A Communications Place
Calgary Police Service Interpretive
Centre and Archives


Calgary Police Service Interpretive
Centre and Archives,
NC 369.

click for full image

One of the most important aspects of a police service is its ability to communicate both with the public and with its own members. The telephone was installed in the Police Station as soon as it was available in Calgary in 1886, but the daytime service was of little use for the first year. As the telephone became a more reliable fixture it also became the citizen's main means of contacting the police. Since the first multi-line switchboard was installed in 1919, the police have constantly upgraded and reorganized the telephone system. To ensure quick access in times of crisis, an emergency line to the police (Amherst 1-1111) was installed in 1960. By 1970, this emergency service was expanded to include fire and ambulance, and the number 911 was adopted.

In this photograph of the Calgary Police Signal Room, taken ca. 1920, the constable is sitting at a switchboard that could handle up to eight calls. The equipment in the background was for the operation of the 67 call boxes.

more about the Calgary Police Service Interpretive Centre and Archives ...

A Sense of Place