Metropolitan District Commission Police

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The_B_Chief

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So I have recently rediscovered the Metro Police. I remember seeing them on episodes of Cops when they would ride with Boston Police back in the day.

I was curious if any of the old timers on here had any radio info about this outfit. From what I have gathered they were on low band until switching to 800 in the mid 80's and then onto an 800 trunked system shortly after that. I have read that they had a repeater with some serious snoot on 39.580.

Anyway, I'm looking for any info or stories on MetroPolice. Pics of equipment, video or recordings of radio traffic would be cool too.

What radio equipment did they use?

What type of 800 tunked system did they move to and where did that go when they were merged with MSP?

I found a website with some info but not much radio stuff. M.D.C. Police Photos - Introduction

I know, I'm a dork...

Thanks.
 

ecps92

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the MDC (Mets) ran 39.5800 R 110.9 (with the PL open on the input) which resulted in lots of skip on Ch.01 Two Rptr sites where Great Blue Hill in Milton and Ashburton Place in Boston, with direct capabilities from 20 Somerset St (HQ)

39.6600 Ch.02 (Revere & Nantasket)
39.7200 Ch.03 Tops units and Alt Car/Car
39.6000 Ch.04 Marine Unit
39.7200 Ch.05 Car/Car and Alt Tops units

Detectives also had some T-Band Channels, then the move to 800 began, what is now known as the Commonwealths 800 TRS (Not just MSP)

The Original Motorola 800 was a Type i, then became IIi, as the MSP Merger moved along the system became 5 different SysID's that ultimately now are One Large 700/800 Analog and Digital TRS

If you can find (Library) and older Scanner Master they did an interview with the Radio Architect

So I have recently rediscovered the Metro Police. I remember seeing them on episodes of Cops when they would ride with Boston Police back in the day.

I was curious if any of the old timers on here had any radio info about this outfit. From what I have gathered they were on low band until switching to 800 in the mid 80's and then onto an 800 trunked system shortly after that. I have read that they had a repeater with some serious snoot on 39.580.

Anyway, I'm looking for any info or stories on MetroPolice. Pics of equipment, video or recordings of radio traffic would be cool too.

What radio equipment did they use?

What type of 800 tunked system did they move to and where did that go when they were merged with MSP?

I found a website with some info but not much radio stuff. M.D.C. Police Photos - Introduction

I know, I'm a dork...

Thanks.
 

The_B_Chief

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ecps92,

You're awesome.

Open pl on a low-band repeater? Damn!! Ironically 110.9 is the same pl as the Maryland State Police who also uses 39 MHz. I wonder if the skip ever made it up there?

I did a search and found some of those frequencies are still licensed to the Commonwealth. I'm curious if or what they still use them for.

I hope more folks chime in. MetroPolice have a pretty awesome/shady history.
 

garys

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Because the repeater input was open squelch, they would get a lot of interference from a Sheriff's department down south. The dispatchers would refer to that agency as "The Rebels" when their traffic would over ride the MDC mobiles.

Before the mid 1970s, they ran as a two channel simplex system which meant that the mobile traffic on 39.66 was not repeated.

The MDC radios were GE, mostly Mastr radios, four channel with scan, and they had GE Powercall sirens. All of that equipment was retired when the 800 trunk went on line. In the early 1990s a lot of that gear showed up at ham radio flea markets in the northeast. The low band radios were easy to convert to the 6 meter ham band.

The original trunk system was built and paid for by the MWRA and since the MDC Police provided police services to the MWRA, they were included in the system.

The only time they operated on 800 in conventional mode was while the system was being built. Once the trunk was up and running they moved over to that except when the system failed and went into "fail soft" mode. Which happened fairly often early on, but is pretty rare these days.

The MDC dispatch was at MDC HQ on Somerset Street on Beacon Hill. After the merger, that was gradually moved to MSP property.

Also included in that move was the RMV police which operated on 39.xx frequencies and the Capitol Police which operated on 460.025 (I think). That frequency went to BPD, which had mobile radios on it already. The RMV channels went to the MSP, but were pretty much unused.

All of the existing MDC cruisers were repainted in MSP colors, while the RMV cars were retired. The Capitol PD only had a few cars and I don't know what happened to them. They also had an ambulance into the early 1980s.
 

ecps92

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ahhh the memories.
3 Freq's for Phone Patches ( No one could monitor, could we ! ) BTW it was a two-way PP, meaning someone could dial the 727-xxxx and if they knew the radio id, alert them of an incoming phone call :D

Because the repeater input was open squelch, they would get a lot of interference from a Sheriff's department down south. The dispatchers would refer to that agency as "The Rebels" when their traffic would over ride the MDC mobiles.

