1969 LAPD Equipment

Let's start with the Lights... S&M was founded in 1909 and went out of business in 1964. The 757 light was introduced in 1951. Trio Sales was founded in 1958 as......Trio Sales. There were three partners, hence the name. Trio was an auto parts warehouse that carried an extensive inventory of warning equipment, including their own "LA County Platter". When S&M closed, Trio saw a chance to get into LAPD by building their own version of a double ended light. CHP approval was granted on April 15, 1965. The LAPD and the Adam-12 cars went on to use the Trio T-2 lights often referred to as the "can light" or "soup cans" made by the Trio light Co. Los Angles California. Real T-2 and S&M can lights have the company name stamped on the top.

They had a red lights in the front (GE 4001R) in the T-2 and the (GE 4413R) in the S&M that are a constant burn and the rear had an amber light (GE 4434A) that flashed. Each light had it's own flasher unit (DOT #552 Flasher) so each light flashed independent of one in other. The "wig-Wag" light didn't come in to use until much later.

Real Trio T-2 and S&M can lights may still be found but they are getting very hard to find and because of this you can expect to pay a healthy price for a pair. Even with that if you find a good pair, just be happy you did.
Thanks to Kevin for the information.

NOTE: As of Jan. 2011 it appears that both GE and Wagner have discontinued the manufacture of the red bulbs. So start your hunt now because once again these are going to be hard to find.

A real good website for vintage lights & sirens is
siren and beacon sales by John Dorgan (RIP). Also remember to check the links page for other websites because most have really valuable links for this hobby.



The lights had a pretty simple set up. Basically a 90 deg. bracket with a 3 position switch for the lights. Center off - down ambers - top red & amber. Second switch horn-siren & the spot light plug is a two pin connect type. There were two indicator lights to show what lights were on. Red for the front and amber for the rear.




In the mid 60's though the 70's the siren of choice was the Federal PA20A. The PA20A sirens with serial numbers that have the letters  A, B, C, or D  have a low pitched wail and yelp tones. The 'wail'  tone rises slowly to the highest note, and the yelp is a 'wah-yu wah-yu wah-yu' type of sound. These sirens were in production from 1967 up until the beginning of the 1970s. The best website in the universe concerning these sirens can be found here:  
Old Federal Sirens You will NOT find a better Federal signal website anyplace. Period. More info from Leslie of the old federal sirens website. He tells me that The siren sound that was dubbed in for the Adam-12 patrol car was a recording of a mid-1960s Federal PA15 or PA20 siren running in 'manual' mode. Thanks Leslie.

Need a manual?
Check here. Thanks Dan. 




Working in conjunction with the PA20 siren controller was the
federal signal CP-25 speaker. This speaker was used on a lot of emergency vehicles in the 60's and 70's including police, ambulance and fire trucks. You can find these without to much trouble because of the fact they were used on so many vehicles. Federal signal still makes this speaker which is now called the CP-100. During filming of the Adam-12 show they "dulled" up the speaker on the cars so you couldn't see the reflection of the film crew or equipment.




The Motrac radio that was use was a special design built for LAPD. The head had a feature called Simulcast position 1, and was the control freq 2nd position was the simulcast ch.3 was tac 1, ch4 was tac 2, Also the reason they had two speakers in the rear window was not to hear better, it was because the way the radios yes 2 radios both were Motrac only one was a full Mitrac the 2nd was a Mini Mitrac. It only received back in those days, LAPD was on VHF 150mgz- 160mgz for example the San Fernando valley Control was 159.03 and each Division was different.

The cheater radio was a second control head that received traffic on the frequency that the officers were transmitting on, so that the officers could hear each other in the field. The main radio was a simplex system that didn't allow the officers to hear each other until they went to a Tac channel. Several different dispatchers shared a "talk out" freq, but each dispatcher only heard traffic from the units in her own division. This is why, when you listen to the recording from the Watts riots, you hear dispatchers from Central, 77th, and Hollenbeck all on the same freq. Plus the "link" operator of coarse.

The sets were called "cheater" sets because initially, only Srgeants had them. Most, but not all, cars had these sets installed by the late '60's. If you watch the pilot when they are in the '67 Belvedere, it clearly shows the setup.


                                    Copy this Jpeg and print for your radio



                           (Pictures courtesy of

If you are in need of any radio equipment check with radiowarehouse2009 on eBay. He has a lot of items and some complete working systems!


                                     Hot Sheet desk

The "Hot sheet" and desk. At the start of each shift the officers would get a new "Hot sheet" for the day which listed all the stolen cars licence plates. The unit was back lit so they could read it at night with the flick of a switch. This unit also doubled as a little work desk if they needed to write anything down. In mine I have a copy of an actual LAPD hot sheet paper from 1961. The desk part was hinged so it could be put up if needed.




