Tag Archives: Francis Ford

Made in Berkeley: “Officer 444,” featuring August Vollmer

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One of the most progressive lawmen of the early 20th century, Vollmer was instrumental in establishing the nation’s first motorized police units, encouraged the hiring of women and African-Americans into police ranks, eliminated use of the ‘third degree’, and considered drug prohibition a waste of police resources. He was, in sum, the answer to the question How Berkeley Can You Be? before the question was ever posed.

All this, of course, is no news to local history buffs, who are already well aware of Vollmer’s importance to both the city of Berkeley and to the development of modern law enforcement. Less, however, is known about his small but fascinating role in the motion picture industry. … Continue reading »

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