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James M. Kinsey

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Sergeant James M. Kinsey, Huntington Park Police Department, is a 24-year veteran of the law enforcement. James M. Kinsey is the author of Huntington Park (Images of America).

According to the book description of Huntington Park, “Originally part of the Lugo family’s vast Rancho San Antonio, Huntington Park evolved at the beginning of the 20th century because enterprising developers A. L. Burbank and E. V. Baker gained control of 100 former rancho acres called the Sunrise Tract. First renamed La Park, this land just south of Los Angeles was later called Huntington Park, after Burbank and Baker granted tycoon Henry Huntington a right-of-way to put his railway line along Randolph Street in 1902. Incorporated in 1906, the city of Huntington Park became a significant freight station for cargo coming to and going from Los Angeles. A working-class suburb throughout its first century, the nicknamed “City of Perfect Balance” saw a population shift beginning in the 1970s. Latinos have assimilated into the community’s fabric, revitalizing the busy central business district of Pacific Boulevard. Huntington Park is a central hub of the Latino community in Los Angeles County.”

 

One reader of Huntington Park said, “My grandpa (79) and my dad (54) LOVED this book and all the pictures. They can remember so much of Huntington Park already, but seeing the look on their faces and they looked through the photos in this book, and the memories and history, it was great. It was like they were home again. I love these books on all the different regions. I have found so much useful information and history on all our surrounding areas from these books. Well done. What a great idea to have books on all different cities, towns, neighborhoods - it seems they don't leave anyone out. Thanks for making my grandpa and my dad two very happy boys.”

One reader of Huntington Park said, “I lived in Huntington Park from 1953-1968 and went to Middleton Street School, Gage Junior High, and Huntington Park High School and then I moved away and only returned once about 7 years later. I have a lot of memories of Huntington Park so was interested to read this book and I learned a lot about the city that I hadn't known. I still have all my HPHS year books from those years. We lived on Roseberry Avenue which was a few blocks from the Owl Market on the corner of Santa Fe and Florence Avenue - that's gone now as are a lot of the places that were familiar. The place is totally different now, about 99% Hispanic; I've heard even the city officials speak nothing but Spanish at their meetings. Pacific Blvd. was the place to be - Sav-Ons sold ice cream cones for 5 cents each. It was a mostly Caucasian area but I went to school with a good number of Mexican and Black kids as well. The book brought it all back. My Dad worked for General Motors in South Gate - that's gone now too. As is my Dad. So many memories. Great book written by a person who really seems to like the town. When I visited in 1976, it had really gone downhill, trash was everywhere on Pacific Avenue. It really hurt to see that. I never returned. The book makes it sounds like it has made a come-back and is a nice place again.

If you have any interest in Huntington Park, this is definitely the book for you. And if you are living there now, please take good care of it. Many wonderful people have walked down Pacific Avenue before you.”


Huntington Park (Images of America: California)
James M. Kinsey  More Info

About the Huntington Park Police Department
The City of Huntington Park was founded in 1906 and from it's inception, has had it's own Municipal Police Department. Originally a one man Department with a City Marshal, the department grew as did the City. Following World War One, the size of the Department increased to a Marshal and four Deputies. The new Deputies wore their Army uniforms as Police uniforms.

The Policemen remained Deputies until 1932. The title "Deputy" was changed to "Policeman" in 1933. Following the Long Beach Earthquake of 1933, where many buildings in Huntington Park were damaged, the Huntington Park Police Department was built on the Southeast corner of Gage and Pacific. During this period, the majority of the police officers on the Department were motorcycle traffic officers. Their uniforms were tan while the regular Patrol Officers began wearing blue. When a motorcycle officer was hired on, he was issued a badge and a hat badge. He provided his weapon, uniform and motorcycle.

Police cars didn't have police radios so several "Police Call Boxes were positioned around the City. Whenever the station received a call for assistance, the Police Operator would activated a red light which was atop several tall towers throughout the City. The Policeman, on patrol, would need to routinely look for the tower light and when seeing the light, he would call the station from one of the many call boxes. This system was discontinued in the mid-1940's when the Department was equipped with car radios and a main station radio however, the call boxes remained until the mid 1970's.

During World War Two, many of our Policemen volunteered for Military service. The Department supplemented the patrol force and the Civil Defense Force with Home Volunteers. These Volunteers wore a "Reserve Police" armband over their civilian clothing while serving their assignments. In 1943, the Huntington Park Police began wearing Police Patches on their uniform shirts. The Patrol Officer's patch depicted "Electrical Bolts" representing the newly equipped police cars with radios. The Motorcycle Officer's patch depicted the 'winged Wheel" of the Motor Officer Following World War Two, the Department retained many of the war time volunteers and trained them as Reserve Officers.

The Reserve Officers were issued their own style of badge, however, they wore the same patch as the regular officers. The new Civic Center was built in 1950 and while the Police Facility was being completed for the following year, the temporary Police Department was installed in the basement of the City Hall. The jail cells are still in the basement of City Hall today.

Source: huntingtonparkpd.org

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