The use of these special call boxes were first introduced during World War II as a special box for citizen's to report suspicious activity during the war.The boxes were gradually phased out during the 50's only to be reintroduced in the 60's. the units in the 60's were continued in the silver outer shell and were put in remote locations that had no phone service readily available These sites included around Lake Merritt and the Oakland Hills. These boxes rand directly into the Police substations from 1941 thru 1954 and from 1954-1970 to dispatch and later the City Hall operator. In 1970 the Citizen call boxes were completely removed
Inside of the Citizen Boxes were stenciled the Box number. This allowed the dispatcher/ operator to identify the location of the incoming call. Boxes were opened via a key that was "locked" into the door lock via what is known as a trap lock. to remove the key, it took a special release key.
The porcelain plates on the boxes were made by Ferro Enamel in Oakland. The plates were fastened over the words "Police Station" on the standard Police Call Box. When the Citizen Boxes were no longer needed, the plate was removed and the outer shell was repainted Blue.
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