By Officer George Camp, 1940
Records reveal that the first chief of police or, as he was known as then, marshal of the Village of Ann Arbor, was H. K. Stanley who was elected to the office by popular vote on May 3, 1847. There were no patrolmen but in each ward were a constable and deputy-marshal. The marshal had no central office and received no compensation from the Village Council for performing his duties that were occasional. He operated on a fee basis and received pay only when he made an arrest. As there were very few arrests made then, he was not dependent on the office for a livelihood. It was not until the latter part of the 1860s that the city offered a salary for the position of marshal and it was then set at $100.00 a year, payable quarter-annually.
The annual election of the marshal continued for twenty years after Ann Arbor became a city in 1851. By action of the Common Council in 1871, the marshal was to be elected by the members of the Council, and they also added to the duties of the marshal by appointing him as poor master and sidewalk inspector and he acted in the latter capacity, too, as superintendent of parks.
As the marshals from 1847 to 1871 had no office or permanent location we can find little in the records of what may have happened of importance.
The men elected by the people to act as marshal of the village or city of Ann Arbor from 1847 to 1871 and the date elected were:
H.K. Stanley May 3, 1847
Samuel G. Sutherland May 1, 1848
Samuel G. Sutherland May 7, 1849
Nelson B. Nye May 6, 1850
Joseph Godfrey April 9, 1851
Joseph Godfrey April 5, 1852
Roger Natthews April 4, 1853
Roger Natthews April 3, 1854
Roger Natthews April 2, 1855
Roger Natthews April 7, 1856
Roger Natthews April 6, 1857
Oliver M. Martin April 5, 1858
Stephen Webster April 4, 1859
Jerome B. Ganson April 2, 1860
Oliver M. Martin April 1, 1861
Oliver M. Martin April 7, 1862
Oliver M. Martin April 6, 1863
Richard C. Dillon April 4, 1864
Oliver M. Martin April 5, 1865
D. J. Loomis April 2, 1866
Nathan H. Pierce April 1, 1867
George W. Efner April 7, 1868
Nathan H. Pierce April 6, 1869
Ambrose V. Robinson April 5, 1870
In the year 1871, the Council required the marshal to establish a permanent location or office so that he could be reached by the citizens of the community at any time of the day or night. Up to this time, there was no police organization. Night watchmen were employed by the merchants and were under the supervision of the marshal; however, they received no salary from the city.
It was also in the year 1871 that the Council deemed it necessary to establish a regular paid police force. At the Council meeting of October 10, 1871, Alderman C. B. Porter presented a resolution to the Council “that a committee of three be appointed to take into consideration the question of employing policemen.” Aldermen Jeremiah Peek, Joshua G. Leland and Porter were named as the committee by Mayor Silas Douglass.
At the next Council meeting on October 24, their report read:
“The committee to whom was referred the question of employing a police force submit the following report and recommend the passage of the following resolution and accompanying ordinance and regulations.
First—The police force is required for protection against burglars, situated as we are on one of the great thoroughfares of the state and with a large floating population, concerning the character of which at the best we can know but little, our city seems to furnish a comparatively safe retreat for desperate characters against whose depredations we have little or no protection.
Second—A police force is required as a protection against incendiaries as well as accidental fires. It is necessary for your committee to call attention to the fact that our supply of water and fire apparatus is entirely inadequate to the wants of the city and that any general conflagration must result in the destruction of the more compactly settled portions of the city. Our only safety is in the discovery of fires in their inception and can only be done through an efficient and watchful police.
Third—A police force is required to suppress disorder and secure the enforcing of the ordinances of the city and laws of the state. We are guardians of an important interest in the state and it is justly due to our generous patron that we should execute our guardianship faithfully, and secure to our city a reputation as being a model town in all that relates to morality, sobriety and orderly conduct. There is no interest in the city that requires our fostering care to a greater extent than that connected with the University. Our future prosperity or ruin will turn upon the success or ruin of that institution. The committee has been informed and believe that the burden of the complaint of the Committee of the Legislature that visited us last winter was the moral tone of public sentiment in our midst, as was shown by the great number of saloons, billiard and gambling rooms and the riot and disorder that prevailed and was reported to prevail on our streets during the night and not infrequently far into the morning.
Fourth—Other cities in our state of far less pretensions than our own support an efficient police force and consider it a necessary element for their protection.
Fifth—Your committee are of the opinion that the revenue derived from the tax on billiard tables and saloons and the fines imposed for the violations of ordinances will be sufficient to nearly, if not quite, support the police force recommended and these sources of disorder may thus be made to pay for their own regulation and control. They therefore recommend the passage of the ordinances and resolutions.”
This ordinance was passed and rules and regulations governing the police were adopted.
I.H. Peebels was elected by the Council as succeeding Ambrose Robinson and the Council appointed five men to serve as policemen who were Jeremiah Peek, Erastus LeSuer [LeSeur]1, Joseph C. Preston, Edwin B. Gidley and Warren Hamilton. Hamilton did not serve in this capacity and James Clark was appointed in his place. The date of this action by the Council was November 6, 1871. They also set the salary for policemen at two dollars per day and the salary for marshal at $2.25 a day.
The following year on April 4  Erastus LeSuer [LeSeur] was appointed marshal. F. W. Loveland [J. W. Loveland]2 and Newton Felch replaced Edwin Gidley and Jeremiah Peek. James Clark also resigned in April, as did Joseph Preston in August 1872.
