive daily notices from their employer about what to be on the lookout for.
These days the notices, or bulletins, might take the form of emails or radio calls, but from 1907 to at least 1958, they were handed out to staff on cheaply printed pulp paper. From the onset of the automobile, through World Wars I and II, prohibition, and into the era of organized crime, Los Angeles police were given instructions to watch for things like “girl bandits,” bank robbers, or even the simple bad habit of leaving animals hitched along streetcar tracks.
The bulletins tell the story of a city known for a genre of crime that inspired Noir novels, and thanks to Getty archivists and volunteers at the Los Angeles Police Museum, they are being preserved and digitally scanned so that the story will stay available for years to come.
Do you have members of the police force in your family that shared stories of crimes past? Have you visited the Police Museum and seen the collection?
Glynn Martin, director, Los Angeles Police Museum