5. The 1950's

The 1950's began with Chief Enkemann leading the department, which consisted of 60 officers. Chief Enkemann was the department's third longest serving police chief, serving from November 14, 1946, until July 1, 1960.

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The department has had a history of long serving police chiefs. Chief Thomas O'Brien served for 17 years, making him the longest serving police chief in the department's history. Chiefs Enkemann and Krasny served 14 years and this length of service is unheard of today. Chief Enkemann was well respected within the community and the department. He was a defender of his officers, but was not afraid to take a stance, which the officers may have viewed as unpopular. An example of this could have been his efforts in the release of the convicted murderer of Officer Clifford Stang, or the hiring of one of our first black officers, Clayton Collins.

Ann Arbor's First Black Officer

On May 18, 1950, Albert Wheeler, a local black activist, sent a letter to the police commission asking that they hire a “Negro” for employment within the police department. This letter was signed by a number of Ann Arbor residents.

In the letter, Wheeler stated the “employment of a Negro police officer by the City of Ann Arbor would be a very distinct advantage to the democratic growth of the whole community and it would be a very special incentive to Negro youths and adults.”

The letter list a number of other points and closed by stating, “We sincerely hope that you will accept this letter as both an honest effort on the part of a representative group of Negroes, to present our common point of view in this matter to the commission and also as an effort to bring about this democratic development as rapidly as possible.”

In return, the commission sent a letter to Mr. Wheeler stating, “As you are aware, the responsibility of this commission is to select from the candidates who present themselves, those who appear to have the most promise as potential police officers for the protection of the citizens of Ann Arbor. We assure you that our selection of men for the department has been, and will be, solely on the basis of merit and fitness.”

While the hiring of a black officer was not immediate, Clayton Collins, was hired by the commission on September 29, 1950 and worked for the department until late 1955. This hiring was certainly a first step for the department, when it came to the issue of hiring minorities. I interviewed Officer Collins in his Ann Arbor apartment in 1999 and was surprised to learn how little racism he encountered in the department and city.

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Officer Collins told me he was asked to apply to the department by Albert Wheeler (Wheeler would later become mayor). He stated Wheeler was always trying to get blacks to apply for positions which they had historically been barred. Officer Collins thought about it and finally applied. The department hired him and thus he became the first black officer in the city's history. (I should note that in Officer Camp's report, he stated a black man named Thomas Blackburn was an officer with the department at the turn of the century. Officer Collins had heard about Blackburn and thought he was half-Indian. In any event Officer Collins was the first black officer in the modern era.)

I was surprised to find that Officer Collins encountered very little racism, not only within the department, but within the city. Almost all of the officers were very accepting of him and none made a negative comment to him. At worst, some of the officers were distant to him. He stated his experience as an Ann Arbor Officer was very positive and enjoyable. He said Ann Arbor was a wonderful place in the 1950's.

Officer Collins left the department in 1955. He stated there was a lot of “grumbling” going on and attributed this to the officers attempting to start a police officer's association. He believed command thought this would diminish their power and were against it. He decided he needed to “move on” while he was still young enough to enter another field.

I have found the department to be very progressive when it came to the issue of hiring minorities and women. While one could argue that it took the department 76 years to hire its first black officer, this was still a progressive step at the time. When Officer Collins was hired in 1950, it was years before the civil rights movement.

During the beginning of the 1950's, officers became more vocal about their lack of pay, as did Chief Enkemann. The officers received no overtime pay and no extra pay for court duties. The officers worked a standard 50 hour work week and no additional pay was given for working over 40 hours, as officers were considered salaried employees. Officers also had to pay for their own uniforms and upkeep. It was not until the late 1950's that the officers received a uniform allowance, receiving $10 per month.

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Chief Enkemann implored the city council to raise the wages of the officers due to losing them to the private sector. After much debate, the city council devised a plan that would have paid the officers $1.50 a hour, per hour of overtime worked. Keep in mind that this was $1.50 a hour! Chief Enkemann stated that this was simply not enough to keep good officers and city council reacted with a 5% wage increase for the officers. While this was viewed only as a partial solution, it was still welcomed by the officers. This raise boosted the officers' pay from $3198 per year to $3357, an increase of $159.

Murder in Ann Arbor

While Ann Arbor had a low crime rate in the 1950's, a number of murders did occur. On August 12, 1950, Stanford Thompson was arrested for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Marjorie Williams. Thompson had been staying at the Ann Arbor Hotel after splitting up with Williams. On the night of the murder, he returned to her residence at 705 N. Fourth Ave., with a friend of theirs. After a night of riding around, and presumed drinking, they became involved in an argument. After dropping off both Williams and their friend, Thompson went back to his hotel and retrieved his .32 caliber automatic, then returned to Williams' residence.

After entering, Williams began making coffee for the two of them and at that point Thompson withdrew his revolver and shot her. Williams fled to a bathroom where Thompson continued to shoot at her and it was at this point that she was fatally hit and died.

Thompson fled the residence and confided to a friend as to what had happened. This friend notified the police and Thompson was arrested on a Greyhound bus, bound for Toledo. Thompson confessed to the crime and told detectives that after the shooting he walked south from the residence and hid the gun under a rock behind the McDonald's Ice Cream Company, at 1039 S. Main. An autopsy revealed Williams died from a single gunshot wound to the lung. She was 35 years old when she was murdered.

Another murder occurred on February 26, 1951, when Anita Valasquez was found dead in her apartment at 118 Catherine Street, with her throat slashed. The investigation immediately began to focus on her husband, Marcelo and his whereabouts. It was found that he had fled the state and detectives began a nationwide manhunt for him. A cousin of Valasquez, informed the Austin Texas Police Department of his location and they arrested him shortly thereafter.