James J. Parshall was voted as the new Marshal by the Council on May 5, 1873 replacing LeSuer [LeSeur] and Jacob Seabold [Seabolt]3 and William Porter were appointed patrolmen on October 1st. John W. Loveland was elected by the Council to replace James J. Parshall as chief on April 20, 1874. Jacob Seabold [Seabolt] left the force in March and returned two months later. George W. Brown was appointed patrolman on October 19, 1874, filling the vacancy caused by Loveland’s advancement.
On April 14, 1875 the entire force was dismissed and E. Stiling received the majority of votes of the Council and was appointed marshal and J.G. Johnson was named patrolman. They constituted the force until October 4, 1875 when John W. Maroney was appointed patrolman. Marshal Stiling died while in office in October 1875 and A. H. Herron was named to fill the unexpired term.
Herron was re-elected in 1876 but the Council apparently pressed charges against him in July and in September he resigned. A special meeting was called by the Council for the purpose of accepting Herron’s resignation and naming his successor. George W. Cook received the appointment.
John G. Johnson, a patrolman for the past two years was elected marshal replacing Cook on April 5, 1877 and was again re-elected the following year. Daniel W. Amsden replaced John Maroney in April 1878 as patrolman. Salaries were set at $600.00 annually for the marshal and $500.00 annually for patrolmen.
A.W. Porter, a former policeman, returned to the force in October 1878. Johnson was again re-elected by the Council to serve as Marshal in 1879 and Chris. Mellman replaced D. W. Amsden in September of that year as patrolman. Again in 1880, Johnson received the approval of the Council for the office, but on April 20, 1881 he was defeated by Thomas Clarken. John S. Nowland was voted as Clarken’s successor on April 12, 1882. Nowland was re-elected by the Council on April 9, 1883 to serve as marshal and Thomas Clarken replaced William A. Porter as patrolman. William left the force November 1, 1883. Chas. L. Fall replaced Nowland as chief on April 12, 1884, and named Fred Sipley, Homer Henderson and William Campion as patrolmen releasing Clarken from the department. Salaries were raised to $780.00 a year for the marshal and $720.00 a year for patrolmen by the Council. The Council also ordered a telephone placed in the police office and at the home of the marshal. Salaries were reduced the following year to $600.00 for patrolmen but the chief’s salary remained unchanged. Fall was re-elected by the Council the following year and retained the same three patrolmen.
Fred Sipley, a patrolman, was elected Marshal by the Council on April 12, 1886 and Michael Clark and Daniel W. Amsden were appointed patrolmen replacing Henderson and filling the vacancy caused by Sipley’s promotion. William Campion left in March 1887, Sipley was again elected chief on April 15, 1887. Michael Clark was retained as patrolman and William Campion returned, replacing Amsden. The Council resolved that the department would consist of the marshal and two patrolmen for the ensuing year. When William Campion again left in August 1887, the Council decided not to replace him but to erect more streetlights with the salary intended for another patrolman. However, E. B. Gidley had started to work but his services were dispensed with after the Council’s action. Sipley was again re-elected by the Council on April 9, 1888 and James Murray joined the force on August 1, 1888 when Michael Clark resigned.
Sipley was again named chief in May 1889 but this time not by a vote of the Council. The rules of the Council were changed whereby the mayor presented the names of persons he appointed for various positions to the Council for their approval. He remained in the office for one week, however, as he resigned and was appointed chief of the Fire Department, a position he held for many years. Along with his transfer also went the position of poor master.
The vacancy was filled by William Walsh, appointed to fill the unexpired term. David Collins and Clarence Tice were appointed patrolmen on September 29, 1890. William Walsh, the chief, resigned in November and James Murray, a patrolman, succeeded him. He was appointed by Mayor Charles Manley.
James R. Murray was marshal again in 1891, serving under Mayor William G. Doty during his two terms in that office. The police station was located in the city offices, which occupied the second floor of a building in the 200 block of N. Fourth Avenue. David Collins, more commonly known as “Doc” Collins, and Noble C. Tice were retained as patrolmen. The services of some of the citizens were occasionally solicited as extra patrolmen or special police, this averaging a cost to the city of approximately $20.00 a month. Mayor Bradley Thompson removed Murray from the office of chief of police on October 24, 1893, and Charles Wheeler was appointed and both patrolmen were retained.
In May 1894, two men were added to the force. The purpose of this addition was to have an officer patrol the business district on South State Street during the night and the other to patrol downtown. This was during the administration of Dr. Cyrenus Darling, Mayor, who appointed Parris S. Banfield as marshal. Noble Tice was not re-appointed as patrolman necessitating the naming of three new officers who were: Reuben Armbruster, William Eldert and George B. Isbell. Eldert was replaced in March, 1895 by Robert Leonard. It is interesting to know that in the month of June that year, the department made eight arrests, four for drunkenness and four for violations of ordinances. At that time there were thirty-eight saloons in the city.
Mayor Warren E. Walker appointed Melvin C. Peterson as marshal in 1895 and John O’Mara as patrolman, replacing Robert Leonard. In submitting his report to the Common Council, Marshal Peterson stated that the department had made 211 arrests during the year May 1, 1895 to April 30, 1896. The police budget for that year was $3,401.80. Peterson was marshal for two years. At the start of the second year, he attempted to have the salary of City Marshal raised from $780 to $1000 a year by submitting a communication to the Council but the Finance Committee of the Council fixed the salary for the ensuing year at $780.00.
Peterson sent another communication to the Council in May 1897 recommending that the Police Department be placed under a Board of Police Commissioners and thus remove it from political influences. This was met with the same success as his previous letter, nothing was done about it.
