1900 - 1950
The Department acquires automobiles, motorcycles, radios and other technology, establishes a Training Academy, and becomes a professional, modern police organization.
1900: Elizabeth Dunn (Hardy) is hired as the first female member of the San Antonio Police Department. Her duties are to monitor female prisoners.
The rural, frontier crimes and dangers of the 19th c (Indian/bandit raids, cattle rustling, gunslingers, and so on) were replaced by more urban crime and problems: bank robbers who used fast getaway cars, organized crime and corruption, alcohol (Prohibition) and narcotics, traffic accidents, and labor unrest - a product of industrialization. Although there was a continuation of frontier attitudes towards law and order as late as the 1930s (the WPA Guide to Texas quoted a Texas jurist as saying, "In Texas the 1st question to be decided by a jury in any homicide case is: Should the deceased have departed?"), technology served to facilitate the dissemination of more accepted (nationally) attitudes. In 1900, San Antonio residents were barely linked by telephone to someone a few blocks away; by 1950 San Antonio had a television station broadcasting national news every evening. The Police Department that entered the 20th century on horseback found itself 50 years later with an aerial surveillance unit, radio-equipped patrol cars and an urban expressway system.
SAPD in 1901
Gray-uniformed SAPD officers c. 1900, outside the Market
Mounted Patrol 1903
Traffic Police on motorcycle, c. 1934.