Austin Police Detectives questioned Valasquez about the murder and he stated that he might have “cut his wife” during a violent argument. When asked if he killed her, he stated “I guess so.”

Upon his return to Ann Arbor his story had changed. He stated he had gone to his wife's apartment and had found her dead. He feared being blamed so he fled Ann Arbor. Eventually, Valasquez was found guilty of first degree murder.

The Murder of Nurse Pauline Campbell

No murder in the history of Ann Arbor was as shocking to the community as was the murder of Nurse Pauline Campbell, on September 16, 1951. This murder not only shocked the local community, but made national news as well.

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Nurse Campbell worked at St. Joseph's Hospital, which was then located on E. Ann Street. Ms. Campbell was walking home from work after completing her shift at 11:50 P.M. As she neared her rooming house at 1424 Washington Heights, she was viciously struck in the head with a heavy object. Campbell died instantly from the blows which crushed her skull.

Campbell was found in the street and it appeared she stumbled into it and died, or her attacker attempted to drag her to a nearby field, when he fled for reasons unknown. Taken from Ms. Campbell was her red leather purse and it did not appear her attacker had attempted to sexually assault her.

Due to the violent nature of the crime and Ann Arbor's low murder rate, there was great fear within the community. The hospital immediately established an escort service for their employees. Campbell's boyfriend, William Montgomery, stated that Campbell was afraid of walking home from the hospital late at night. Two other nurses had been robbed prior to Campbell's murder and both of them were physically assaulted. One of them was struck with a rock, which caused deep lacerations to her head.

It was later found that one of these nurses, Shirley Mackley, was assaulted by the same suspect that murdered Ms. Campbell. A patrol car had been assigned to the area after the attack on Mackley, but officers could not foresee how dangerous the suspects were.

After the murder more than 30 officers were assigned to the case. Since there were three attacks on nurses, it was feared that the suspect was specifically targeting them. Detectives had no suspects and turned to the public for help. Captain Al Heusel issued a plea for anyone that saw someone with blood on their clothing, to notify the police. He stated, “Whoever killed that girl was covered with blood. He will have to dispose of those clothes somewhere. If anyone saw a man wearing cloth with blood on them or finds any abandoned bloody clothing, we want to know about it immediately. It's our best chance to find the killer.”

The investigation began in earnest with the help of the officers from the State Police, Detroit, Ypsilanti, Milan, and Trenton Police Departments. The investigation first centered around 50 known “sex deviates” that lived in the city. Suspects were investigated if they had been convicted of any type of sexual crime, within 10 years preceding the murder. Chief Enkemann stated all employees of the hospital, that were working when the murder occurred, would be asked to account for their time.

Mayor Brown offered a $500 reward for the arrest of the killer stating, “I can't help but feel that someone else, besides the killer, knows about this brutal slaying. He would be doing this community a great service by coming forward.” The mayor was also shocked at the lack of lighting at the murder scene and vowed the problem would be corrected with more street lights.

The break came in the case just as Mayor Brown thought it might. Detective Duane Bauer was at the police station when a citizen came in, stating he had information about the murder. The Detective Bureau was receiving hundreds of tips about the case and initially there was no reason to believe that this would be the break they were looking for. As Detective Bauer questioned this citizen, it was clear he knew information that would lead to the arrest of the killers of Nurse Campbell.

The citizen told Detective Bauer that he knew who assaulted Nurse Shirley Mackley on September 12, just three days before Nurse Campbell was killed. The citizen told Detective Bauer that David Royal, Jacob Pell, and William Morey were involved in the attack on Mackley. He saw the three suspects a day after the attack on Mackley and Morey admitted it to him. He stated Morey laughed when he talked about the attack and thought it was “funny” the way Mackley screamed when he hit her with a wrench. While he did not know if they were involved in the murder of Campbell, the detective had reason to believe they were.

The three suspects were quickly arrested for the assault of Mackley and the suspicion of murdering Nurse Campbell. Detectives interviewed all three and the three eventually confessed to both crimes. The motive for the attacks was simple robbery and the murder and robbery of Nurse Campbell netted the trio less than $5.00.

The three gave the following account of the incident: On the night of the murder the three suspects all had dates which they dropped off earlier in the evening. The three began cruising around in Pell's father's 1948 Chevrolet Club Coupe. They bought a case of beer and drank it all and needed money to buy more. They were cruising around the hospital area when they observed Nurse Campbell walking southbound on Observatory and then turn onto eastbound Washington Heights.

They parked the car and Morey exited it and began to sneak up behind Campbell while she walked. Royal and Pell stayed in the vehicle following, as Pell extinguished the headlights. Morey then walked up behind Campbell and without saying anything to her, began striking her in the head with a hard rubber mallet. Morey beat her so hard with the mallet that brain fluid came out and part of her head splattered on the door on a nearby parked car. This type of mallet is used to bump out dented fenders of automobiles and was taken from Pell's place of employment.

After Morey was finished with the attack, Royal exited the vehicle and they began to drag her body into it. Pell yelled at them to throw her body out of the vehicle which the two did. This was why Campbell's body was found in the street and a large amount of blood was left in the vehicle. Campbell's purse was stolen and its contents were emptied before it was thrown into the Huron River from a bridge. The mallet was recovered at Pell's employers, as he had taken it back after the killing. It was also found that Morey struck Nurse Mackley with a wrench, in a botched attempt to rob her.

