Police & Fire Academy

Norwood Street and 18th Avenue

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From Charles McGrath:

It was built in 1931 and turned into an Technical Laboratory and Police and Fire Academy in 1936. The children of Newark Firemen and Policemen were allowed to use this facility. As a teenager I worked out in their gym located on its second floor. This was around 1950. It was a lot of fun and it was very professional. They had steam baths and much of the equipment that is seen in today's gyms. I would box with my friends using 16 oz. gloves. This convinced all of us that boxing was not the way to fame and fortune.

Back in the late 1940's my father gave me a tour of the laboratory with one of his police friends. I saw a lot of interesting things. The one thing I remember vividly was a death mask. It was the death mask of the infamous Indiana farm boy John Dillinger. He became the FBI's first Public Enemy Number One and was shot to death in 1934. The next room that we entered was locked. My father's friend found the key and opened the door. That was a big mistake! In that room was the arsenal for the police department. There were all sorts of guns, ammunition and gosh only knows what else. Unknown to us the room was alarmed. Within a matter of minutes we were joined by two radio car policemen that were dispatched to the building. The four policemen and myself decided to call it a day.

Today I believe it is the Headquarters for the Newark Fire Department