Police Constable Stephen Hall, who works in Greater Manchester Police’s control room in Clayton Brook, was removed from his place of work by detectives.
A source said: “Two detectives walked into the room and they asked him to log off his computer, marched him out, emptied his locker, put him in a police car and drove him off.
“He has not been in work since and has put in a sick note.
“There are strict guidelines when arresting someone at work, so the allegations must be very serious.”
In a statement Greater Manchester Police said: “A serving GMP officer has been arrested as part of an investigation into the historic sexual abuse of a child in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
“The 50-year-old officer has been placed on police bail and is not currently carrying out front-line duties while the investigation is on going.”
Clayton Brook is a major call centre dealing with 999 calls and crime reports plus internal calls.
It is also a centre for public order training with purpose built facilities including a main arena with buildings, seats, tiered seating and stairways.
Firearms training facilities are also there including an indoor range and 180-degree live fire range.”