On October 31, 1951, the trial began for the three suspects. The three were charged with “feloniously, willfully and with malice aforethought, the murder of Pauline Campbell.” The trial opened with Prosecutor Douglas Reading admitting the confessions of the suspects into the record. Morey admitted to the killing using the mallet that was in Pell's car. The mallet was in the vehicle as Pell had intended to use for repairs. Morey was asked if it was wrong to carry out the attack and stated, “Sort of. I mean I knew it was wrong but no one seemed to care.”

During the reading of the confessions, all of the suspects' mothers were in the courtroom and wept throughout.

In Prosecutor Reading's opening statement he stated, “The three were equally responsible for the murder as they aided Morey in the crime. Any persons who aid in the commission of a crime are equally responsible.”

He also asserted stalking the victim and driving down the street with the car lights out, was “lying in wait within the fullest meaning of the law.”

Morey testified in his own defense stating he did not remember the blows that killed Campbell. He went on to say that he did not mean to do anything to her. Reading asked Morey to examine the mallet used to murder Campbell. When Morey declined to take the mallet, the prosecutor threw it in his lap. Morey re-coiled and brushed it onto the courtroom floor.

Morey claimed that he signed his confession only because he was tired and would have signed anything to be left alone. He further stated that on the night of the murder he drank 10 or 11 bottles of beer and could not recount the exact events that occurred.

It was clear that Morey's defense attorney, Ralph Keyes, was hoping the jury would find Morey guilty of second degree murder, so his client would have a chance for parole. Keyes claimed the effects of the beer rendered Morey unable to account entirely for his actions.

David Royal also testified in his own defense and stated the motive in the crime was robbery. Pell's defense was that he was waiting in the car when Morey murdered Campbell and they were not following her, but were looking for Morey after he exited the car.

As they drove upon Morey, he heard him call for help. Exiting the car, he observed Campbell on the ground and Morey told him to grab one of her arms. He did so and they began dragging Campbell into the car. Pell then told them not to bring Campbell into the car, and they threw her body into the street. He then observed Morey pick up the mallet and Campbell's purse.

On November 13, the jury returned with the verdicts. William Morey and Jacob Pell were convicted of first degree murder, while David Royal was convicted of second degree murder. Morey and Pell were sentenced to life in prison and Royal was sentenced to 22 years. They would not fulfill these sentences, as Morey was paroled after serving 19 years, while Pell and Royal served shorter sentences.

As I noted earlier this case drew national attention. A book by John Martin titled, “Why do They Kill” was published after the convictions of the three. The book dealt with the shock of three average youths, from “good homes,” committing a murder for no apparent reason. In today's world, nothing seems to shock us, but in 1951 this truly sent shockwaves through the community.

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An interesting fact about this case is the attempted jail break of William Morey and Max Pell. They conspired with another convicted murderer, Marcelo Velasquez, to break out of the county jail. Informants within the jail reported them to the staff and the attempt was stopped. A key had been fashioned from a coat hanger and it actually worked in the cell doors.

Another interesting tidbit involves one of the detectives that worked the case. He did not want his name used, but told me that years later he was at church, when he observed Royal outside with some other people. Turns out the detective and Royal are members of the same church.

Chief Krasny, upon his retirement in 1980, stated that of all the events he worked during his 40 year career with the department, this murder was the one that he was most struck by. He said the murder of Nurse Campbell had more of an effect on the community, than the murders of seven co-eds and the subsequent trial of John Norman Collins, in the late 1960's.

Officer Shoots at Domestic Suspect

Almost all veteran officers speak fondly of the good old days when citizens were very supportive and one was less lenient with suspects. There has always been a perception that officers in past years were much more aggressive when dealing with suspects than they are today. Certainly officers could use their firearms with little restrictions, compared to today. This did not mean that command officers were not concerned with citizen complaints, however.

Some complaints were scrutinized more than others as Officer Charles Sharpe found out in the early 1950's.

Officer Sharpe was walking his beat along Main Street when he observed a couple fighting. As he was approaching the couple, they entered their vehicle and drove off. Being new to the force, Officer Sharpe phoned Sgt. Olson to ask him what type of force he could use in situations such as the one that he had just observed. Sgt. Olson told him he could not use any force at all, as the incident was a private family matter.

Unknown to Officer Sharpe, the female had exited the vehicle and walked to the police station, to talk with an officer about the dispute. The husband had driven back to Main Street to look for his wife, when he was spotted by Officer Sharpe. Clearly not remembering his conversation with Sgt. Olson, or deciding that advice was incorrect, Officer Sharpe ordered the driver to stop his vehicle. The driver did not stop and Officer Sharpe then drew his service revolver and fired two shots at the vehicle. One of the shots hit a hubcap and the other went errant. The driver then decided to stop his vehicle and accompanied Officer Sharpe to the police station.

Sharpe reported the incident to Lt. Krasny, who conducted an investigation which was forwarded to Chief Enkemann. Chief Enkemann suspended Officer Sharpe for disobeying his superior officer, as he was told not to make any arrest but had fired two shots at the car.

The newspaper received an anonymous tip about the incident and as today, a reporter would come to the police department and read the days police reports. This particular report did not make its way to the reporters' bin, as was the norm for all of the reports. Editors at the newspaper questioned Chief Enkemann about the incident and he admitted that it had happened. He denied that any effort had been made to “hush up” the incident, but did say the report had not been filed in its usual place.

Needless to say this “misfiling” of the report did not go over too well in the local press. Otis Hardy, the news director of a local radio station and Peter Denzer, also a news director of a radio station, protested to city council about the incident. They stated that the “police department has been exercising censorship adverse to the public interest. It is our contention that the police department's function is to enforce the law-period. It is our function, and not theirs, to decide what is news and what is not.”

They agreed to meet with the police commission to discuss means of improving press relations with the department.

