In "The Wire", cops were still using typewriters in 2002?

Does anyone know why, in the HBO series "The Wire", the cops in Baltimore are still using typewriters instead of computers? The show isn't that old (2002), and as far as I can tell, the story doesn't take place in the past. Were cops really using such obsolete equipment back in 2002, or am I missing something?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No idea about Baltimore. My larger department had manuals for a long time. As a detective we first got a word processing computer stand alone PC, not even networked, in 1996. Only had 14 computers for 50 detectives with one printer.

    When I got promoted back into patrol in 1998 my new district had no PC, just our dumb terminals.

    We had old manual typewriters until we got 2004. We still could not do things like arrest reports on a computer, had to use the good old Royal.

    BTW when the department decided to try to replace the manuals in 1988 they found no US maker anymore and had to special order from Brazil with a US qwerty.

    Believe me when typing up a detective scene report which could run 30 pages, you were very careful and left plenty of room to add a sentence here and there.

    The first year of the wire was very accurate portraying police work and life in high rise project buildings in the 70's, 80' and 90's.

    Source(s): edit: just looked and saw you got a answer. His "source" is my old posted profile. He just copied it a long time and many names used ago.
  • MikeTL
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Typewritters still have their place. We used ours to fill out identification cards

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Yes. Did you not know that police departments are chronically underfunded?

  • 8 years ago


    Source(s): I am a retired police officer. I retired as a sergeant, after 29 years, from a very large department, about 12,000 officers. I was a patrol officer for 4 years in a very diverse area. I was a tactical officer in the high rise project areas of my city. We called it vertical patrol in that we walked the the stairways of the high rises most of the time. I did that for 5 years and was promoted by test to detective. I worked violent crime (homicide, sex, officer involved shootings, robbery, kidnapping, serious non property incidents) for 11 years until I was promoted to sergeant. I worked as a street supervisor, a bicycle patrol supervisor and a desk sergeant/watch commander. During my time as a tactical officer and a detective I was a unit representative for the police union. I have a B.A in English and an M.S. in Law Enforcement Administration....
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.