“The law of the wilderness was abandoned once Toledo became a chartered City. When the
hearty band of settlers in this region agreed upon the charter for the City, law enforcement
amounted to the appointment of one City Marshal, Calvin Comstock. He stood alone
supposedly ready to battle ruffians, thieves and hoodlums. What threat his presence
imposed in the fledgling settlement of Toledo, is unknown.” Prior to Comstock, justice was
administered by the Justice of the Peace.
Governing Bodies of the Toledo Police
Board of Metropolitan Police, City of Toledo
The first Board organized on April 20, 1867, and served until May 16, 1868. Board members
were appointed by the Governor.
Board of Police Commissioners, City of Toledo
Created by Act of the Ohio Legislature on May 5, 1868. The first Board was popularly
elected on May 12, 1868, and held their organizational meeting May 16, 1868. Subsequent
Boards served until April 20, 1881.
Board of Police & Health Commissioners, City of Toledo
This Board organized on April 20, 1881, and began their duties on June 1, 1881.
Subsequent Boards served until their final meeting on July 1, 1903.
Commissioners were elected to staggered four-year terms.
Board of Public Safety, City of Toledo
This Board organized on July 7, 1903, and subsequent Boards served until
August 1, 1909. It had charge over the Sub-Department of Police.
Director of Public Safety, City of Toledo
Officially this office existed from August 1, 1902, until January 1, 1916. The first meeting was
called by the Safety Director on August 5, 1909. He had charge over the Sub-Department of
Director of Public Safety, City of Toledo
Under a city charter revision, the new office of Director of Public Safety has
existed from January 1, 1916, to the present. The Sub-Department of Police became the Division of Police.
Toledo incorporated by act of the State Legislature.
The first City Charter is written. Calvin Comstock was appointed first City Marshal. He was
the ranking law enforcement officer for the City from April 24, 1837 until 1867, when the
position of City Marshal of Toledo was abolished by an act of the Ohio Legislature. All
Toledo law enforcement officers, whether paid or volunteer, were governed by the Toledo
City Council Committee on Police through April 26, 1867.
Volunteer Police of the City
A volunteer police force was authorized by the City Council with the same police powers as
the city Marshal. The ordinance stated that as soon as 10 but not more than 50 men
volunteered, they would become that force. Council was empowered to elect both a Captain
and Lieutenant, each of whom would serve a one-year term. The same police powers
exercised by the City Marshal were given to the volunteer police. They were to hold at least
one meeting every 4 weeks. The Mayor and Council Committee on police were to govern the
men and Council could disband them at anytime. They were ordered to protect the City both
day and night. In July of 1852, these men organized as the volunteer police; Robert H. Bell,
Peter F. Berdan, John R, Bond, Egbert B. Brown, Gen. Joseph W. Brown, I.M. Hathaway, W.
W. Howe, Henry Ketcham, William Kraus, Jacob Landman, Joel W. Kelsey, I.R, Nelson, Col.
C.B. Phillips, and Andrew Shurtz. This organization was short lived but the ordinance
remained in force until repealed by Council on Sept. 20, 1864.
Night Watch of the City of Toledo
History neglects the details of why the volunteer force was abandoned, but on December 13,
1853, City Council passed a resolution calling for a report of an ordinance to create and
govern a night watch, one for each ward of the City. This was made necessary, possibly,
because the volunteer force were not patrolling the City in the winter months.
On My 24, 1854, an ordinance was passed to establish the “night watch or police” to patrol
only in the night season. It provided for as many appointments to same as the Council
committee on police would determine necessary. They were to be governed by the Council
Committee on Police and the Mayor and were to receive $1.25 per night. Arrested persons
were to be confined in the Police Station on Lot No. 46, Port Lawrence Division of the City.
The City Marshal was designated as the Captain of the night watch.
The Toledo Blade of March 17, 1855, notes “Chain Gang” We understand that the prisoners
and jail-birds of this place are soon to be formed into a chain gang to clean streets. This is
an excellent idea. If this plan is adopted, we think the boarding-house on Adams St. (the
county jail) near the court house will soon be empty. The chain gang, often referred to by
passers-by as the “artillery corps,” was created by City Council and placed under the
direction of the City Marshal, and later under the Captain of Police. The Marshal made a
report to the City Council each month on what had been done by the chain gang.
On December 20, 1856, and on November 18, 1856, the existing Night Watchmen were
discharged. The ordinance was repealed on July 7, 1857. A subsequent ordinance was
passed on July 7, 1857, which provided for the appointment and to prescribe the duties of
the “City Police and Watch.” (from this time and until the appointment of the “Deputies in the
Police Service” on August 11, 1865, the terms police, watch, night police, and day police
appear to have been used interchangeably in the City newspapers and Council minutes to
denote persons hired under the provisions of this ordinance.) Under this ordinance the
Mayor and Council Committee on Police were to constitute a Police Board. The Board was to
designate a “Captain of the Watch,” who would be subordinate to the Mayor and city
Marshal. He was to be in charge of the city watch and all other police officers. Council could
name as many appointees under this ordinance as from time to time they prescribed. The
Captain was to keep a register and a daily book on all activities of the watch and police and
describe exactly the duties performed or failed to be performed while making his rounds.