This incident led to a revised training program for recruit officers. This program called for three weeks of classroom training, followed by a week of training at the pistol range. Prior to this, new officers were given two weeks of training before they went on patrol.

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Officers at this time were not required to go to a police academy and depended on their departments for all of their training. From the day a citizen was hired by the department, to the day he was sworn in was less than a month.

Officers still had no problems using their handguns when confronted by nuisance animals however. On April 21, 1954, Lt. Hank Murray was summoned to the Dental School in reference to some pigeons that had entered the building. He quickly shot the offending birds, right in the Dental School, during the early afternoon. Lt. Murray was quite famous for his skills in killing pigeons. He was often called upon to dispatch the birds at the County Courthouse. Once he shot 95 pigeons in one hour. For some reason, I don't feel these actions would be the preferred method for taking care of the problem today!

Establishment of the Youth Bureau

The department had long held that juvenile crime was serious in nature and had to be dealt with differently than adult crimes. In 1951, there were 753 juvenile offenders while in 1952, the figure had jumped to 841. Juvenile crime was on the rise and the department was concerned about it. Chief Enkemann spoke to a reporter about juvenile crime stating he “felt the problems with juvenile offenders rested solely with their parents and their lack of involvement with their children.” He spoke of one child who had started off his criminal career with a simple curfew violation and eventually ended up in prison. He had found the youth's father at the bar when the juvenile was arrested for the first violation and he felt the father should have been sent to prison for “lack of control over his son.”

The chief spoke at the Rotary Club about juvenile delinquency on April 10, 1952. He stated, “Too many Ann Arbor parents entrust the baby's personal safety to a casual baby sitter. They deliver their children to the Sunday School and the public school and expect teachers to bring up their children properly. In my 22 years as a police officer, I have never run across any case that could be truthfully called juvenile delinquency, but I have handled numerous cases of parental delinquency.

“Neither economic status nor race are factors in the juvenile problem in Ann Arbor. Youngsters who get into trouble come from our finer homes as well as our poorer ones. Of the 753 boys and girls whose troubles came to us, only 3 were Mexicans and 61 were Negroes. The remaining 689 were white, from all types of homes in which the parents had not done their jobs.”

Chief Enkemann felt the total amount of youths that were in trouble the previous year, was disproportionately high for the population of Ann Arbor. He stated it was a severe indictment of the parents of the city.

Due to these problems, the department began enforcing a little used city ordinance, regulating the curfews of juveniles. This law prohibited juveniles 15 and under from being out from 10:00 P.M. to 06:00 A.M. Even then this curfew law brought dispute with it. Many in the community felt the law was unconstitutional and it was eventually challenged in court.

When a juvenile was arrested for a curfew violation, the officer would normally take the youth home. Chief Enkemann felt the officers were being used as a “taxi service” and ordered the officers to take the juveniles to the station, to have their parents come and pick them up.

Due to these problems, it was felt a separate division within the department was needed to deal more effectively with juvenile crime. Prior to 1954, the department did not have the personnel for such a division.

In 1954, however, the city council authorized the establishment of the Youth Bureau, as it was then called. The Youth Bureau consisted of Sgt. George Simmons and Officer Chester Carter. Simmons was considered the department's expert in dealing with juvenile offenders. I should note that the department had taken juvenile crime quite seriously even before establishing a Youth Bureau. In 1940, Officer George Camp was named the department's juvenile officer with the responsibility of handling all juvenile investigations. Officer Camp started a number of programs for the youths of the city, one of which was a Boy's Civic Club.

The Youth Bureau began by establishing programs for juveniles within the community, like Officer Camp had done. One of these programs was the sponsorship of four baseball teams that competed in a city league. These teams were coached by eight officers, who did so on their own time.

The Youth Bureau also found jobs for juvenile offenders. If anyone had a job for a juvenile, from lawn cutting to farm work, they would call the Youth Bureau, who would then send out a young offender. These jobs were varied and included ones from the university to working for the Girl Scouts.

This job program snowballed and was thought to be the most effective way in dealing with summertime juvenile mischief. The University of Michigan used 80 boys and girls for waiters and waitresses. These youths were paid 90 cents an hour for their services.

The jobs program provided over 400 jobs for the city's youth, in the first year. A teen would apply in person at the Youth Bureau for a job and they would match them with a job, appropriate with their skills. The department encouraged home owners and businesses to call if they had any jobs available, including baby-sitting, lawn mowing and general household chores. Non-offenders were eventually allowed to apply for these jobs.

The city council also established a permanent municipal committee on youth problems. This board consisted of the officers from the Youth Bureau, principals of the junior high schools, youth counselors, a YMCA secretary and two members of the city council.

Sgt. Simmons eventually won the “Phillip H. Lord Award of Merit” for his outstanding contribution to law enforcement through his work with juveniles. Sgt. Simmons was a sought after speaker for his expertise in dealing with troubled juveniles.

Also very interesting was the assignment of an officer to the Ann Arbor High School in 1965. Officer Chester Carter was assigned to the school for not only the protection of the students and faculty, but to provide a liaison between the police department and the youth. Another Ann Arbor high school, Huron High, was opened in the 1970's, and an officer was assigned there also. To this day there is a full time officer assigned to both Ann Arbor High Schools.

Polio Vaccine

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The introduction of the polio vaccine was obviously a history making event in the 1950's. This disease left many children and adults paralyzed, as there was no cure for it. When the polio vaccine was introduced, authorities wanted it protected when Ann Arbor received its first shipment. This shipment was stored at the police department and refrigerated under lock and key. This is one of many instances I found of the police department being used for unconventional reasons.