Before the mid 1970s, they ran as a two channel simplex system which meant that the mobile traffic on 39.66 was not repeated.

The MDC radios were GE, mostly Mastr radios, four channel with scan, and they had GE Powercall sirens. All of that equipment was retired when the 800 trunk went on line. In the early 1990s a lot of that gear showed up at ham radio flea markets in the northeast. The low band radios were easy to convert to the 6 meter ham band.

The original trunk system was built and paid for by the MWRA and since the MDC Police provided police services to the MWRA, they were included in the system.

The only time they operated on 800 in conventional mode was while the system was being built. Once the trunk was up and running they moved over to that except when the system failed and went into "fail soft" mode. Which happened fairly often early on, but is pretty rare these days.

The MDC dispatch was at MDC HQ on Somerset Street on Beacon Hill. After the merger, that was gradually moved to MSP property.

Also included in that move was the RMV police which operated on 39.xx frequencies and the Capitol Police which operated on 460.025 (I think). That frequency went to BPD, which had mobile radios on it already. The RMV channels went to the MSP, but were pretty much unused.

All of the existing MDC cruisers were repainted in MSP colors, while the RMV cars were retired. The Capitol PD only had a few cars and I don't know what happened to them. They also had an ambulance into the early 1980s.
 

The_B_Chief

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This is great stuff fellas.


ahhh the memories.
3 Freq's for Phone Patches ( No one could monitor, could we ! ) BTW it was a two-way PP, meaning someone could dial the 727-xxxx and if they knew the radio id, alert them of an incoming phone call :D


And that was on the 800 radios?

Also, tell me about 158.970? Was that more of a base to base frequency?
 
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garys

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That was on the trunk system. Since this was before cell phones were common, trunk systems had a phone patch capability built in. Well, some did, including the MDC. Somewhere along the line the cops were told that what they said on the phone patches couldn't be monitored on scanners. Only they could because when a channel pair was used for a phone patch, it dropped out of the trunk rotation and worked as a conventional radio channel. Lots of interesting, not related to work, phone conversations were heard.

158.970 was "Intercity". Just about every PD in eastern MA was on it. No mobiles, base station to base station only. It was the predecessor to BAPERN. It's still used in Rhode Island, I heard them testing it the other day.


This is great stuff fellas.

And that was on the 800 radios?

Also, tell me about 158.970? Was that more of a base to base frequency?
 

The_B_Chief

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That was on the trunk system. Since this was before cell phones were common, trunk systems had a phone patch capability built in. Well, some did, including the MDC. Somewhere along the line the cops were told that what they said on the phone patches couldn't be monitored on scanners. Only they could because when a channel pair was used for a phone patch, it dropped out of the trunk rotation and worked as a conventional radio channel. Lots of interesting, not related to work, phone conversations were heard.
We had the same set up on our UHF system for phone patches in the' 80's.



I don't know why I'm so intrigued with the Mets and their story. I wish that there was more info on the net about them.

I'm still looking for more pics and video.

Thanks again.
 

ecps92

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WQPW689

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MDC

If you haven't read it yet, see if you can't get a hold of this title:

Legends of Winter Hill: Cops, Con Men, and Joe McCain, the Last Real Detective

by Jay Atkinson, 2005, Random House/Crown publishers.

Lotsa local color here, and the story's about a noted MDC detective, Joe McCain. There's a peripheral tie-in with Whitey Bulger, as he had become big back then in the news, but the thing's really about McCain's career with the District Commission Police Dept.

Try it, you'll like it!
 

garys

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It was (mostly) motor cycle officers and they did traffic enforcement and VIP escorts. Similar to what the BPD MOP units did and still do, only I'm not sure that BPD still calls them MOP.

Speaking of BPD, at one time there were district motorcycle officers and MOP motorcycle officers, but I don't think that there are any district motorcycles left, they all work out of Special Ops on Edgewood Street in Roxbury. That's where the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, SWAT, the Bomb Squad, etc., are based.

What were the TOPS Units?
 

garys

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Gotcha

This is a picture that is on Mark Rubino's website.

http://home.comcast.net/~mmrubino/METS4/MDC Police Blue and Orange Cruiser 1.JPG

On the passenger-side rear is the low-band whip. What is the thing on the driver side? It looks like some sort of light...
It was a light, green I think. They had those into the late 60s at least. I don't recall what the purpose was, but as I recall they were lit up at night even if the emergency lights weren't on. Maybe for visibility.

I'd put that picture in the early 1960s, before they adopted the Twin Sonic light bar.
 
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