Zenas Sweet replaced Peterson as marshal in April 1897 and served until 1899 during Mayor Charles Hiscock’s administration with an increase in salary to 900.00 a year. On May 1, 1899 Mayor Gottlob Luick appointed William C. Gerstner as marshal, so at the turn of the century the department consisted of the marshal and four patrolmen, the four being Collins, Isbell, O’Mara and Armbruster.
Mayor Royal S. Copeland selected Frank H. Warren as Marshal and Harris Ball as patrolman, replacing Gerstner and Armbruster on July 15, 1901. After receiving a communication from the office of the marshal, the Council granted that a patrolman be appointed to serve while the regular patrolmen were on vacation. This period of appointment was not to exceed two months. W.J. Randall was employed for this service.
The next mayor, Arthur Brown, gave Orton M. Kelsey the office of marshal. Kelsey was a former deputy sheriff. The same four patrolmen were retained and salaries were increased to $1000.00 for the marshal and $720.00 for the patrolmen. Harris Ball was promoted to the rank of sergeant at a salary of $900.00 annually. He was the first sergeant in the department.
On May 18, 1903 the Council formulated an amendment to the city charter recommending the institution of a Board of Police Commissioners. In June of the same year, the amendment met defeat as several other amendments were also submitted at the same time, which the mayor did not approve.
Charles B. Masten was appointed Marshal on May 1, 1905 succeeding Kelsey. The same four policemen were retained by Mayor Francis M. Hamilton. Also on this date, the mayor requested that the force be increased by two men. His request was approved by the Council and William Walsh and William Eldert, a former patrolman, were appointed. The department now had seven members. In October 1906 Marshal Masten was seriously wounded while attempting to make an arrest on the North Side. He was shot in the abdomen with a shotgun and still carries shot in his body from the fracas. Mr. Masten is one of the few living ex-chiefs of the department and one of the four members of the department to be wounded in service by firearms.
A reward of $500.00 was offered by the Council for the apprehension and conviction of the person guilty of shooting the marshal, this offer being later withdrawn. William Eldert was appointed acting-marshal while Masten was recovering.
Also in 1906, George Isbell died and was replaced by William Clark. Prior to September of that year, the policemen received their salaries once a month. A communication by the Board of Fire Commissioners to the Council requesting semi-monthly distribution of salary checks for the firemen resulted in the same for policemen.
Theodore Apfel was appointed marshal by Mayor James C. Henderson on April 24, 1907 replacing Masten. Robert Whitney was named patrolman in place of David “Doc” Collins who had been a patrolman for sixteen years.
Mayor Henderson recommended that the department be increased by two men. The Council moved that this recommendation be granted and on May 20, 1907 and the mayor almost completely changed the personnel of the department. David Collins was reappointed to the service replacing Robert Whitney who had been named Collin’s successor a month prior. Zenus Sweet, a former marshal, replaced Harris Ball, Matthew Max replaced William Eldert, Thomas Blackburn, the only colored officer ever in the department replaced William Clark and Thomas O’Brien and George Weeks, Jr. were named new patrolmen.
The personnel of the force then consisted of nine men as follows: Marshal Theodore Apfel, Patrolmen George W. Weeks, Jr., John O’Mara, David Collins, William Walsh, Zenus Sweet, Thomas O’Brien, Matthew Max and Thomas Blackburn. Prior to his appointment to the department, Tom O’Brien had been a member of the Fire Department for about two years.
A twenty per cent increase in salary was asked for in August 1907 but was disapproved by the Council. Also in that same month, David Collins resigned and this vacancy was filled by the appointment of a sanitary officer under the Health Department.
Every marshal employed several men each month as special police for certain occasions. Some of these men were ex-patrolmen or ex-marshals while others were citizens.
In October 1907, Marlend Howard (now the patrol sergeant) made his appearance in the department as a special officer. He remained in this capacity until appointed regular patrolman in later years. These special officers were paid by the city; however, numerous appointments were made during the previous years of special officers without pay from the city to serve at such places as the Opera House, Athletic Field and the University Campus.
The Marshal’s Report listed thirty-eight arrests, all misdemeanors, for the month of November 1907.
It was in this year that the City Hall was built and offices were moved from North Fourth Avenue to the present city building. The police department occupied the front office in the basement and was the first to occupy any of the new building.
In December 1907 George W. Weeks, Jr. left the department and was not replaced. This and the aforementioned vacancy reduced the force back to seven men. The main cause for not filling these vacancies was due to the distressed financial condition of the city.
March 16, 1908 was the date of the historic student riot at the Star Theater on East Washington Street where Conlin & Weatherbee Clothiers is now located. The cause of the riot as related by witnesses was that the manager of the theater and a pool room operator or owner on State Street had approached one of the University of Michigan’s star football players with a financial offer if he, the player, would “throw” a certain game. These two businessmen would bet heavily on the opposing team in this particular game.
Information on this did not leak out until the following spring. When the students learned about this, they advised the theater manager to close his place for good. After one week the theater was still operating so on March 16, 1908 in the evening, the students assembled and came to the theater in a body. They demanded that the manager come before them but he had made his exit through a rear door.
The physical arrangement was ideal for the students. A building was being constructed across the street on the north side of East Washington Street, east of the alley. (At present, this building is unoccupied but until recently the General Market was located in it.) About three carloads of brick were stacked on the sidewalk in front of the building being constructed and the students made use of the bricks. Bricks were hurled at the theater and hurled continuously until the theater was demolished inside as well as outside. The riot lasted all night and futile attempts were made by the police, firemen and University officials to stop it. Sixty-two arrests were made that night and the police received injuries, with torn, damaged and lost uniforms. The Fire Department’s equipment was damaged likewise and so were streetcars. It cost the city $31.25 for repairing or replacing officer’s uniforms.