Ann Arbor Police Budget of 1953–54

The proposed budget of the police department for the fiscal year of 1953–54 was $324,590. The police commission requested an increase of $34,916 over the previous year, most of the money to cover wages. Part of this was the rise in salary of policewomen, to match that of male officers. The commission explained to the council that they could not hire female officers, as the pay for them was to low.

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Female officers and civilian clerks continued to play a very important role in the police department. As there was not a secretary of state, driver licenses were issued by the police department. Over 1,000 people per month came to the police department to obtain their license, which taxed the resources of the department. Due to this, the records system of the department was being neglected and the commission recommended to council that an expansion of the police department and the hiring of additional personnel was necessary.

Not only was the records division in poor shape, but the detective bureau was in cramped quarters of city hall, in the basement. Since the then current city hall opened in 1937, no expansion of police department space had taken place. The commissioners stated in their report to council that the detective bureau needed more space where, “modern police methods could be put into use, instead of having to take people into the dirty, dingy basement, where, at present time, we do not have our show-up room; or having to take people into the hallway for interviews.”

The commissioners summarized the need for expansion stating, “Gentlemen, Ann Arbor is no longer the small community which some people would like to have us believe it is. The number of felony cases in Circuit Court have increased 48% since 1945.”

The commission ended their report stating that “Ann Arbor was growing at a rate in which the needs of the police department must be met, despite the costs.”

Daring Escape Ends in Gunfire

Two convicted armed robbers attempted to escape from the circuit court after being found guilty of armed robbery on June 21, 1954. The two, Charles and Gordon Ervin, were considered the most dangerous criminals that were lodged at the jail. The two had been convicted of robbing the Kroger's on Jackson Ave., of $4800.

The two were at court for their trial and after the guilty verdict was read, Judge Breakey thanked and dismissed the jury, while the Ervins were placed in a small bullpen in the rear of the courtroom. The prisoners were not handcuffed due to the orders of the judge and took this opportunity to make their break.

Detectives ran over to the bullpen as they heard breaking glass and attempted to open the door to it. As Detective Oltersdorf tried to open the door, the doorknob came off in his hands as the Ervins had removed the screws to it. Oltersdorf then kicked open the door, but both brothers had fled out of the window, which was 25 feet in the air.

The brothers walked along a five inch ledge and then jumped to the roof of the new courthouse being built on Ann Street. Both of the brothers were on the roof when Detective Oltersdorf reached the bullpen window. Charles jumped to the ground as Oltersdorf opened fire on him and he fell into a open hole leading to the basement. Because of the fall he broke his pelvis and hip and was quickly placed under arrest.

Gordon headed across the rooftop as deputies opened fire on him and struck him in the chest. He continued to run but was arrested across the street from the court, in an ice cream parlor.

Both brothers were taken to the University Hospital and treated for their wounds. They were brought back to Judge Breakey's courtroom the very next day to be sentenced with an army of 35 officers guarding the courthouse. Charles was taken to court on a stretcher and both brothers were sentenced to 50 to 60 years in prison.

The Strange Case of Cheng Lim

One of the most bizarre stories in the city's history came to a conclusion in August of 1959. Cheng Lim was a foreign exchange student from Singapore and was sponsored by the Methodist Church, to study at the University in 1952. While in Ann Arbor he attended the First Methodist Church at State and Huron.

In 1955, Lim did not apply for the fall term as he was distressed due to low grades, feeling he had failed the people that had brought him to Ann Arbor. In an attempt to fake his suicide, Lim walked down to the Huron River and threw his passport into it. Later that night he went to the First Methodist Church and climbed a ladder that led to an attic on the north side of the church. For the next four years, Lim lived in this cramped attic space. During the night he would sneak down to the kitchen for food and water.

Lim's disappearance did not go unnoticed as the pastor of the church and university officials attempted to find him. They made contact with his brother and sister, who could offer no clues as to his whereabouts. Eventually a missing person report was made with the police department.

His years of seclusion ended on August 30, 1959, when the police department received a call of a prowler at the church. Officers Norman Olmstead and Ritchie Davis (future Director of the Michigan State Police) responded to the church for the call. The officers searched the interior of the church but could not find anything suspicious.

As they walked outside they observed a fleeting glance of Lim climbing the ladder, which lead to the attic. They quickly followed and entered the attic discovering a makeshift bed, coffee jar and a box of crackers. Officer Davis then directed his flashlight down a four feet deep hole in packed insulation, where he discovered Lim rolled up into a ball, trying to hide from the officers.

Taken to the police station, Lim revealed his story about his self-imposed exile. Lim stated he would have been disgraced if he had returned home with poor grades and couldn't face his friends at the University who had given him financial aid.

During his self-imposed exile, Lim brushed his teeth with match sticks, ate once a day and skipped rope for exercise. During his stay in the attic, the temperature would often reach 100 degrees in the non-ventilated space and was bitter cold in the winter.

There were several times that Lim was almost captured during his attic stay. Church personnel did observe that food was missing during Lim's four year ordeal. Once Lim was observed in the kitchen by a female church worker, who was working late and surprised him. She screamed and Lim fled to his attic apartment and was not discovered.

The police department had received numerous prowler calls at the church during the years Lim stayed in the attic. Caretakers lived in the basement of the church and occasionally heard noises when Lim was on the first floor gathering food.

Lim was finally discovered as the church hired a security guard due to their concerns. The security guard, William Edison, heard noises in the church and phoned the police department, which lead to Lim's arrest.

Lim's story gained national publicity and it was published in newspapers across the country. Instead of ending up in jail, local businessmen created a fund to help him resume his education. The government reinstated his visa and the University permitted him to enroll again. Lim graduated from the University in 1961 and went on to obtain his master's degree.

