Police And Fire Departments

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Old Piedmont Police patch_edited.png



Need history of the police department

The patch says they started in 1907 but there might have been an unofficial department prior to 1907.

Piedmont Civic Live page:

The Piedmont Police Department is located in the Veterans Memorial Building at the corner of Vista and Highland Avenues. The Department employs 20 sworn personnel (the police chief, two captains, four sergeants and thirteen patrol officers) and eight non-sworn personnel (five dispatchers, two animal control officers and one administrative assistant). The force is supplemented by Reserve Officers and citizen volunteers.

Piedmont PPO:

The Piedmont Police Officers Association was founded in 1977 by Officers Jim Faulkner, John Moilan and Fred Gouveia. The goal of the Piedmont Police Officers Association[sic] is to partner with the community and provide quality police service through community interaction, emphasizing the highest degree of cooperation, professionalism and ethical behavior, and to create an atmosphere of safety and security. Our community policing approach helps neighborhoods keep safe by working with our police officers daily. The Piedmont Police Officers Association is active in our community and many of our members volunteer in the city of Piedmont and the communities where they live.

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Volume 25 Issue 1 May-June Article 17 Summer 1934 Police Science Notes:


Two-Way Police Radio.-According to a communication from Professor August Vollmer to the Journal, the Police Department of Piedmont, California, has recently installed a two-way radio telephone equipment, which provides an economical method of communication, within limited areas (1) between two fixed points, (2) between fixed points and mobile units such as automobiles, boats or airplanes, and (3) between the mobile units themselves. Professor Vollmer expressed the opinion that although some of the difficulties associated with this system of communication will have to be overcome, it is now sufficiently serviceable for all practical purposes and will eventually merit universal application. The particular equipment used by the Piedmont Police department is a product of Universal Communications, Inc. In a bulletin issued by this corporation it is stated that the system operates on frequencies between thirty and fifty thousand kilocycles, thereby utilizing thousands of new wave channels for communication, in contrast to the present limited wave bands which are very much overcrowded. Among the other noteworthy features of this equipment are listed the following: "Sets Stay in Tune Without Shifting Frequency"; "Experienced Operators Not Required"; "Will Carry Through Buildings, Hills or Other Objects"; "Compact"; etc. Students of Police Science.


Oakland Tribune - Mon - Dec. 9, 1935

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QST 1936-11: Vol 20 Iss 11:

Wr. C. B. McMurphy in charge of the Radio development work of the Piedmont Police Department, Piedmont, California, who has pioneered and developed one of the finest police two-way communication systems in America today, holding the EIMAC 50T, finally retired after giving such an excellent account of itself.


Oakland Tribune - Tue - May 15, 1934


Oakland Tribune - Fri - May 10, 1935

Town talk  Publication date 1920 - Martinez vs the Piedmont Police.jpg
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Oakland Tribune - Tue - Oct. 25, 1932

Town talk - Publication date 1920


Oakland Tribune - Tue - Apr. 5, 1938

1938 William V. Pflaum, new Chief of Police, Piedmont.jpeg
1938 William V. Pflaum, new Chief of Police, Piedmont 2.jpeg

Unknown police officer

Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren

To read more about Burton Becker

go to the Sidney Dearing website

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Oakland Tribune - Tue - Oct. 15, 1918

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Seagrave Combination Hose Wagon, Chemica

Possibly the first Piedmont Fire Department - the window is different and the truck garage as well, however you can see the detailing on the City Hall entrance to the right matches up.

Fire Department:

From the Piedmont Fire Department website:

The Piedmont Fire Department has been serving the City of Piedmont since 1907, just two years after the official incorporation of the city. Initially a volunteer organization, the ability of the residents of Piedmont to have a fire department was a critical factor in becoming a city. Incorporation was spurred on by a fire at the Piedmont Hotel in 1892. Horse-drawn fire engines from Oakland took over two hours to arrive on scene. Needless to say, the hotel was a total loss.  

The fire house was built (in 1910) into the same structure as city hall and is in the same location to this day, albeit with a few modifications. The single bay is now double, and the hose tower has been removed, but the history is undeniable. The fire house still has its original brass pole to slide down from the firefighters dorm to the apparatus bay, a kitchen table fit for eight full-grown adults from the 1920s and a host of memorabilia from across the century.

Piedmont has grown from the original seven families that lived in the area during the 1850s to a population of 10,667 covering 1.7 square miles and 3,924 houses completely surrounded by the City of Oakland. The city is predominantly residential with no freeways or industrial areas but is quite densely populated as it is surrounded by an urban landscape.

The Piedmont Fire Department was fully mechanized from its inception, never relying on horse drawn fire engines. Piedmont Fire’s ambulance is also the longest continually operating Fire Department ambulance in California. Emergency medical response is still highly valued and central to the role that the PFD serves in the community.

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The Piedmont Fire Department currently staffs seven line fire fighters per day aboard one engine, one truck and an ambulance. The average call volume is just over 1000 calls per year and track along national averages in terms of types of calls. Piedmont Fire is an active participant in the California Master Mutual Aid program and regularly deploys resources across the state during fire season and other large emergencies. Today the Piedmont Fire Department carries on the traditions of the past as it remains ever ready to serve its citizens amidst modern life. Cutting edge advanced life support via its historic ambulance, and a commitment to high technology equipment in the shadow of an early adopter of the modern fire engine, the Piedmont Fire Department is a professional and highly skilled group of public servants.

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Oakland Tribune - Thu - Feb. 10, 1910

Picture of a Piedmont Fire car from the PFD website

The San Francisco Examiner -

Sat - Oct. 1, 1910


Oakland Tribune - Tue - May 1, 1917

Piedmont - Firemen stirke 1970 a.jpg

Oakland Tribune - Wed - Jan. 3, 1952

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In a photo from the 1960s, Piedmont’s Fire Chief is shown with the fire alarm box equipment. Ticker tape machines are shown in the background.