Some members of the Chicago Police Department still use typewriters in their work, although most American offices got rid of them years ago and shifted to computers.
Keith Bebonis, who repairs the police’s typewriters, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the department uses two kinds of typewriters: IBM Wheelwriter 6 Series II and IBM Wheelwriter 1500.
Bebonis, whose dad started Bebon Office Machines & Supplies in the 1960s, said officers are usually “very heavy typists.”
“These machines are known to take abuse,” Bebonis said. “I don’t want it to seem like I’m saying they’re taking their frustrations out on the typewriter. But they’re just not very sensitive with these machines.”
Some of the department’s forms are still filled out with typewriters, including missing-person forms, towed-vehicle forms and search-warrant logs, a police spokesman said.
Bebon has had a contract with the department to repair 40 to 50 IBM typewriters a year. That contract also includes fixing time stamps and heat sealers. The city has paid Bebon $61,275 between 2007 and February 2020 for repairs, records show.
Bebonis’ family used to repair typewriters for other city agencies, including aviation, fire, water, transportation and the library. But now they only work on repairs for the police department.