Upon his retirement in 1990, Sgt. Olmstead recounted his arrest of Lim. “I guess I'll never forget it,” he said. “We were on midnights and got a call to go to the First Methodist Church to check out a prowler. We looked around inside the church and as we were getting ready to leave, we saw a ladder leading to an open trap door to the attic.

“When I shined my light up at the door, I spotted a hand disappearing around a edge. We climbed up there and began looking around in the dark. Richie (Officer Davis) on one side of the attic and me on the other. Suddenly Ritchie yelled, ‘I don't see anybody here,’ and the way he said it I figured he'd seen something. Then I heard him pulling his gun. I went over to where he was and Lim's appearance was just wild. He was stripped to the waist, long hair, eyes staring. He'd made a little bed among the rafters and had a few things stashed there. We took him out of there and his story came out, about the four years of hiding. The story drew lots of national attention. Lim was reinstated in the University, had his visa renewed and graduated here. He went back to Singapore and died there of a heart attack in the mid-1970's. It was an incident you don't forget.”

Formation of the Ann Arbor Police Officers Association

In 1955, Ann Arbor Patrolmen formed an association which was allowable under state charter. Officers felt woefully underpaid and felt an association would help raise their wages. The Ann Arbor Police Officers Association was legally recognized in May of 1955. The association caused great excitement among the ranks, who wished for wage increases, but also thought it would assist in their relationship with the chief.. This was the second time the officers attempted to form a labor association, the first of which took place in 1942.

Chief Enkemann not only approved of the association but encouraged it. He felt it would focus on professional issues and would act as a means of communicating grievances to the him.

The association's charter was as follows:

  1. To perpetuate the memory and spirit of police officers who have given their lives in pursuit of duty.
  2. To promote social fellowship, closer personal acquaintance and economic stability for the members of the association.
  3. To promote the spirit of cooperation and a high regard for the dignity and altruism of our calling among ourselves and to uphold the police officer's pledge, not to strike.
  4. To create a wholesome influence on the citizens of Ann Arbor and particularly to inculcate respect for law and order.
  5. To gather, receive and disseminate such information concerning police services and employment standards as may be helpful to our membership, in the pursuit of our calling.
  6. To give full co-operation to and arrange unified action with the administrative heads of the department, for betterment of it.
  7. To provide a method of co-operating with the officials of the department as now organized and to co-operate in carrying out any changes made necessary by the adoption of the new charter of the City of Ann Arbor and to provide a method of assisting in arbitrating grievances, relating to departmental affairs affecting members of this association.
  8. To provide for hearings and discussions with the department heads, police commission and city administrator and working toward betterment of morale, working conditions and grievances of members of this association.

This association was sorely needed to attempt to elevate pay as the department lost eleven officers to private industry in September of 1955. This depletion of personnel forced the officers into working 12 hour days.

Chief Enkemann was livid with the low rate of pay for his officers and the manpower shortage. A National Safety Council study was commissioned and recommended that the department add 14 new officers. Chief Enkemann responded to the study stating, “This city won't pay an officer what he deserves, we can't even fill the positions we have open now.”

According to the commission, the city was understaffed and recommended the employment of 80 officers, not the 60 that it had at the time. Chief Enkemann rallied for his officers and stated, “I think it is ridiculous that the city government compares police work with other sections of city salaries. They refuse to boost police pay, because they say if one group gets a raise, the others want one too. But the same officials are the ones who demand that officers stand head and shoulders above other city employees, physically, mentally and morally. We can hire all the men we want tomorrow, but we turn them away by the dozens. These are not the ones we want to guard the City of Ann Arbor. We can't hire the good ones because we cannot compete with industry in pay.”

Some responded that the officer's wages were not that far below the national average. Chief Enkemann responded to this stating, “The sacrifices an officer has to make, the bad hours, the hours he puts in without pay, the on call phase, these things are worth the salary before he does any work.

“Take a look at the overtime setup for the police. Hourly city employees are guaranteed a 40 hour work week and are paid for all overtime. A police officer can work an eight hour day and all night and won't get a cent for his overtime. My boys make an arrest at night and during the day, when they should be sleeping, they have to come to court and testify at a trial. No pay for that either.” Obviously Chief Enkemann was not happy with the situation!

Due to the chief's statement, the city council met and agreed a pay raise was probably necessary. Police Commissioner Rudolph Reichert stated the chief spoke very clearly on the subject. “We don't get the new men we need and should have and can't keep the ones we have,” he stated. “Employment is high and we are not meeting the competition.” The situation became worse in April of 1956, when two officers were fired and two resigned. Interest in the association eventually diminished and it was not until 1960 that it was re-established.

Due to the shortage of officers a help wanted ad for officers was placed in the Ann Arbor News. The chief was very disappointed that an ad had to be run to fill vacant positions. He believed it was terrible, as the department had always relied on word of mouth and job seekers themselves to fill these positions.

Due to this manpower shortage, the chief asked for permission to hire four women to handle the police radio, teletype and phones. The city council approved this recommendation, which was designed to release more officers to work outside the police station. Chief Enkemann advised city council that the women would work in an enclosed area. Due to this statement, one would assume that the chief was concerned with the women's safety and did not want them to have any contact with prisoners.

Starting salary for the women was $3,400 a year and “women between the ages of 25 and 35 were preferred.” Although it may be hard to believe that women were treated so differently from men, this was a sign of the times. These first female dispatchers hired were Phyllis McClain, Marlene Raboteau, Gloria Horn and Dora Mayer. Mrs. McClain was the first one to report for a shift, making her the first female dispatcher.

Chief Enkemann later stated, “I am quite happy with their work for the department. They have learned the job well and are efficient and polite when dealing with the public. Our experiment has definitely proved successful.”

