New York Troopers - History
Preserving the Past for Those Who Follow



On September 21, 1933, the first radio transmitter was installed by General Electric Corporation at South Schenectedy, NY. It provided service to 12 cars & stations in Troop G & was designated WPGC.
Radio transmitter room - Schenectedy, NY - circa 1940
 George Delaney
Portable Field Radio
Harry Ashe
John Long 1965

 Cpl. Harold Lutz
 Clarence (Hap) Scharett - Mobile unit


1943 - A site near the Attica State Prison was selected to install a new state police, 300-foot tall radio-transmitting tower. Extensive tests showed this to be the best-suited area to service stations and patrol cars in the 11 Counties of  Western New York.

1944 - One-way radio communications were first installed in 1933 at Troop G Headquarters, but it took until 1944 for this advancement to reach Troop “A”. The installation of radio station WBTC operating on a frequency of 1658 kilocycles at the Batavia State Police Barracks completed the network. The addition of 1000-watt radio transmitters at Troops A, D and C Headquarters completed coverage of the state by short wave radio. Fourteen division members attended a four month long communications school and were licensed as second-class radio operators by the Federal Communications Commission. The tele-type system was also improved with the installation of automatic sending and receiving teletype machines at the central control point, Division Headquarters. Teletype points were added at the Glens Falls Police Department and Henrietta State Police substation. There were now 110 teletypewriter points and 145 teletypewriter instruments within in the state.  

Sergeant Charles Z. McDonald was in charge of the Batavia Communications Section with everyone at troop headquarters having a Class 2 radio operator’s license required to transmit on the system. Three secretaries working at the barracks also obtained radio licenses. They were Winifred Miner, Viola Schwingle and Mabel Keister. The station was manned 24 hours daily with a station announcement and time check given every half hour. Prior to the system installation, all state police cars in the area were tuned into the Buffalo Police station.

1945 - An emergency Telephone Service was initiated throughout the state. Telephone books all carried the legend:  In an emergency, call or dial an operator and say “ I WANT A STATE TROOPER”. The operator to the nearest State Police Station without delay or charge then completed the call.

1946 - A new radio system was installed by the New York Telephone Company. It was a three-way frequency modulated radio system that in effect, would cover every inch of the state. The initial installation cost was $735,000.00 with a yearly maintenance cost estimated at about $300,000.00. The key transmitter unit for Western New York was Batavia. Troop cars in the near vicinity could now talk to one another. There were 73 radios transmitting and receiving installed at troop headquarters, zone stations and 24-hour substations across the state. Precincts where few troopers are assigned will have radio receivers only. Two way radios were placed in the departments 382 automobiles and one motorboat used for patrol purposes. In addition, 16 sets of portable radios equipment powered by gasoline motors were provided for use at disasters or serious crimes. Forty-two military style walkie-talkies were also provided with 7 assigned to each Troop Headquarters. Two-way communications were now available between stations and patrol cars as well as emergency sites and between patrol cars. The entire communication system was changed from AM to FM with the last installation completed on August 29, 1947.

1954 - Two way radios were installed in all motorcycles.

1961 – At the end of the year, the division had 2 boats, 20 motorcycles and 715 cars equipped with radios.

1965 - Walkie-talkie field unit radios weighing 15 pounds were replaced. In May 1965, a new General Electric Handi-Talkie radio was distributed to the various troops. The unit weighed less than 4 pounds with a usable field battery life of up to 80- hours between charges. They were weatherproof, had a leather carrying case with a shoulder strap or belt hooks, and had external speakers with batteries chargeable on a 110-volt current. Range was from 3 to 5 miles. 

1966 – The New York State Police were chosen by the FBI to be the states link to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). 

1970 – A high band radio system was initiated to alleviated interference problems. Hand held radios were used for the first time making it possible to communicate while away from the vehicle.

1976 – A statewide channel was added to the radio system making it possible to have inter-troop communication.

     Carl Barone / Howard Hartman SP Batavia - they were hired as Radio
      Operators and retired as Communication Specialists