Now when it comes to the seats from what I have found you can go one of two ways. One expensive and one a lot cheaper. It comes down to how authentic do you want your car to be. If you are doing an Adam-12 car and you want to stay true to the show car for 1969 then you'll need some of this fabric. I found one place that still sells NOS fabric. S & M auto fabrics out of Oregon is where I got mine. Really nice stuff. 

Cloth - Misc.-69 995

Vinyl - Misc.- L 3610

It will run you about $650.00 (2012 prices) for the fabric then you'll have to find an Upholstery place to put it on your seats. Make sure whoever you find that they do car seats. This will add additional costs. I think mine ran about $1,500.00 total. Again anything you do to the car to get it to Adam-12 authenticity will cost. I guess that's why it's called a hobby.





The used on the cars was a ASPC201L UHF Rooftop Mount 3/8" Antenna, 108/512 MHz, and was 18" Long.  If I remember right it was called the "acorn" antenna because of the look of the base. I found the antenna for around $50 at most places then I stumbled on a place called 
skygeeks that sell aircraft equipment. They sell it for $37.99 which when doing a car every penny counts. This antenna comes with a 17 ft RG-58/U cable and UHF male connector and the antenna itself is 26" long so you'll have to cut it down and paint the base white.



The front doors bears the seal of the city of Los Angeles, the department slogan "to protect and to serve" as well as the citywide five-digit "shop number" and city department name (POLICE). The last three numbers of the shop number (used to identify all vehicles operated by the city) are on the lights and in later years were reprinted on the roof to help air units visually identify cars. On the trunk is a number that identifies which division the unit belongs to. 

You can find a lot of replica decals. Some good, some bad. Only a few times will you see genuine decals for sale. If you see any of these for sale, jump on 'em. If you want a good set of replica's one good place to get them is a place called the "
M-Squad". They can make decals for most any old city or state police car. Otherwise you can set up a search on eBay and get daily emails for whatever it is you set up the search for. You should do this for any and all equipment that you are looking for. The picture below are genuine LAPD decals.



Let's move to the power plant, in 1969, the Belvedere Pursuit was released with a 330 hp police engine and a package that resembled (except cosmetically) the Road Runner. The LAPD and the Adam-12 car used this Plymouth 383 super commando engine along with the 727 torqueflite transmission. Top speed was set at the Chrysler proving ground at 120 MPH.

                  1969- 383 V8 High perf/Police H-Orange (Hemi) Mopar paint P4349216


                                         License plate

Now for some small detail stuff. As I learned the licence plates used and still used in all city and states are special issue. The LAPD plate has a "E" which stands for exempt. Any really good Adam-12 fan can tell you what the license plate number is for the Adam-12 car (534293).



If you're thinking of getting into the hobby of old police cars there are some good books available. One is:
Police Cars: Restoring, Collecting and Showing America's Finest Sedans.

Both are good books and are available at places like Amazon.com which carries other great police car books as well. Just remember that this is a very serious hobby and a great responsibility to act in a professional manner at all times while driving your car. It is a self policing hobby and there are great people in it. Most of us are current or retired officers but not all. My best advice is to watch yourself because rest assured others will be watching you.


                 Another one is:  Encyclopedia of American Police Cars



The uniform worn by the LAPD hasn't changed much in the last 40+ years. A lot of people think it is black but it's not. Some manufactures list a dark blue as LAPD blue. It's also called Midnight Blue. It's a very dark blue. One of the best looking uniforms in my opinion.




The LAPD badge is one of the best looking around. It has the Los Angeles city hall in the middle with "PoliceMan" on top which was later changed to "Police Officer" when more woman joined the LAPD. "Los Angeles Police" under city hall then the badge number at the bottom all in blue.

    Thanks to Kent Sakamoto for proving the following badge & hat info. and pic's
            Left was made by Entenmann Co.& the right by Blackinton Co. since 1969.

Hat & Hat Badge


The Hat of LAPD was changed in 1970 to the circle type. Also, POLICEMAN on the hat badge was changed in 1973 to say POLICE OFFICER as more woman were added to the ranks.

The real badge of the Blackinton company has been worn in ADAM-12 since season 5.



Most LAPD officers earn their shooting medal and both characters on the show had them. I have someone selling a few of these and these can be found on Ebay from time to time.




                                All police officers carry their Police ID's.


LAPD markings are shown on the picture(s) below. Thanks to Marco in Germany for providing them as well as the shooting medal pics.




                                                  City Seal

OK now for the Los Angeles city seal. I wasn't sure if I should put this here or under the show but since it is on the car I'll put it here. Just what does it all mean? Read on for the wikipedia version.

The seal of Los Angeles contains the coat of arms of the city of Los Angeles, a city in the U.S. state of California. The shield is encircled by the legal name of the city (City of Los Angeles) and its date of founding (1781).

