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1920s Police Motorcycle with Sidecar Jail

1920s Police Motorcycle with Sidecar Jail

In this humorous yet intriguing historical photo from the 1920s, we catch a glimpse of a unique law enforcement innovation used by the traffic police in Los Angeles—a police motorcycle equipped with a sidecar jail designed to transport traffic offenders.


The image captures a policeman seated on a motorcycle with a peculiar sidecar that doubles as a tiny jail cell, measuring a mere four square feet. This "portable prison" was ingeniously attached to the motorcycle, allowing the officer to keep the offender close at hand during transportation to the police station.


The sidecar jail served a practical purpose beyond transportation; it ensured the detainee remained within reach of the officer, enabling quick access to the cell's keys. Additionally, the close proximity likely provided the detained driver with an ample view of the road and a rather unique perspective on their unexpected ride to the station.


This inventive approach by the Los Angeles traffic police highlights the resourcefulness and creativity employed in law enforcement during the early 20th century, offering a fascinating glimpse into the unconventional methods used to maintain traffic order and address violations during that era.



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