Thomas Lallak Published February 25, A history of a police department must parallel that history of the city where it preserves the public order, protects property and safekeeps the good manner of the people. If it is going to be a good department, it must grow and progress as the city grows and progresses.
Who is pete buttigieg? | presidential candidate
From a few men at the birth of our city, the police department has grown and progressed into a noteworthy department which the people of South Bend should be proud of. The history books and record books are very sparse with regards to the police department, and so much of this history will be gleaned from clippings from The South Bend Tribune and the defunct South Bend News-Times which are on file at the St. Joseph County Public Library.
Lathrop Taylor on Mach 28,there were about people living in the area. With this many people, there was a need for a protective agency and so in that same year this agency was formed with Benjamin Potter and Thomas Skiles as the first constables, as they were known.
Later, Charles Chandonia and David Custer took over these positions. The town government faltered in those first few years and so in there was a reorganization along with the protective agency. Johnson in a few days. The town held its first election on March 3, and, since marshals were bona-fide town officials along with the president, trustees, etc.
As the town grew, the need for city government increased and so in it was incorporated as the City of South Bend with a city government. The office of marshal remained with Daniel Roof as the first marshal of the municipality of South Bend. The marshal had one assistant that first year, but by the department had grown to 13 men with the office of marshal remaining an elected office until For a of years the of men on the department fluctuated around 10 men.
In any history there is going to be triumph and tragedy, and both must be covered. Thus tragedy struck the small department in when Officer Oscar Christensen was killed by a railroad detective on May 11, while investigating vandalism in the railroad yards. There had been reports of many hobos in the yards and it was thought one of them had something to do with the killing until a few months later when the railroad detective admitted to his mistake.
In the Indiana General Assembly passed a statute for all cities to organize a police force to be headed by a Superintendent of Police, and thus South Bend came under the operation of the Metropolitan Law. The office of marshal was abolished and a metropolitan police force was organized. Rose as the first superintendent of the police force. Even though the force was down to about 10 men, the quality was improving.
Since all the police work was done on foot, the use of a horse drawn patrol wagon driven by Philip J. Rostiser was considered a big advancement. As the city grew so did the department, but little could be done by the city police in the county, thus many of the townships had their own detective agencies. One newspaper clipping showed that, even in those days, there were stolen vehicles, i.
In those days when a prisoner could not pay a fine, he had to work it off by breaking rocks into smaller stones which were used on the driveways of South Bend City Cemetery. Hobos were put to work in the cemetery because the city would not tolerate them within the city limits.
Thus on January 17,the first stone was broken in the new stoneyard behind the police station. The department continued to improve itself and to keep up with other departments. It organized a plain clothes division whose duties would be to investigate crimes already committed.
AroundJames Cutting, along with Guy Bunker, had the longest service record of 38 years on the department.
Joseph Chappell became the first plain clothes detective on the department. The concern over the increase in crime is an age-old problem that has plagued the people of South Bend. This concern was very great in because, in a 9 day period, 14 crimes were committed. The South Bend Tribune issued this editorial:.
It will prove of interest to the city police department and surely to the people who are living in a reign of terror in which the thug element stands king…This is not a record of which the South Bend Police Department protector of the life and property of the city can glance with pride not can 32, citizens of South Bend read it with feelings of confidence for their own safety or of their property…these are facts which citizens will ponder over deeply and at the same time they will wonder how long the thug, the tramps, the petty thieves and other criminals are to be allowed to run things….
Over the next couple years the department grew to 26 patrolmen and two sergeants. The efficiency of the department improved with the installation of 26 public alarm boxes connected with the department along with 7 private alarms located in the various public buildings and in a few private residences. Along with the mentioned officers, there was also a humane officer and sanitary officer who were concerned with animals and the health of citizens.
The men worked 12 hours a day and had one day off every 14 days.
In the early years of the department, the superintendent or chief issued an annual report declaring the assets of the department and the accomplishments, such as service calls, arrests, etc…, for the year. The following is a summary of the third annual report for the year May 1, to May 1, The man power of the metropolitan force of 22 with stars and 20 with clubs was worth twice the value of the contents of the central station.
The superintendent, Joseph Turnock, listed assets as tables, coal hods, pencils, etc. The report listed arrests as in chronological order, the criminal, age, charge and disposition. It also listed ambulance calls, giving the name of the injured or dead, even how it happened and what was done after the call.
The arrests were for such things as riding a bicycle without a lamp one hour after sunset.