Among the injured civilians was Fred Cook who lived in the apartment directly over the theater. He was injured by a hurled brick. He was the father of the present chief, Norman E. Cook, who though only a youngster of nine years at the time, vividly remembers the incident.
Mayor Henderson reappointed Theodore Apfel as chief on May 4, 1908, John O’Mara as sergeant, retained the same patrolmen, and he named George Schanz as a new patrolman and M.J. Martin as a clerk in the office. The clerk’s salary was $40.00 a month. In November of that year William Walsh resigned and M.J. Martin was appointed to fill the vacancy while Don McIntyre was appointed as clerk in the office. Apfel was reappointed by Mayor William Walz in 1909, this being one of the few instances when a chief or marshal of the former administration was successful in gaining reappointment.
Patrolman M.J. Martin and Don McIntyre, the clerk, resigned on October 1, 1909. Ernest Bethke was appointed to Martin’s place but owing to the overdrawn condition of the police fund, the other vacancy was not filled, reducing the number of men in the department to eight. Bethke left the force in January 1910 and William J. Aprill was selected to fill the vacancy. It was during the year 1910 that the police department equipped patrolmen with electric flashlights.
Chief Apfel was again reappointed during Mayor Walz’s second term of office. In June 1910, Sergeant John O’Mara resigned after fifteen years of continuous service to the department. Prior to his joining the force in 1895, Sergeant O’Mara was a carriage painter and from all reports, a better than average carriage painter. He had a formula for mixing paint that would eliminate the necessity of giving a carriage the usual nineteen or twenty coats to obtain a smooth finish. The motor industry was in its infancy at this time and an automobile body manufacturer in Detroit heard of O’Mara’s formula.
A man from that concern was sent to Ann Arbor to contact Sergeant O’Mara. O’Mara gladly gave the agent his formula. When the official returned to Detroit and presented his acquisition, the concern, after studying the formula, promptly dispatched the official back to Ann Arbor with instructions to hire O’Mara. Sergeant O’Mara was reluctant to accept although he did consent to report for work at a stated time. On the specified day, O’Mara failed to appear at the plant. The official again returned to Ann Arbor and found O’Mara still in uniform. After some dickering, O’Mara again consented to report to the firm in Detroit, which he did in July 1910. He held a responsible position with the concern for many years.
Thomas O’Brien, who had been a patrolman for three years, was elevated to the rank of sergeant, replacing O’Mara and Gustave Meyer was named patrolman. Salaries for the patrolmen were raised at the start of the fiscal year, July 1, 1910. The sergeant’s salary was raised from $68 to $75 a month and the patrolmen from $60 to $66 a month.
The Council on July 4, 1910 received a communication from the Chief of Police “considering the advisability of procuring a motorcycle for use of police.” This was referred to the Police Committee of the Council and in August 1910 they reported as follows: “Your committee to whom motorcycle for police was referred, respectfully report that it is not deemed advisable to purchase a motorcycle but advise the purchase of auto patrol as soon as sufficient funds are available in the department.”
Up to this time, the only means of transportation owned by the department was a bicycle. This was generally an unclaimed bike and after a few repairs made on it, was used for police service. From 1871 to 1910 and later until the department purchased motor transportation, all major calls and complaints were answered by the police by renting a hack. The monthly expenditure varied from $5 to $25. The Polhemus & Walker Liveries, according to the records, furnished most of the livery service. An officer patrolling, on receiving a complaint from a citizen that required his immediate attention when the location of the complaint was at some distance, would stop a hack on the street and order the driver to go to the place desired. This practice was done frequently. One of the officers owned a horse and buggy and this was used during the daytime for calls.
There was no officer in the police station at night so when the police were needed, the telephone operator would ring a telephone located at the corner of Main and Huron Streets and by doing so, would cause a red light in the center of the street overhead to go on. If no officers were around when the light went on, any citizen nearby would start to look for the patrolmen and notify them that the light was on. The patrolman would then call the operator and get the complaint. If the nature of the complaint warranted his leaving his post, he would summon a hack and complete the call. The bicycle was parked near the light at night. The bike was not always in the best of condition and was only used for minor calls nearby.
Years later, when the telephone operator received a call for the urgent need for police during the night and the light on Main Street was not immediately responded to, she would call Prochnow’s Restaurant located on East Huron Street directly behind what is now the Ann Arbor Savings & Commercial Bank and until recently operated by Mr. Prochnow4. He would take the complaint, go out in front of the restaurant and beat a club, which he kept for this sole purpose, against an iron post at the curb. In the still of the night, this sound was audible anywhere in the business area. The patrolmen would rush to the restaurant, get the complaint from Mr. Prochnow and then call or commandeer a carriage.
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 . 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 .
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.
The sudden death of the Chief, Frank Pardon on August 23, 1916 resulted in the appointment of Sergeant Thomas O’Brien as acting-chief on September 5, 1916 to fill the unexpired term of Chief Pardon. This action was done by Ernest Wurster, Acting-Mayor. Robert Clark was appointed patrolman to fill the vacancy.
The personnel at the beginning of Acting-Chief O’Brien’s appointment as administrator in the department, which he held for seventeen years, was as follows: William Aprill, Gustave Meyer, Thomas Blackburn, Reuben Armbruster, Frank Kiehl [Keihl], Edward Blumhardt, Emanuel Sodt, Earl Walker, Marlend Howard and Robert Clark.