The Night Watch was to be on duty from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. The Captain of the Watch was to
receive $2 per day and the watchmen each $1 per night.
Barney Mahon was named the first Captain of the Watch by the Police Board on July 7,
1857. An amendment was made to this ordinance on October 7, 1858, calling for the
appointment of two additional “Night Watch” for the railroad station at the “Middle Ground.”
They were not to be paid by the City, but could receive fees as the regular watch for making
The Night Watch usually numbered between four and six, with two on duty on alternate
nights. As with the men appointed under the 1854 ordinance, Council appears to have
discharged them almost yearly, The last mention of watchmen appears in the Council
proceedings of June 1861, and they appear to have been disbanded by Council on January
The practice of auctioning prisoners, who could not pay their fines, to work off their fines
with hard labor for the winning bidder, also ended with the beginning of the Civil War.
Day and Night Police of the City of Toledo
During the month of June 1862, the City Marshal appointed Thomas Byrne and LeRoy B.
VanHoosen as the Night Police. By a Council resolution of June 1864, the City Marshal could
appoint six Deputies, four for night duty and two for day service and they were to be
governed by the City Police and watch rules and regulations. The City Marshal may not
have acted on the resolution of June 1864, however, because on August 16, 1864, the
Council gave the City Marshal powers to deputize men to serve as day and night policemen
as the only policemen at that time were the night police.
Toledo Police or Deputies in the Police Service
On August 11, 1865, the action taken by Council on August 16, 1864 was repealed to take
effect on August 16, 1865, and the Council adopted legislation appointing a Captain of
Police, an Assistant Captain of Police, and 20 policemen. In practice, however, the Captain
of Police was and remained John R. Bond, the City Marshal, and the policemen were paid
each month as “Deputies in the Police service.”
The new Policemen appointed, and who began their duties on August 26, 1865, were:
Charles Baither, Patrick Bolen, Thomas Byrne, Patrick Carew, Edward S. Dodd, William
Dority, John Downing, Martin Flannigan, John H. Fork, James Gafney, Fred C. Hennig,
Samuel McConnell, Jerry Peck, Thomas Quigley, Jackson D. Seaman, Henry Speilbusch,
Josiah N. Smith, Lawrence Walmsley, Joseph E. Wernert, and Louis Wiegan. On October 7,
1865, Horace Hertzler was appointed the Assistant Captain of Police and he served in that
office from October 13, 1865, until April 27, 1867, when this service was disbanded. In 1865,
the City Marshal was made a part of the Police Board. City Council resolution stated, “if the
Police Board shall deem it necessary at anytime, they may detail one or more of the police
to serve as Day Policeman.” This was the first time authorization had been given for a day
The Toledo Blade of September 1, 1866, states that Officers McDonnell, Wernert, and
Spielbusch appeared on duty the previous night dressed in the new uniform prescribed by
the City council. The uniform consisted of blue black pants and single breasted coat, with a
light grey single breasted vest. Gilt regulation buttons were on both the coat and vest. On
November 7, 1866, Council approved payment to M. Paddock of $216.80 for the new caps,
belts, shield, etc. for the police uniforms. The Central station, located on Superior street,
between Washington and Monroe streets, was a four-story building, 60 by 100 feet. The first
floor was of stone, the upper ones of brick with stone trimming. On the first floor was the City
prison, Turnkey’s room, Lodger’s room, Engine room and room for the care of the sick and
injured persons. In connection with this room was “the padded cell, in which were confined
insane and persons suffering from the effects of strong drinks. It was so constructed that it
was impossible for them to do injury to themselves, and was greatly admired by officers from
abroad, where they have no such facilities.
Toledo Police Department (Division) April 27, 1867 to the present
On April 5, 1867, the Ohio Legislature passed the Metropolitan Police Law which called for a
full time paid police force for the City of Toledo and the abolishment of the office of Marshal
of the City of Toledo. Governor Jacob D. Cox’s appointments to the Board of Metropolitan
Police for the City of Toledo met and organized on April 20, 1867. On the evening of April
26th, these men were sworn in as the new Toledo Police superintendent Henry Breed,
Captain Michael C. O’Connor, Sergeant William P. Scott, and Patrolmen Cornelius Helme,
Patrick Horan, Henry Nellis, John D. Nicely, William R. Osborn, Joseph A. Parker, Jacob P.
