13. 1935 - 1938

In July 1935, the department was increased by two men. James Oglivy and Conrad Miller were appointed as the new members bringing the total to thirty-one men. George Bessinger left in August and was replaced by Frederick Foster on September 1 [1935]. Charles Kapp resigned on November 1st, after fourteen years service, George Stauch replacing him. Calvin Wolf was named to the [Police] Commission to fill the unexpired term of Lawrence Leever on March 5, 1936.

In June 1936 one of the police cars was stolen. About 10:30 on a Saturday evening it was noticed as missing. It was a new car having been purchased a few days before. Nothing was heard of the car until a week later when it was recovered in Raton, New Mexico. It appeared that the thief had driven the car to Milan where he exchanged license plates, then went to Coldwater, Michigan and broke and entered the State School for the Blind, taking twenty-two typewriters. When the car was recovered in New Mexico it contained twelve of the typewriters. Sergeant Norman Cook and Officer George Camp, who were on vacations at the time, made the trip to New Mexico and returned the car and typewriters.

The Junior Chamber of Commerce through one of their civic projects wished to present to the City a police radio. Meetings were held with the Chief, [Police] Commissioners and Police Committee of the Council and on July 6, 1936 the Council acted favorably on the move, instructing the City Clerk to file the necessary application papers with the Federal Communications Commission for a construction permit. The Junior Chamber of Commerce would build and finance the construction of the transmitter and present it to the city.

They employed Stocker S. Sturgeon as engineer and construction was started. Upon completing the transmitter, arrangements were made by the city to retain Stocker Sturgeon as permanent radio engineer. On February 9, 1937 Sturgeon went on duty in this capacity.

The police radio represented a capital outlay of $1,500.00 and was given to the city outright. Financing this project was done by subscription among the merchants while many townspeople also contributed. It took three months to construct the transmitters for the cars and the main transmitter. Having completed the transmitters for the patrol cars, Sturgeon immediately began installation. Two cars were equipped with transmitters and receivers while a third car was equipped with a receiver only. With the set-up complete, radio communication was introduced to the department at nine o’clock on the morning of April 17, 1937 and has been in constant use since. It transmitted at the frequency of 33,1000 kilocycles as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission.

When operation of the radio began, a temporary aerial was used. It was a bamboo fishing pole fastened to the east side, near the roof, of City Hall. Later, a wooden tower was constructed by the members of the department and erected on top of the building west of City Hall now occupied by the Water Department.

The value of the police radio cannot be expressed in dollars and cents. It is indispensable in modern police work, especially in an emergency.

Albert Baker resigned in January 1937 as did Ernest Pommerening the following month. They were replaced by Harrison Schlupe and Harry Krumrie, both going on duty on February 9 [1937]. Herbert L. Frisinger was appointed to the Police Commission that year.

Marlend G. Howard, who had been a patrolman for twenty-two years was promoted to the rank of patrol-sergeant on July 1, 1937.

The two rooms that the department occupied were getting crowded, more so with the new radio equipment in it. The Council requested that the quarters occupied by the Water Department in the rear of City Hall be made into the Police Headquarters, the Water Department to move into new quarters in the building west of the City Hall. The police moved into the new offices in October 1937. These offices included the main office or station, the Chief’s office, two detective’s offices and a large room that was intended to be used for a squad room but was made into an operator’s license bureau in April 1938. Almost all-new equipment was purchased for the offices, a counter for the main office and desks and chairs for the Chief’s and detective’s offices.

John S. Worley was appointed by Mayor Sadler as a member of the Police Commission on May 16, 1938.

Another man was added to the force in July, 1938, John Wagner Jr. receiving the appointment. Harold King left in October 1938 and Frederick Young replaced him on December 5 [1938].