A new car for the department was now needed. Bids were received and a Ford touring car was purchased for $416.00 including spare tire and speedometer.
Salaries were again raised by the Council in July 1917, the reason again being the rising cost of living. This was the period of the last World War and men were difficult to obtain to fill a vacancy. A patrolman’s salary was set at $84.70 a month. Later in the same year salaries were again increased.
By Council action, two more men were added to the force by the recommendation of Mayor Wurster in 1917. The mayor also did some reorganization work in the department in November of that year. Henry Harden and Fred Sodt were appointed as new patrolmen while Tom Blackburn, Reuben Armbruster and Earl Walker were relieved of duty and replaced by Jacob Andres, Clyde Bennett and Charles Splitt. Blackburn had been a patrolman for ten years while Armbruster had served a total of twelve years.
Jacob Andres resigned in March 1918 and Keihl was drafted into the Army. Clay Alexander was appointed as a temporary patrolman but saw little service. Joseph F. Gast was appointed patrolman July 1, 1918 to fill the vacancy in the department. Salaries were again raised to $93.16 a month for patrolmen. Frank S. Marz was selected to fill the vacancy caused by Charles Splitt leaving the service on September 30, 1918. Later, on November 15 the salary for a patrolman was set at $102.46 a month.
Charles Splitt returned to the force replacing Clyde Bennett in January 1919. Bennett returned later on May 5, the same year to replace Henry Harden who resigned. George Randel was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Emanuel Sodt who accepted a position with the Water Department as Superintendent. It was specified by the Mayor that Randel was to be a motorcycle patrolman. Keihl returned from the Army on August 1, 1919 thus bringing the department back up to its full strength of thirteen men. In November Gustave Meyer left the force and in January 1920 Robert Clark resigned. Charles Harden replaced Meyer and Carl Arnold replaced Clark who was reappointed a month later when another man was added.
Salaries again were raised to $117.82 a month for patrolmen and three months later, in February 1920, they were again raised to $137.50 to meet the increasing cost of living. Four months later they were again boosted to $149.28 a month.
Fred Sodt left on March 1, 1920. Frank Marz was appointed as health officer and transferred to that department. Jacob Andres, a former patrolman, was selected to fill one vacancy on June 7, 1920 and on July 19, 1920 Lewis W. Fohey was appointed to fill the other by Mayor Wurster. Carl Arnold left in July and this vacancy was not filled until December by the appointment of DeLester Gardner.
No sooner would a vacancy be filled than another would occur by the resignation of some patrolman, the reason for this being that the wages offered by industrials far exceeded the salary paid by the city. In December 1920 Charles Harden left the force. Robert Clark left in February 1921. Charles Kapp was selected for one vacancy in March but Clyde Bennett resigned in the same month and the force was then two men under full strength.
Hugh J. McNally was appointed as a night sergeant on May 2, 1921. McNally was a retired Chicago police officer. John L. Osborne was appointed patrolman December 5, 1921 replacing DeLester Gardner who left because of illness. Sergeant McNally left in May 1922 and Carl Arnold returned to the department in July.
The acting-chief was authorized by the Council on September 4, 1922 to purchase six traffic signals and to install them where he deemed them necessary.
James J. O’Kane was selected as patrolman to bring the force up to full strength of fourteen men in November 1922. At this time Mayor George Lewis recommended that the Police Department be under the Board of Fire Commissioners and to increase the department from fourteen to eighteen men. Jacob Andres was promoted to the rank of sergeant on December 1, 1922. James O’Kane resigned in the same month and was replaced by Glenn D. Sheldon on January 1, 1923.
A proposed amendment to the City Charter was recommended in January 1923 and submitted for popular vote. The amendment created a Board of Police Commissioners. It was so elected by the people to have such an amendment in the charter. Mayor Lewis appointed Clarence R. Snyder for one year, George J. Burke for two years and John E. Swisher for three years as the first Police Commission on May 7, 1923.
Charles Splitt left the force in April and was replaced by Thomas (Tim) Fohey. Glenn Sheldon resigned and Norman Ballard replaced him in May. Tim Fohey was the last member to be appointed by a mayor while Ballard was the first to be appointed by the commission. Clyde Apple also joined the department in the same month bringing the personnel up to a total of fifteen men.
Arnold Busch was the sixteenth member, being appointed in July 1923. Norman E. Cook also joined the department in the same month and Sherman Mortenson the following month, replacing Clyde Apple and John Osborne. Osborne left to join the Sheriff’s Department. Harold Herzog and Frank Blakely were appointed in September 1923, increasing the force to eighteen men.
The Police Commission requested the Council to grant permission for their body to purchase a Ford car to be used in patrolling outlying districts. This action was approved in October but the new car was not made available for some time. However, the first scout car patrol was started with Sherman Mortenson driving a Model T Ford Coupe that had been confiscated from a bootlegger. The car was better than half worn-out when the department acquired it and it did not take very long to finish the job of wearing it out as it was driven 100 miles or more every night. Scout car patrol was only during the nighttime. Meanwhile Norman Cook was assigned to a motorcycle.
Frank Keihl was promoted to the rank of detective in 1923 and later, in December of the same year, promoted to detective-sergeant. Frank Blakely left in December, Clyde Orrison replacing him in February 1924. Lewis Fohey was promoted to the rank of sergeant replacing Sergeant Jacob Andres who resigned to go to the Sheriff’s Department. Albert Heusel was appointed patrolman March 15, 1924 to fill the vacancy and Erwin Keebler replaced Joseph Gast who resigned on April 21, 1924.