In the year the Board of Police Commissioners was abolished and the Board of Public Safety was established with jurisdiction over the police department, which remains to this day. During the head of the department was no longer called the superintendent, but the chief of police. On October 25,tragedy struck the department again when Officer Samuel A. Cooper was shot by a local burglar by the name of Louis Jaquith whom he encountered in the block of South Michigan Street.
On November 2, Officer Cooper succumbed to his bullet wound, peritonitis being the cause of death. Because the department and the city were growing, the chief in his annual report expressed the need for a sub-station on the outer limits of the city because over 3, miles were covered by the police department. The department was also improving in efficiency, as noted in the report. Besides the patrolmen and the horse drawn patrol wagon, which was used for fast and slow runs as an ambulance, there were also mounted patrol and bicycle squ.
A summary of that report states:. Chief James McWeeny broke down the asments of the 41 men on the department as: chief, 1 inspector, 5 sergeants, 1 matron, 5 detectives, 1 humane officer, 2 sanitary officers, 2 drivers, 2 wagonmen, and 21 patrolmen.
The city was divided into 14 nights posts and 6 day posts. The police vehicles, i. There were about 1, arrests made. Ina third policeman was killed in the line of duty on February 25 th while making his routine rounds. Officer Lewis Keller, while checking buildings on his beat, came upon a burglary in progress and surprised the four burglars, one of which shot him point blank near the heart. The invention of the automobile did much to improve the efficiency of police departments and South Bend was not to be left behind as the city kept up with the latest advancements in crime fighting and law enforcement.
On April 20,it was announced that the city would soon have an auto patrol for the outlying districts while the beat men would continue to patrol their regular districts, especially the downtown area, on foot and horse.
The ambulance that had been used for a of years was replaced by a motor driven vehicle. One of the big problems facing most police departments was communication, i.
When the city was small or a patrolman was downtown, it was quite easy for him to come to the station often or someone was sent from the station to find the patrolman and give him the message in a matter of minutes. As the city increased so did the problem and so a system of call boxes were installed with a red light on top of the pole which would light up when the patrolman was needed.
The pull boxes also served another purpose, that of letting headquarters know that the policeman was alright, by having him pull the lever at deated times, i. Chief Guy Bunker, known as one of the strictest disciplinarians in the history of the department, was responsible for this new system.
He was also responsible for a new policy of fewer arrests, which cost the city less, with a concerted effort to correct the evils without making arrests whenever possible.
Directions & parking
Many time vagrants were given lodging at the police station for one night and at other times if a patrolman would find a needy person on his beat he would provide food, fuel, or whatever was needed and this would be charged to the city. Because of this new policy and because the department has always been noted for its new and innovative programs, the South Bend Police Department became the first in Indiana to appoint a woman to its roster. On April 14,Mrs. Minnie Evans became the first policewoman, and after her appointment she went to Chicago for training since that department had just initiated such a program.
She spent 23 years on the department and was considered an asset to the department. Her duties included such things as inspection of dance halls, parks, street cars, railroad stations, and other places where women, girls, and juveniles gathered, as well as investigation of all cases of delinquency and runaways. Because of the valuable service rendered by Mrs. Evans, the department has felt the need for, at least, one policewoman.
Evans was succeeded by Miss Ann Hoene Mrs. John Stickley who retired in For a period of 8 years no one was appointed until when Mrs. Carolyn Miller was appointed, and since her appointment 5 other women have been added to the department. On May 22,tragedy struck the South Bend Police Department again with the killing of Officer Hans Brandt, a rookie policeman, who had only been on the force for one month.
‘someone who would run for president’
He, along with his veteran partner, were set upon by two drunks while they were patrolling their beat. Officer Brandt was shot and his partner, Officer Ferger was cut up, but they were able to subdue the men and hold them for arriving help. Officer Brandt died a month later. It is also worth noting that the work of the department had increased and the use of the automobile in patrol work played a very prominent part.
There were more than calls for the patrol wagon, the auxiliary unit which was almost entirely used in special work, and the ambulance used primarily for transportation of accident victims. These units covered about 7, miles in one year. Since it has already been noted that South Bend had been a leader in law enforcement in the area, it would only be natural that when the idea of a city court probation officer was proposed, Judge Louis M. Hammerschmidt would appoint Larry Lane, who later became chief of police.
Officer Lane was the first probation officer in northern Indiana.
The complaints about the misadministration of the department reach great proportions inwith The South Bend News-Time leading the assault.