Bank Robbery Suspects Arrested

On March 13, 1956, Officer George Miller was commended for arresting three suspects who had held up a Pinckney Bank. The suspects were armed and robbed the bank of $4400. They left in a 1951 Plymouth Sedan and were apprehended by Officer Miller on Pontiac Road near Dhu Varren. Officer Miller had gone to that location as he had been given a description of the vehicle and thought the suspects may have been headed to Ann Arbor. The vehicle was stopped and all of the money and weapons were recovered. Officer Miller's hunch was correct as all of the suspects were Ann Arbor residents.

What is interesting about the case is that uniformed Lt. Henry Murray entered an Ann Arbor restaurant to eat earlier in the day. He sat in the booth behind the three suspects, that were arrested later in the day by Officer Miller. The three suspects exited their booth and went to another at the other side of the restaurant.

As it turned out, the three were plotting their robbery of the Pinckney Bank.

The Death of Patrol Officer Leonard Alber

On May 31, 1956, at 5:10 a.m., the Ann Arbor Police Department suffered its second traffic fatality involving an officer. Officer Leonard Alber died when his patrol car slammed into a light pole at E. William and Main Street. Officer Alber was 33 years old at the time of the accident and had been with the department since April of 1955.

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Officer Alber was traveling in patrol vehicle 65, northbound on S. Main, when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a light pole. Officer Alber had just left the police station to turn in a parking meter key, which he had been using. He did not appear sleepy to those that observed him at the station, just prior to the accident.

There was one witness to the crash, Carl Briegel, who was in his vehicle pulling onto W. William, when he observed Officer Alber's cruiser nearing the light pole. He watched as the cruiser struck the light pole and then ran to it, to assist Officer Alber.

Officer Henry Hix was walking his beat on Fourth Avenue when he heard the crash and was the first officer to arrive on the scene. Officer Alber complained to him of injuries to his chest and said something to the effect of “lost control” and “what happened.” Officer Alber was transported to the University Hospital where he died a short time later. An autopsy revealed no apparent reason, such as a heart attack, for the accident.

The patrol car was inspected for mechanical defects, but none were found. The steering apparatus was sent to engineers at the Ford Motor Company, to rule out any defects with it. The investigation revealed no defects to the steering column and the reasons for the accident remain unknown. It is known that he was not in pursuit of a violator and had not been sent on an emergency run.

The accident happened on Thursday, May 31, and Officer Alber was to be married the following Saturday. He instead was buried at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Chelsea.

On May 8, 2000, I received a visit from Officer Alber's nephew, Gale Alber. Mr. Alber resides in Florida and came to Ann Arbor for his daughter's graduation from college. He was curious about his uncle's death and came to the police department to see if he could find any information about the accident, which had occurred almost 44 years prior to his inquiry.

Mr. Alber told me he was in the process of gathering information about his family's history, which sparked his curiosity about his uncle who died when he was a teenager. He initially was unable to obtain any information about his uncle and stated this bothered him as it seemed his uncle was forgotten.

Mr. Alber stated his father was deeply saddened by the death of his brother and “was never the same after it.” His father was never happy with the result of the subsequent investigation and felt there was possibly more to the incident then he was told.

I did have the entire police report on the accident in my possession, which was very lengthy. I could find nothing which gave me any indication that the department had kept anything from the Alber family. The report of the accident could reach no conclusion as to how it occurred and it is clear we will never know.

Mr. Alber was very pleased that I was aware of Officer Alber's death and that the facts were included in this book.

The East Ann Arbor Police Department

Many, including myself before researching this book, are not aware that there once was a city named East Ann Arbor. The city was obviously on the eastside of Ann Arbor, with approximate borders of Packard, Washtenaw, Platt, Ellsworth and Carpenter. The city had a city manager form of government and it's offices were located in the 3000 block of Packard, near the current location of the East Ann Arbor Hardware. The offices consisted of three desks, one for the clerk, one for the city manager and one for the police department.

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The police department itself consisted of five officers, one of them a chief and one a sergeant. As the police station was closed at night, when a citizen needed an officer they phoned a family who was paid to have the police department's phone ring into their home. The resident would then phone the sheriff's department, who would then dispatch one of the East Ann Arbor Patrol cars. This resident had to agree to have someone at their house 24 hours a day, to answer the phone.

In the mid 1950's, the City of East Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor agreed to merge into one city. East Ann Arbor citizens had to vote on the issue to approve it and did so in 1956.

When this occurred, East Ann Arbor's Police Department was disbanded. Its five member force were offered jobs with Ann Arbor's Department and only one of them, Officer Greg Katopodis, did so. East Ann Arbor Officer Jim Murphy joined the sheriff's department and the other three went into private business.

When writing this book I was a guest on a local radio show, talking about the history of the department. Former East Ann Arbor Officer Jim Murphy heard the show and later made contact with me. He still had his East Ann Arbor badges and an East Ann Arbor patch, which he donated to the city. These items are now hanging in a frame in the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Citizen Assist?

As noted earlier, officers quite often used their weapons to dispose of wayward animals. In the movie, “Police Academy,” a comedy about police recruits, an officer was called to an elderly woman's home, as her cat had climbed a tree and could not get down. The officer took care of the situation by shooting her cat out of the tree.

While humorous in the movie, we could not conceive of this ever happening in the real world of police work. In December of 1958, an Ann Arbor Officer did just that, however.

The officer responded to a citizen's complaint of a cat stuck in a tree. The complainant told the officer that the cat had been in the tree for two days. The officer assessed the situation, withdrew his service revolver and shot the cat out of the tree.