Clarence Snyder was renamed to the Board of Police Commissioners in May 1924. Harold Gee was appointed to replace Clyde Orrison who left, Gee going on duty May 5 .
In June, the Police Commission requested that a patrolman be added during the vacation periods. The request was granted and Louis Stackable received the appointment. Harold Herzog left in September and Stackable remained as a regular patrolman. Norman Ballard and Louis Stackable resigned January 15, 1925, Clifford Canfield and Frank Andrews replacing them. Benjamin Ball was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Clifford Canfield on April 1 .
George Burke was reappointed to the Police Commission on May 4, 1925 by Mayor Robert Campbell. George Randel resigned from the force in May and was replaced by Harry Smith, a former deputy sheriff, and was given the rank of detective. Roland Wooster was added to the force on June 15, 1925 bringing the number of men in the department to nineteen. Herman Suma replaced Tim Fohey who left on August 15th. Frank Andrews also left in August and Carl Arnold left the following month. Oscar Wier [Weir]7was appointed to fill one vacancy and started on duty September 8, 1925. Arnold Busch resigned in April 1926 and Tim Fohey returned to the department replacing Busch.
Joseph L. Arnet was appointed to the Police Commission to replace John E. Swisher on May 3, 1926. On that date also, the Police Commission requested that a sergeant be named and two additional patrolmen appointed. The Council acted favorably to this request. Jacob Andres was reappointed to the service filling an existing vacancy, and two new members, Clifford West and Julius Ehnis were appointed on May 17, 1926, to fill the vacancies caused by William Aprill and Edward Blumhardt leaving the department. Norman Cook was promoted to the rank of sergeant on May 15, 1926. Albert Heusel left July 1st to enter service in the Fire Department, he was succeeded by Walter Schmid.
Salaries were increased to $157.00 a month for patrolmen on July 1, 1926. Also, Frank Kiehl [Keihl] was made a lieutenant on this date. William C. Marx was appointed on July 15, 1926 and Arnold Busch returned to the service October 1st, bringing the force up to twenty-one men. George W. Kyer replaced Clarence Snyder on the Police Commission in October 1926. Commissioner Snyder resigned as he moved from the city. Frank DeVine replaced George Burke who resigned in January 1927.
Albert Heusel returned to the department January 15, 1927 to fill one of two vacancies caused by the resignations of Jacob Andres and Clifford West, who left to join the Sheriff’s Department. John Osborn, another former officer, returned to fill the other vacancy. William L. Dawson was named Commissioner by Mayor Staebler in 1927.
The Police Commission submitted to the Council on May 12, 1927, a program requesting the adoption of the three-platoon system and thereby adding a third sergeant. Mayor Staebler vetoed the move after the Budget Committee of the Council had approved it and made appropriation for it in the budget for the coming fiscal year. However, the Council re-enacted and re-passed the resolution. The three-platoon system reduced the hours from ten to eight hours a day.
Nothing has been mentioned so far about the hours worked by the members of the department. Little information can be gained on this matter prior to 1900. At that time the men worked thirteen hours at night and twelve hours in the daytime with no day off during the week or the month. Vacations were earned after a patrolman had been on the force three years. About 1917 or 1918 the hours were decreased to ten a day and one day a month off. Later, two days off a month were given and about 1921, a day a week. In those days, a patrolman had one hour off for lunch and he most generally went home for that, except at night. At that time, officers patrolled the downtown business area, State Street, the North Side or Broadway Street, Packard Street at State and South University at East University. With the introduction of scout car patrol such places as State and Packard, South University and the North Side were eliminated as foot patrol areas.
The changing to the eight-hour shifts necessitated the placing of additional men. Eight men were asked for. Six were appointed to start on duty July 1, 1927 and they were William Hitchingham, Casper Michelsen, Roy Richter, Irwin Davisson, Clifford West and Clark Earl.
Other changes were also made. Sherman Mortenson was promoted to the rank of sergeant while the rank of lieutenant was abolished and the one officer in that rank reduced to a plainclothes officer. He resigned. S.V. Bartholomew was named to replace Frank Keihl. Eugene Gehringer started duty August 1, 1927 and R. S. Burman started in the latter part of September, thus bringing the personnel of the department up to the allotted twenty-nine men.
Before the three shifts were inaugurated, one sergeant remained on the night shift continuously while the other sergeant was always on the day shift. There was no changing. With the three-platoon system and another sergeant added, the men alternated and each member worked an equal amount of nights as days. A change was made the first of each month as it is today. Also, the officer’s day off is changed each month.
Clyde J. Hann [Hahn]8 replaced S.V. Bartholomew, who resigned on January 16, 1928. In May 1928 William L. Walz, a former mayor, was appointed to the Police Commission replacing George W. Kyer. Arnold Busch resigned October 1, 1928 and Harold King succeeded him on January 1, 1929. R.S. Burman left in February 1929 and Clifford Stang replaced him on March 1 .
Donald S. McIntyre was appointed to the Police Commission in May 1929. Eugene Gehringer resigned April 15th and Herbert Kapp replaced him. Tim Fohey left on May 15th and was succeeded by Floyd Gerstner [Gentner]9. Clyde Hahn left in June and Eugene Gehringer returned to the department, replacing Hahn. Salaries were raised to $160.00 a month for patrolmen, effective July 1, 1929. This was and still is the highest salary ever paid to patrolmen in the city’s history.
