Police Call's Gene Hughes dead at 80

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N9JIG

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Gene Hughes, originator of the much beloved Police Call radio directories has died.

Here is his obituary as published in the LA Times:


COSTIN, Gene Born in Louisville, KY November 25, 1927. Gene Costin moved with his parents at the age of 12 to Los Angeles and loved this community. He lived a full and accomplished life. As a young man Gene developed interests in politics and astronomy and closely followed developments in both areas throughout his life. He was a passionate civil libertarian and supporter of many liberal causes and other charities. He was well known in the two-way radio communications business and renowned to radio hobbyists nationwide for Police Call, which he published under the name Gene C. Hughes. After retirement he served long hours as a volunteer at the LAPD, for which he received a Volunteer of the Year award from the State of California. He was loved and will be missed by a wonderful family- his devoted wife Mitzi, three children, and their spouses-Cathy Costin (Mitchell Reback), Robert Costin (Yves Yarborox), and John Costin (Rachel Phipps). He was proud of his four grandchildren, Isaac Reback, Mia Reback, Silas Phipps-Costin, and Judah Phipps-Costin, and he adored his dog Murray. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Tower Cancer Research Foundation or a charity of your choice. Services will be private at Gene's request.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on 8/3/2008
 

Grog

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I would say he's done more for this hobby than just about anyone. I'll have to crack open a classic police call and thumb through it just for old times sake.
 

b7spectra

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Gene Hughes was to pre-internet to what Radio Reference is to internet.

For many years I was a contributor to Police Call and Gene had THE total reference books available. With the advent of the internet, his books, unfortunately, went by the wayside. I too have many of his Police Call directories in my basement, and I will have to thumb through them in rememberance of him.

Thank you, Gene, for all you did for us.
 

Grog

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I'm sure some of you remember the issue of "beyond police call". I could be wrong but I think it was only put out one year and the info rolled into the regular police call books afterwards. I still remember the shock of seeing that new book, grabbed one and had it rung up at the local ratshack within one minute :lol:
 

Steveradio

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Gene was a person that took pride in what he did, personally responded to all information sent into him and each letter was personalized. He always talked of his wife and family often. I never spoke to or even met him but threw e-mail and letters and once in awhile Instant Message but could appreciate what he did .
From the 2001 edition "POLICE CALL" Story;

POLICE CALL is the product of a combination of computer technology and thousands of hours of painstaking research. An important contribution comes in the form of thousands of helpful readers who furnish additional information and data: "I read every letter, " Hughes says, "Because I'm a reporter of facts, Our readers are the experts." (from POLICE CALL edition 2001 The "Police Call Story").

"Our readers are the experts" That line always stuck with me.

Hope his family is doing well and the name Gene Hughes will never be forgotten in the scanning hobby.

Thank You Gene
Rest In Peace
 

unitcharlie

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Rest in Peace Gene.... the first tool I had to make my scanning work better was a Police Call book from what seems like a hundred years ago.... I obviously have an affinity for rr.com, but I still use some of Gene's books to help me find things....
 

Stavro35

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I submitted material to him over the years.He took the time to write back and thank me. I thought that was very cool. His publication "Beyond police call" was a big help to me. Not just Police call.
 

RayAir

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I remember when me and my parents went into a RS when I was 12 or 13 and they bought me a Police Call. I didn't even have a scanner, but I read all the information in it and soon enough I had a scanner. I still scan public safety, business, aviation and anything else I pick up at age 31!
R.I.P Gene.
 

SAR923

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RIP, Gene. I think I bought my first Police Call in 1968, while living in LA. It was about 30 pages and was the ONLY reference for those who wanted to listen to monitor radios (there were no scanners back then). He grew that small business into a great success and many of us would never have gotten into radio monitoring if it wasn't for him. Lindsay and the contibutors here have now taken on the mantle first forged by Gene Hughes.
 

LouisvilleScanMan

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I didn't know he was from Louisville! That's too bad about him. I got my second scanner (RS Pro-2015) and my first Police Call volume in 1999 at the age of 12. I'm on my 4th edition (2005) now. I did upgrade every 2 yrs until 2006 when I found RR.
 

pawsrock

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I to can remember getting my first Police Call I got into scanners in the early 80's and was always keeping my eye out for the newest one. When I did see a new one it was one of the only reasons to go to Radioshack to buy something. Thank You Gene for helping me with the world of Scanning
Ron Fone
 

DaveIN

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Going to miss Gene! I hope he approved of what the hobby has evolved into and continues on in his memory.

SK...
 

N9JIG

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I used to buy Police Call as soon as they came out every year until I became a Contributor. I then used to get a complete set free each year.

Most years, even after I started getting them for free, I would hear from someone that a particular RS store had them in early and I would run down and get one a few weeks before the UPS guy would come. Usually it was the Evergreen Park Radio Shack that had them first for some reason, and I would make the 80 mile round trip and be waiting there for the store to open.

I always had a current copy in the car and another at home. I would usually throw the last year's copy in my go-bag at work so I could refer to it in the squad (I always had a scanner in the squad when I was on the road). Even after I started buying Percon disks and with sites like CARMA and RadioReference the Police Call books were still a great reference and useful tool. I was sad to see them go!

I had the good fortune to meet Gene a few times over the years, he was always gracious and easy to talk to. The first time we met (thru a common friend) he remembered some off the contributions I had sent in a couple years before that.

All in all, a good guy and a real asset to the scanner hobby!
 

gatorhater

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I learned a lot from Gene. He was one of the first persons who helped me to understand the basics of scanning in the good old days. In the good old days, when trunking was rather new. I looked forward to the new edition of Police Call each year until 2001. Gene really helped to grow the hobby. Gene you will truly be missed.

Rest in Peace, Gene. Thanks for all you taught me from about scanning. I am grateful for all you did for me.
 

tglendye

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I was 12 or 13 (mid '80's) when I got into scanning and loved the Police Call books as well. I would run to RS to buy a new one "hot off the press" when they were published. The time and effort he spent helped many people. My prayers and sympathies go to his family and friends.

Just curious if anyone knows if his interest stayed w/ the hobby (I figure it must have). Was he a member of this site?

Todd
 
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