A citizen observed this and filed a complaint with the department. The department responded that the shooting of the cat was a matter of judgment on the part of the officer. He had based his decision on the fact that the cat had been in the tree for two days and probably would have starved to death.

The humane course, in the judgment of the officer, was to destroy the animal as painlessly as possible. Today's officers are asked to explore other options!


In January of 1959, city council approved the purchase of the first radar unit for the department. Prior to receiving this unit, officers used electrically operated timers, which used a rubber hose stretched across a street, to monitor speeders.

Deputy Chief Gainsley

On July 15, 1959, Captain Barney Gainsley was promoted to deputy chief. This paved the way for his promotion to police chief the following year. Deputy Chief Gainsley was second in command of the department. The post of deputy chief was created by city council on the recommendation of Chief Enkemann. Deputy Chief Gainsley's salary was $7602 a year.

The Murder of Gwendolyn Vogel

Ann Arbor has never had a high murder rate and when one occurs it shocks the community. Ann Arbor was stunned by the murder of Gwendolyn Vogel, by her 17 year old brother James, on October 24, 1959. James and Gwendolyn frequently argued, as do most brothers and sisters, but no one could have predicted the outcome of their dispute that day.

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The Vogel family lived at 1007 Willow street, which is near West Park. James Vogel was a problem youth, who at one time sought psychiatric care. He was a good student at Ann Arbor High, but was a loner with few friends. James had a fascination with Hitler and Stalin and had posters of them on his bedroom wall. James became convinced that everyone was laughing at and making fun of him and as he became more irritable, his mother convinced him to seek counseling. James did attend one session, but refused to go again.

During the early evening of October 24, Gwendolyn sat in an overstuffed chair, in the family's living room, watching television. James came into the room and ordered her out of the chair. She refused and the two began arguing, which soon turned heated. Mrs. Vogel separated the two and told James to go outside for a walk to cool off. Gwendolyn remained seated in the overstuffed green chair.

Instead of going for a walk as his mother instructed him to do, James went upstairs and retrieved his fathers bolt-action, single shot shotgun from a gun rack. He then scooped up a handful of shells and loaded the gun. He walked down the stairs carrying the shotgun, where he was confronted by his mother. His mother screamed at him to put the gun away and she began walking toward the phone to call the police. James told her, “Touch that phone and I'll kill you.” His mother then fled out the door to a neighbors to phone for help.

James then went into the living room, where Gwendolyn sat horrified at the sight of her brother, holding the shotgun. James pointed the shotgun at her and fired the weapon. The birdshot struck her in the right forearm, neck and shoulders. As she was not dead, James loaded the shotgun again and shot his sister in the head, killing her.

James then ran from the house and stood on the porch. Just west of the Vogel house, at 219 Bucholz Court, Mary Root went out onto the porch as she heard the shotgun blasts and screams. Root was moving to Ann Arbor and was looking at homes to rent.

As she stood on the porch, Vogel fired the shotgun at her, birdshot striking her in the face, neck, shoulders and arms, but fortunately her wounds were not fatal. As she lay on the porch, James re-loaded the shotgun and fled into West Park. It was later theorized that he thought Root was his mother.

The police had already been notified and descended into West Park. Vogel observed the officers entering the park and began firing at them. The officers returned fire as Vogel began running for cover, while continuing to fire at them. Officer Charles Anderson saw Vogel on the top of a small hill. He dropped to the ground and ordered Vogel to drop his weapon. He had called Vogel by name and he responded, “My name is not Vogel, it's Hitler.” Vogel then began firing the shotgun at Anderson, birdshot striking Officer Anderson's right cheek and left leg.

Officer Anderson returned fire, emptying his service revolver at Vogel. Vogel was not struck and as Anderson was re-loading his weapon, Vogel rushed him. He ordered Officer Anderson to put his hands on his head. As Officer Anderson was on the ground, Vogel ordered him to his feet and to turn around.

Officer Anderson later stated, “All I could think of was that he was going to shoot me in the back. I just made up my mind that no one was going to gun me down that way.”

As he was getting up, he flung his service revolver at Vogel, while lunging for him. He was close enough to grab Vogel and began wrestling with him. As they were doing so, the shotgun discharged but did not strike either one of them.

Vogel then dropped his shotgun and tried to flee further into West Park. Officer Anderson ran after him and threw his flashlight at Vogel, striking him in the back of the head. Vogel fell to the ground and was then arrested by Officer Anderson. He was transported to the police station, where he confessed to his crimes.

Officer Anderson was treated at the University Hospital for his injuries. He talked about the event stating, “Arrests are just part of the job, some are harder then others. In this case I knew I did not want to die. Sometimes you have to do things to keep from dying.”

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Mary Root was hospitalized for her injuries. Her right eye was struck by the shotgun pellets and vision in that eye was impaired. Miss Root was an employee of Parke-Davis in Detroit and was being transferred to the Ann Arbor branch.

A sanity hearing was held for Vogel by Judge Breakey and on December 12, 1959, he was found criminally insane. He was ordered held at the Ionia State Hospital, until he was restored to sanity, at which time he was to be returned to the circuit court for disposition.

Undercover Sting

In December of 1959, an undercover operation was conducted on the university campus, due to complaints about homosexual activities in some of the campus bathrooms. Three plainclothes officers were assigned to patrol the restrooms and during the course of the investigation, twenty-five men were arrested. The University's Dean of Men stated, “The University's position is quite clear. It does not tolerate this type of behavior.”

While homosexuality was not widely accepted as it is today, there was still a backlash even in 1959. The Attorney General received complaints that the officers had entrapped the men arrested and a citizen wrote a letter to the Ann Arbor News, complaining of the officer's activities, feeling they were a waste of time.