Floyd Gentner left the force June 1, 1930, Ernest Pommerening replacing him on June 15 . Irwin Davisson resigned June 15th and Casper Enkemann replacing him on July 1, . John Osborne resigned to become the Under Sheriff under Sheriff Jacob Andres, the former patrolman and sergeant. George W. Camp replaced Osborne on January 1, 1931. Lawrence Leever was appointed to the Police Commission succeeding William Walz. Harold Gee left the service in June 1931, George Bessinger replacing him on August 3 .
In this year the department fell victim to car thieves. One of the police cars was stolen from the rear of City Hall during the night and was recovered early in the morning in Detroit while being driven by two escaped convicts from the Detroit House of Corrections.
In 1927, the members of the Fire and Police Departments started to give an annual dance to gain revenue to form a Police and Firemen’s Pension fund. In the year 1931 or the start of the Depression, the members of both departments voted to give the money raised at the dance that year to the Common Council to be turned over to the City Poor Department. Chief of Police Thomas O’Brien presented a check to the City Council in the amount of $1,007.43 in behalf of the police and firemen of the city.
Roland Wooster left the department in December 1931 and the vacancy was not filled until June 1 , Edward Iler receiving the appointment. Salaries were reduced in July 1932. A fifteen per cent reduction brought the salary for a patrolman down to $136.00 a month and the following year another fifteen per cent cut reduced the salary to $116.00 a month. George W. Kyer was appointed Police Commissioner again on May 1, 1933.
The hand of death touched a member of the department on July 1, 1933. Leaving the office in apparent good health at six o’clock in the evening, Chief O’Brien went to his home, collapsed and was pronounced dead on admittance to the hospital shortly afterwards. This was a severe shock to the members of the department as Chief O’Brien was greatly respected and beloved by them. As the news of his death became known throughout the country, messages of sorrow and condolence to his widow and family flowed in from all parts of the nation, from police executives in other cities, from former students at the University of Michigan and many others. He was buried on July 4  in Northfield Cemetery.
And so passed a great character, one who had devoted twenty-eight years to public service. He was a good administrator and had developed the department to a greater degree of efficiency. In his years of service he saw the personnel of the department triple in number and it was he who planned many of the improved working conditions of the men.
A resolution was passed by the Common Council of the City of Ann Arbor on July 6, 1933, in part as follows:
“Whereas, Our Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom has called from among us our highly honored and greatly beloved Chief of Police Thomas O’Brien, and
Whereas, the City of Ann Arbor and its environs have suffered a great loss in the passing of Chief O’Brien who has been a most faithful, conscientious and efficient officer and highly esteemed citizen, therefore be it
Resolved, that the Common Council of the City of Ann Arbor extend to the bereaved family our sincere and heartfelt sympathy in the passing of husband and father, and we share with them a mutual loss of an exemplary citizen and public official.”
Sergeant Lewis W. Fohey, who had been a sergeant for the past nine years, was appointed by the Police Commission to succeed Chief O’Brien. Other promotions that followed were Clifford West, from detective to sergeant, Eugene Gehringer from patrolman to detective, and Edward Gokenbach received an appointment as patrolman.
In October 1933, the fifteen per cent reduction in salary received in July was restored, bringing the salary for patrolmen back to $136.00 a month. Oscar Weir died April 5, 1934 and Albert Baker replaced him.
The Police Commission requested the Council to provide new quarters for the department in October 1934, the reason being that the rooms now occupied by the department were inadequate for business purposes and housing records. The Council took no action on the request.
About 3:05 p.m. on March 21, 1935, Officer Clifford Stang lost his life in the service. He was fatally wounded when he entered the clothing store of Conlin & Wetherbee while a holdup was in progress. He had reported on duty at three o’clock and intended to make a purchase of a tie clasp first thing. As he walked into the store, the two merchants and what appeared to be three customers were in the rear of the store, one of the “customers” trying on a coat. One merchant called to the officer saying that they were being held up. Apparently, the officer did not believe them for no one seemed to be in distress. As he walked further into the store, one of the felons assaulted him with a gun while the other disarmed him. A fight ensued and the officer was wounded fatally in the chest. Death was immediate. He is the only officer ever killed in action in the history of the department.
The city lost one of the finest policemen it ever had. “Sid,” as he was better known to the members of the department, was a good officer and friend. The loss to the department was great indeed.
Exactly one year to the hour later the murderer was returned to the city having been apprehended in Los Angeles, California while looting an apartment. He was identified through fingerprints. Shortly before the shooting occurred here, he had been released from the Michigan State Prison and identification was made by a photograph of the suspect. Copies of his fingerprints were secured and mailed to every police department in the United States and foreign countries having an identification bureau. The result has been explained. He was returned to Ann Arbor by Chief Lewis Fohey, Sergeant Mortenson and Prosecutor Albert Rapp on March 21, 1936 at 3:30 p.m.
William Padgett, alias William Hayden, alias “Shorty” Hayden was the criminal apprehended, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and is now serving that sentence.
The Common Council of the City of Ann Arbor passed a resolution on April 15  similar to the one you have already read on the death of Chief O’Brien. Roland J. Gainsley was appointed to succeed Stang, starting duty on April 15, 1935.
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 . 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 . 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 .
The policemen and firemen were not protected with an old age security. As the measures had been taken to obtain such protection by having annual dances, the revenues from the dances had grown to a fairly sizeable amount and it was decided to place before the Common Council the request to have the issue of a policemen and firemen’s pension placed on the ballot in November 1938 for popular vote.
