7. 1910 - 1916

George Schanz resigned from the force August 1, 1910 after two years service. He was replaced by Theodore Handt who remained in the department for less than one week. Handt was replaced by DeWitt Hathaway on October 1 [1910]. In November, the city purchased five rubber raincoats for the patrolmen. Matthew Max left on January 1, 1911 after about four years service to go to the Sheriff’s Department. Rex Burnett was appointed to fill the vacancy.

At the Council meeting of August 21, 1911 the Council passed the first ordinances governing motor vehicle traffic. With few exceptions, much of this ordinance is incorporated in the present-day traffic laws. Speed was restricted to ten miles an hour in the business district and fifteen miles an hour in the residential sections.

The police department had no vehicle to use in the enforcement of the ordinance. The Police Committee of the Council on September 6, 1911 recommended the purchase of a motorcycle for the use by the police. The committee was authorized to make such purchase and a motorcycle was bought from Staebler & Sons at a cost of $281.58. This was the department’s first motor vehicle. Patrolman Gustave Meyer was assigned to ride the motorcycle.

In December 1911, DeWitt Hathaway resigned and Reuben Armbruster, who had formerly served in the department from 1894 to 1901, was appointed to the position. Zenus Sweet left the force in April 1912 after five years of continuous service as patrolman and was replaced by Edward Kuhn.

The sergeant and patrolmen of the force petitioned the Council on May 16, 1912 for an increase in salary because of the increase in the cost of living. A 10% increase was granted bringing the salaries for sergeant to $80.00 a month and patrolmen to $70.00 a month. Council action also stipulated that first year men receive $65.00 a month and upon completion of their first year to be raised to the regular rate for patrolmen.

On December 2, 1912, George W. Langford with a group of citizens petitioned the Council for a motor driver conveyance to be used by the police department. This was referred the Police Committee of the Council who reported that they deemed it necessary to equip the police department with a “Police Auto Patrol Wagon” and because of the necessary expenditure a special election would be called on April 7, 1913 to determine if the patrol car should be purchased. This resolution was delayed by Mayor Walz at the next Council meeting. The mayor did not deem it necessary for the department to have a car for its use and he did not desire to cause any more financial strain on the taxpayers. Again on February 3, 1913, the Police Committee of the Council attempted to put through the purchase of a car for the police but lost by vote of the councilmen.

A new mayor took office in April 1913, Dr. R. G. MacKenzie. His first communication to the Council was a letter instructing the Police Committee to purchase a new motorcycle to replace the one that was worn out. At the next meeting, the committee reported to the Council that they had come “to the conclusion that the purchase of a light automobile, cost not to exceed $500 over and above what may be realized from the sale of the old motorcycle, would be much better than the purchase of a new motorcycle, as a light car can be used to stop speeding and also as a light patrol wagon.” The committee recommended that they be instructed and authorized to make such purchase at once. The Council approved this action and a Studebaker EMF-30 Roadster was bought. It was a second-hand car, previously owned by a Doctor Palmer of Chelsea. The department had only two members who could operate a car at the time, Edward Kuhn and Gustave Meyer.

Meanwhile the election of a new mayor resulted in the appointment of a new chief of police. John T. Keeny [Kenny] 5was given the office and provision was made to add another patrolman. Freeme Stark was appointed as patrolman bringing the department up to nine men. Stark left the department in November and Edward Blumhardt replaced him in December 1913. Mayor MacKenzie requested the department be increased by one man and the Council approved the request, Frank Kiehl [Keihl]5 receiving the appointment on September 8, 1914, as patrolman. The object of this additional man was to have a patrolman in the fifth ward or North Side at all times.

Heretofore, the Department had one telephone in the station. The Police Committee of the Council recommended that a switchboard be placed in the station and five call-box telephones installed in business areas creating a call system that is in use today.
Another new mayor in May 1915 resulted in another change of police administration.

Mayor Sauer selected Frank Pardon as chief and Emanuel Sodt and Earl L. Walker as patrolmen to succeed Rex Burnett and Edward Kuhn. The mayor also recommended that another man be added to the force, thus providing a patrolman on State Street during the daytime. Marlend G. Howard was named for the new position and started on duty in this department on June 20, 1915 and is still on the force.

Chief Pardon’s personal car was used by the department because the police car was in bad shape. The city paid for gasoline and upkeep of the chief’s car until a new car was provided. A motorcycle was purchased to relieve this condition in April 1916.

The policemen petitioned the Council in May of that year to grant a twenty per cent increase in salaries as living costs were rising higher and higher. A ten per cent increase was granted bringing the salary of a patrolman to $77 a month, effective November 16 [1916].

As stated before, the police office was in the basement of the City Hall and because the office space was inadequate and in a poor location, steps were taken to have the office moved into the first floor with the other city offices. The office acquired had been occupied by the mayor. It consisted of two rooms, one of which was to be used as the chief’s office.