From: segaloco via COFF <email@example.com>
To: COFF <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [COFF] Western Electric Police?
Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 18:38:01 +0000 [thread overview]
Message-ID: <tbm5y4X-ko0TCZ9Ci4YJbJsQvbKnje1ykivUt1XORnkXt7POGFUegjzA-bVf7QN52haNwkJHfuzmTNxbSAgUE_bb-gJQ7XSj2nox6417D9oemail@example.com> (raw)
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Sorry this is very tangential to the list but figured some folks here might have some knowledge just what with our proximity to Western Electric lore by way of UNIX. Still, didn't feel UNIX-y at all so COFF instead of TUHS.
Anywho, spotted something particularly interesting in my rounds of checking for eBay postings: https://www.ebay.com/itm/385635333789?hash=item59c9a8369d:g:8TMAAOSw3kJkblSY&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA4M%2FP8b5kKk64A30kXb0bB1sZy9A0eEQzMUL8bVTPoYjC3VdEXbOk2GQ3Grktr7%2FZT3M0y4tBLshdcwOlJh68NeF13w%2FYoVGjoHJpLcnyYO4W77BlnQStD7OFzVSokh7ioSPoUDMhkWMCqemYOVMmp6KZdFBaQvejJkzq8%2FFtu%2B4l%2BLxXqGd3ehArIPDTRWszVzIGdTOVo7mVGxlDMfnmH4ioZEIuT48KYyq8eyudiJrsUKmTX7w54XXS%2BhsMxSk6RmHWWLtWAWK%2BR6%2Fi4SXsLXLgvrRK6EGSPODC2lgO%2Bs%2FT%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR4bapPCJYg
After the link is an auction for a police badge, with the word "Police" on it, but also labeled as "Western Electric, Co.", along with the seal of North Carolina. I did a bit of searching and while I could find plenty of WECo badges labeled security, plant protection, etc. I can't find any others specifically using the word "Police". The latter term has governmental implications that other terms do not, and it's got me kinda curious if there was ever a time WECo or the Bell System at large actually had authority from the government to accredit their own personnel as "police" and not simply as security, guards, etc. and what sort of legal statutes would be involved. I'm not interested in purchasing this either way, but it'd be amusing if this is some facsimile, I don't know that reporting it as such would bubble up through eBay's systems though.
Also given the sensitivity of discussions of law enforcement these days, I'm simply interested in whether there is any accessible documentation or history of WECo and/or Bell's relationship with formal U.S. law enforcement agencies, not any discussion on the propriety of this. If you want to chat philosophy, email me privately, but that sort of public discussion is too sensitive for me to want to wade into in mixed company.
- Matt G.
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