Tuesday, October 11, 2005
02:00 AM Oct. 11, 2005 PT
It was the best day amid the worst years of Gene Hughes' life. He was 13 years old and seeking escape from the loneliness of a Los Angeles foster home by playing with an AM radio his uncle had mailed him. Tuning around the dial, he picked up something different from the dance hall music and campy radio dramas that normally spilled from the tinny speaker -- something unexpectedly genuine. "I suddenly heard strange voices, women broadcasting addresses and numeric codes," he recalls.
He quickly figured out that he'd somehow tuned into Los Angeles Police Department dispatchers crisply directing the city's black-and-white police cars to real robberies, domestic disturbances and traffic accidents throughout the City of Angels.
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