Re: Vintage Chicago Police Vehicle Photos
Date: December 29, 2011 04:08PM
> jak378 Wrote:
> The number means nothing other than that it is a
> > sequential number assigned by the Motor
> > Maintenance Division as a means to identify the
> > vehicle.
> Kinda like the four digit number on taxicabs then?
> There used to be some four number sequence that
> cops used to identify their car and district
> though. Maybe it was on their license plates. I
> know that when they changed from the single
> revolving light on top to the double, there was a
> little plaque on the light rack with it on. Cops
> always used that number to ID themselves on the
> radio ("This is 2020. We got a couple of punks who
> like climbing up to the L platform instead of
> paying the fare like everyone else")
Yes, that was the beat number of the unit. It was also used as the radio call number and was either 3 or 4 digits, sometimes with a letter following. Generally in districts the first digit or first 2 digits delineated the district (20=20th District, 1=1st District), the second 2 digits are the beat number thus 2020 indicates beat 2020, which happens to be the Sergeant responsible for the 20 sector in the 20th District. District Commanders are/were the district number plus 00 i.e. 2000 District Commander of the 20th District and Watch Commanders were the district number plus 99 i.e. 899 Watch Commander of the 8th District. Field Lieutenants were designated by the district number with 90, thus 599 Field Lieutenant of the 5th District. There were other sequences used for specialty cars in districts, 71 to 75 for squadrols, 60's plus a letter for tactical teams, 60 without a number for tactical sergeants.
Specialized units have a similar scheme using the unit number as the first digits plus a number for each individual unit.
Incidentally the Superintendent is Car 3, the Mayor is Car 1 and the Chariman of the Finance Committee is Car 2,m unless they changed all of that in recent years.
You are right the number, on marked units was displayed on a small plague mounted to the light bar on the roof.