Police Officer Ann Tapp and Ann Vanderpool

I have found many conflicting accounts of who was the first female police officer in the department. Part of the problem was that the early female officers were sworn in like their male counterparts but assumed different duties, mostly administrative. During World War Two, many females were hired within the department for administrative tasks. These women were not officers however. The claim of first female officer probably belongs to Officer Ann Tapp, who was hired by the department in 1940 and worked for the department for over 26 years. While I know she was classified as an officer, I do not know what year she was sworn in as one.

I did locate paperwork which indicated that Ann Vanderpool was sworn in as a police officer on April 27, 1942. Ms. Vanderpool received the same pension benefits as the male officers but I could not locate any payroll records to find out if she was paid the same. While neither went out on patrol and both handled mostly administrative duties, there is no doubt that either Ann Tapp or Ann Vanderpool was the first female police officer.

The Kidnapping of Officer George Stauch

On June 15, 1944, at 6:30 a.m., Officer George Stauch was on patrol when he observed two subjects walking near the intersection of Stadium and Edgewood. He made contact with these men as he was suspicious about their activities. After questioning the men, he decided to take them into the police station for further investigation. He placed the men into the patrol vehicle and began driving to the police station. Officer Stauch obviously felt the two were up to some kind of criminal activity, but at the time could not substantiate what it might be.

What Officer Stauch did not know, was that these two men, Nelson King and Marion Buczynski, were escapees from Cassidy Lake Correctional Facility. Cassidy Lake was a minimal security detention facility, west of Ann Arbor.

As he transported the two to the police station, he was overpowered by them at Main and Packard. One of the men was seated in the back seat of the car and he grabbed Officer Stauch around the neck, choking him. The prisoner in the front seat then took Officer Stauch's service revolver from him, as he struggled to keep it in his holster. Officer Stauch was then held at gunpoint, while one of the prisoners took control of the patrol car. Officer Stauch attempted to signal a passing bakery truck driver to his plight, but the kidnappers observed this, punched him in the mouth and told him if he tried it again he would be killed.

The suspects then drove out of town to an abandoned farm in Ypsilanti Township. They stripped Officer Stauch down to his shorts, tied him up, placed a gag in his mouth and left him in the farmhouse. Stauch was bound so tightly that his hands and feet went numb.

At this point Stauch was clad only in his undershorts and shoes. After the suspects fled, he managed to roll out of the house and then get to his feet. He literally hopped over a mile down Crane Road, before a passing motorist stopped and untied him. Stauch was then taken by the motorist to the State Police Post and from there to the hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises.

The convicts had fled with Officer Stauch's gun, uniform and patrol car. One of the prisoners was actually wearing Officer Stauch's uniform, as they drove to Detroit, where both men were from.

By this time, investigating officers discovered the identity of the men and advised the Detroit Police Department that they could be headed to their city, as they had been seen in Dearborn, shortly after the kidnapping. Detroit Police then led an intensive search for the suspects and the missing patrol car, which they believed the suspects would abandon as soon as they reached their destination.

Both King and Buczynski had extensive police records. They had previously escaped from a juvenile home for offenses committed in their teen years. King also escaped during a trial in 1937 as he tossed his coat over the head of the officer that was leading him to the county jail but he was later recaptured. Buczynski and his father, Zigmund, were convicted in a street holdup and Buczynski was serving his sentence for his part in the crime when he escaped.

The next day the patrol car was discovered on Detroit's westside near the intersection of West Fort and Military. Detroit Police continued their search for the suspects but were unsuccessful, until June 26.

On June 26, 1944, Marion Buczynski attempted a robbery of Nates Diamond Bar, at 5601 Grand River in Detroit. Officer Ernest Bolt, of the Detroit Police Department, was in the bar off duty. He observed Buczynski produce Officer Stauch's revolver, point it at the owner of the bar and rob him.

Bolt then fired his service revolver once at Buczynski, who then fled the bar. Bolt pursued Buczynski into the street and fired twice more at him. Both bullets struck Buczynski, one hitting him in the chest and the other in the stomach. Buczynski died in the alley behind the bar. Near his hand lay Officer Stauch's service revolver.

It was later found, that prior to this robbery, Buczynski had robbed three other bars in quick succession. These holdups were successful and on the way to Nates Diamond Bar he stole a car, which was found near the bar. Once informed of the shooting, Officer Stauch, accompanied by Chief Mortenson, went to Detroit to identify Buczynski's body.

King could not be located until November 2, 1944, when he was arrested by the FBI in Wyoming, for impersonating an Army Officer. He was held in Wyoming to serve time for charges there and was not sent back to Michigan until 1947. King was arraigned on the kidnapping charge on March 19, 1947. King was convicted of the kidnapping and was sentenced to 25 years to life in the Southern Michigan Prison at Jackson.

Pilot buzzes Burns Park

An interesting case concluded on April 2, 1946, when a former navy pilot, David Baldwin, pled guilty to reckless driving of an airplane. Baldwin was buzzing Burns Park in his airplane, when nervous “housewives” called to complain. Baldwin was charged with the crime and fined $26.50. This was the first, and probably the only case, ever heard before the local court for airplane traffic.

Death of Officer Kenneth Payne

On June 4, 1946, Officer Kenneth Payne was killed in an accident while on motorcycle patrol. Officer Payne was on Washtenaw near Stadium, when a car in front of him turned into his path. Officer Payne tried to avoid the collision and swerved off the roadway. The driver of the vehicle, James Schulz, was turning left onto Sheridan and evidently did not see Officer Payne.

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Officer Payne was passing Schulz on the left and was abreast of him, when he turned, forcing Officer Payne off the roadway. As Officer Payne swerved, he left the roadway and careened into an embankment. The impact sent him flying from his motorcycle and he landed thirty feet from it. Officer Payne suffered a compound skull fracture, several broken ribs and a punctured left lung. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died eight hours later.

Officer Payne had joined the police department in 1941 and left for service in the military during World War Two. He had rejoined the police department in 1945. The day of the accident was his first day back to work, after a two week vacation. Officer Payne was married and had a three year old daughter at the time of his death. His wife was also pregnant and would soon deliver a baby boy.

When researching this book, it was found that the death of Officer Payne had gone unrecognized and was forgotten by the department. I became aware of it through an old newspaper clipping and was surprised that no one at the department knew of it.

Officer Andy Zazula made arrangements to have Officers Payne's name added to the Police Officer's Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Contacting the family, however, to inform them of this would prove to be an arduous task for Officer Zazula. Mrs. Payne had remarried and her last name was changed, making the search difficult. Searching through old records at a local church, Officer Zazula was able to obtain the information he needed to make contact with the family.

Both of Officer Payne's children were extremely grateful for Officer Zazula's efforts and Officer Payne's son proudly attended the memorial service in Washington D.C., when his father's name was added to the wall.