Inside the circle, flanking the shield, are grapes, olives, and oranges, major crops of California, on their plants. These are also symbolized in the colors
of the Flag of Los Angeles. The fruit are on a field or, bordered with a 77-bead rosary.
The arms are quarterly:

  • upper left: the shield of the United States with thirteen stars on the chief 
  • upper right: the Flag of California (a field argent with California grizzly bear at bay, five-pointed star, and fess base gules), sans text and ground
  • lower left: the Coat of arms of Mexico 1867-1968 version (an eagle displayed regardant and biting a serpent), signifying the city's history under Mexico
  • lower right: the arms of Castile and Leon, signifying the city's history as a Spanish colony.



                                   The Guns Used


                                   Smith & Wesson Model 14

The standard sidearm for the Los Angeles Police Department is the 6-inch barreled Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-38 revolver. LAPD Officers Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord), as well as several other police officers, are seen unholstering and firing their revolvers several times throughout the series. Many suspects are also seen using this gun. At the time, the S&W Model 14 was one of the standard revolvers used by LAPD officers

On the show you can see their extra ammo pouches on their duty belts. What they used were called quick loaders. I can remember using them with my duty 357 not that long ago before my Dept. switched to the Glock 40 cal.


                                         Smith & Wesson Model 15

In season 4, as the real-life LAPD transitioned from 6 inch to 4 inch barrel revolvers – often Model 14 K-38’s cut down by LAPD armorers, Adam-12 changed to Smith & Wesson Model 15 "Combat Masterpiece" revolvers, at the same time changing to hinged “clam shell” Safety Speed holsters from the more common pouch holsters used the first three years.

Throughout the series, Pete Malloy used distinctive finger-groove grips by custom grip maker (and famous LAPD range master) Earl “Fuzzy” Farrant. Starting in season 4, Jim Reed also wore custom Farrant grips on his Mdl. 15.


                                 Smith & Wesson Model 36

Malloy and Reed are shown with Smith & Wesson Model 36 Chief's Special .38 revolvers in cross-draw holsters when off duty or in their rare plain clothes assignments.


                                     Colt Detective Special

Many Los Angeles Police detectives are seen with Colt Detective Specials in their holsters. The Detective Special was popular with many LAPD detectives (as well as many detectives throughout the country), due to its small size ideal for concealed carry, up until 1988 when the LAPD switched over to semi-autos.


                                                  Ithaca 37

Los Angeles Police officers, including Peter Malloy and Jim Reed, are often seen using Ithaca 37 shotguns whenever they must deal with armed suspects. They are equipped with standard magazine tubes. The Ithaca 37 was the standard shotgun for the LAPD for several decades until the late 90s, when they switched over to the Remington 870.


                                    Double Barreled shotgun

Many of the armed suspects that the LAPD encounters in the show are armed with Double barreled shotguns.


                                                  Colt AR-15



                               Federal M201-Z Grenade Launcher

Sergeant MacDonald carries a Federal M201-Z Grenade Launcher in the back of his patrol car, kept with several tear gas grenades in a brown case. He often loads it up when the police are dealing with a barricaded armed suspect, usually giving it to Malloy to fire.

Clam shell Holster

Holster. In the 1960's the LAPD used a holster called the clam shell. A leather-covered "button" behind the triggerguard released a simple catch on the front edge of the holster. A wound spring forced the holster open and it hinged on the rear edge.

The problems with these holsters should have been obvious. Slamming the holster against a hard surface could sometimes pop it open - a real risk when used with a "swivel holster" arrangement. Putting one's finger in the triggerguard before the draw was problematic and several LAPD's finest incurred embarrassment over sudden loud noises. After Adam-12 showed how nifty they were, several officers had kids "poke" the button with predictably frightening results. (Thanks to BillCA of 
The Firing line.com for the info.)



                                                  Night Stick
The good old night stick. It was used in many ways from crowd control to breaking out windows or even as a pry bar. It was a great tool to have. You can find them at Stationhouse along with rubber stops and more.



More to be added ....

Please note:
I am not an expert on the LAPD or the equipment used. I have researched things the best I can but I'm not always right. If you see something that is incorrect PLEASE let me know. I have used a lot of information from other websites and all will be listed as sources with links to them.
My main goal in doing this website is to educate and entertain as well as to give credit to Jack Webb, Kent McCord and Martin Milner for the great job they did. They showed the general public what kinds of things the men and woman of the LAPD, as well as other police departments all across the country, had to deal with on a daily basis. This website is to honor those men and women of the LAPD as well as all the other men and women in police and sheriff departments across America. Thank you.
Also please remember. If you're a fan of Adam-12 or a current or retired police officer either reserve or full time I want you to think of this website as your own. This is why I made it.