The policemen and firemen agreed to start the fund with a capital outlay of $10,000.00, if the matter was approved by the voters. The amendment to the Charter was Section 63A, and the pension plan was Act 345 of the Public Acts of the State. In order to have the amendment pass, a sixty per cent vote for the issue was required. The results were 5, 652 votes for and 3,114 votes against the amendment, which was better than the required percentage, and the issue became law.
Provisions of the plan are that a fireman or policeman may retire after twenty-five years service. The minimum age for retirement is fifty years with at least twenty-five years service. Retirement is not compulsory after that number of years, however, if a fireman or policeman would desire to continue in the service, a medical examination would be required annually to determine his fitness. At the age of sixty-five years, retirement is compulsory.
The issue was fair and presented to the public in a fair manner. Considering that other professions and trades have social security or old age assistance, so also the policemen and firemen will now receive such benefits.
The fund was started by the two organizations as agreed, by depositing with the City Treasurer the amount specified. To maintain this fund the taxpayer is assessed three tenths of a mill per thousand of valuation while the members of both departments contribute three per cent of their salaries. It was also agreed that no one would retire until the start of the third year. Having become effective July 1, 1939, no retirements will go into effect until July 1, 1941, thereby permitting the pension fund to accumulate and be more sound.
Sergeant Clifford West left the Department in February 1939, Edward Iler received the promotion to succeed him and Robert Haarer was appointed as a new patrolman.
Lewis W. Fohey, the Chief of Police, was retired by the [Police] Commission on May 29, 1939 because of ill health. As there was to be no retirement paid from the pension fund until July 1, 1941, the City Council voted to appropriate the money until the pension fund went into effect. Fohey did not enjoy his retirement very long as he died the following year on July 20 .
Norman E. Cook, a sergeant, was named to succeed Chief Fohey while Casper Enkemann was promoted to sergeant to succeed Cook. Eugene J. Gehringer was promoted to the rank of detective-sergeant. The Council approved the addition of four more patrolmen to the force and the four men appointed to go on duty starting July 1, 1939 were Walter Krasny, Luther Buss, Henry Murray and Roland Wurster.
Robert Haarer left the department because of ill health on September 20  and Robert Mayfield and Alfred Toney were selected to fill the vacancies caused by Haarer’s leaving and Fohey’s retirement. These last six men appointed were selected by a series of elimination examinations. All applicants for a position in the Police Department are required to take the examinations and only those who have satisfactorily passed all examinations are considered. When the last two men were appointed there were twenty-five applicants. All took the first examination, eleven passing it. On the second examination, five passed and from these five two were selected after all had been given personal interviews.
David Saxton was appointed to the Police Commission on October 16, 1939 by Mayor Sadler.
On February 9, 1940, the department suffered the loss of one of its ablest men in the death of Sergeant Edward B. Iler. Sergeant Iler died following a brief illness and operation. His death was a severe shock not only to the department but to the public as well. He was comparatively a young man when appointed to the rank he held, being in his late twenties and the youngest man ever to hold that rank in the department. He was a very intelligent officer and had shown promise of a great future.
Clark J. Earl was appointed to the rank of sergeant to fill the vacancy in the staff. There were thirty-seven members in the department until Sergeant Iler’s death and no recruitment was made to fill the vacancy caused by his death.
Herbert L. Frisinger was reappointed to the Police Commission on June 3, 1940 by Mayor Sadler.
Scanning back over these pages we see that the Police Department has grown from three to thirty-six men in the past fifty years, from a department that had no transportation to one that has seven motor units, from a one-room office with one telephone to a suite of offices each equipped with telephone service and with radio communication to and from its motor units as well as to other police departments in the state.
A total of forty-one men have acted as the chief law enforcement officer of the Village or City of Ann Arbor either as Marshals or Chiefs of Police, thirteen who were elected by the people, thirteen who were elected by the Councilmen, twelve who were appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council and three who were appointed by the Board of Police Commissioners. Of the forty-one men, twenty-eight have headed the department since it was an organized paid police force.
Many men have been appointed to the department as patrolmen. Some of them left the service because of political changes, some because of request but the greater number left by voluntary resignation. Of the former members of the department, it is interesting to know that many of the present Sheriff’s staff served on the Police Department, Sheriff Jacob Andres having been a sergeant and Under Sheriff John Osborn, Deputies George Randel, Fred Sodt and Clyde Bennett were patrolmen. Matthew J. Max who was a patrolman from 1907 to 1911 is now Chief of the New York Central Railroad Police in Detroit. Irwin Davisson, a patrolman from 1927 to 1930, heads a police organization of a mining company in the Upper Peninsula.
The length of service of those appointed varied from one week to twenty-six years. The late Chief Tom O’Brien had the distinction of being with the department longer than anyone else, having begun on May 20, 1907 and serving until his death on July 1, 1933, a total of twenty-six years, one month and ten days. He also was head of the department longer than any other chief, having been in that office for almost seventeen years.
In concluding this history we present the roster of the Police Department with the length of service of each member as of June 30, 1940: [Text Not Found]
1 1872 City Directory: LeSeur, Erastus, city marshal
2 1872 City Directory: Loveland, John W., policeman
3 1872 City Directory: Seabolt, Jacob
4 1910 City Directory: Prochnow, Theodore F. (Carrie H), restaurant 104 Huron E.
5 1914 City Directory: Kenny, John T, (Julia C), Chief of Police, Office City Hall
61917 City Directory: Keihl, Frank J, police
7 1926 City Directory: Weir, Oscar (Alice) police
8 1929 City Directory: Hahn, Clyde J (Emma H) police
9 1930 City Directory: Gentner, Floyd E (Florence M) police