Pfanner, Jacob Rudolph, Conrad Schilling, Henry Sticker, Jacob Wannai, and George Wise.
The turnkey was George W. Kirk. The secret serviceman, Toledo’s first Detective, was Elijah
S. Hanks, but his name was not given to the public. At 8 a.m. on April 27, 1867, the “MP’s”
as they were respectfully called by the public, took charge of policing the City of Toledo.
Henry Nellis, who was found sleeping on duty in 1869, became the first officer to be fired
from the Department.
In 1871, two Sanitary Policemen, whose office was to become Inspectors of the Health
Department nearly 65 years later, were appointed. Technically, Special Policemen, their
duties included fumigating buildings where needed, enforcing quarantines, and hauling
away unclaimed horses that had dropped dead in the street.
The ranks of Roundsman was created by City Council on January 4, 1874. A Roundsman
had the duty of going to each District beat and making sure that the assigned Policeman
was on duty and sober and he was to collect any information the beatman had. This was the
only means of communication between headquarters and the street officer. The hours for
the police officer were shortened to approximately 12 hours for the day men and 10 for the
The limited use of photographs was initiated for criminal identification.
The first Metropolitan Police Board was instituted with the local board members selected by
the Governor. Subsequently the members were elected by the citizens for four-year terms.
The rank of detective was permanently established by the Board of Police Commissioners.
The City allowed for the appointment of the maximum of 10 officers to the rank of detective.
William Scott was the Chief of Police under the Metropolitan System.
The rank of Lieutenant began June 1, 1881
The City adopted the Bertillion System of measurements as well as the “scar and mark”
system for criminal identification. The Bertillion system involved the measuring of almost
every part of the body, including the circumference of the head, the span of the arms, etc.
The scar and mark system involved the detailed listing of any scar or mark on the prisoner’s
The first patrol wagon was purchased (horse and buggy) for the transport of prisoners. Prior
to that time, all prisoners had to be walked to the Police station for booking, which was often
a problem when walking in a drunk. One industrious officer solved the problem by borrowing
a wheelbarrow for these situations.
A tragic event happened in this era. A stray dog, “Owney,” was the mascot of the Railway
Mail Service agents of the Post Office Department. Beginning in 1888, he had traveled
across the United States in railway mail cars. On his back he wore a large cloth that was
covered with mail bag destination tags from places he’d been. One night in 1897, “Owney”
hopped off a mail car in Toledo. Accustomed to having the free run of every town he visited,
“Owney” began exploring the streets and alleys of the City. A few hours later, he was
mistakenly shot by an unnamed policeman on patrol. The uproar began to quiet down after
“Owney” was stuffed and mounted. Today, complete with tags, he can be seen in a glass
case in the Smithsonian’s Hall of Philately and Postal History.
Toledo’s first Police Matron was hired by Toledo City Council in about November 1888.
In June, 1889, Captain of Police Edward O’Dwyer issued her a badge. From then until July
1971, the Police Matrons wore solid gold badges made by the Roulet Company.
The City began to install over 100 alarm boxes in various neighborhoods through which
police could be summoned.
612 Lagrange street was opened as a substation. Prior to that time, the only police station
was at 20 Superior street.
The population increased to the point where it now became necessary for an officer to be
assigned traffic duty. A man was assigned to the Summit and Cherry street corner. At this
time, the population of Toledo was 115,674.
By this time, Toledo encompassed 28 square miles and the Police force consisted of the
Captain of Police, a Lieutenant, nine Sergeants, three regular detectives, five detective
Sergeants, 95 Patrolmen, three turnkeys, two Matrons, one Police Surgeon, one Engineer,
two janitors and already there were seven pensioners.
The City had two paddy wagons, one at each of the stations.
With the increased use of photographs, the Police Department established a Rogues
Gallery and began to do away with the Bertillion System of ID.
In 1904, Toledo Policemen and Firemen were issued a serial numbered ID tag (check) to be
worn on a chain around the neck. The check read: Toledo Fire & Police Notification Co.
(serial number) Accident Check-Pones home 89 & Bell 88. Numbers 1 through
approximately 150 were issued to policemen and from about 150 to 250 to firemen. They
were issued because three Toledo Firemen had perished in the line of duty in 1902.
The ranks of Inspector and Captain began February 20, 1905. The rank of Corporal, which
was short-lived, began April 5, 1905. The use of finger-printing for identification was
adopted. On June 14, 1905, Patrolman Richard F. McKey took the first official “Record
Bureau” photo with a camera he paid for himself. On July 5, 1905 Patrolmen William D.
Delahanty and McKey were placed in charge of what became known in 1905 as the
Identification and Information Bureau.
In December of 1906, McKey began taking fingerprints. He was taught the procedure by
Mrs. Mary E. Holland who had been instructed by Inspector Frost of the Finger Print Branch
of New Scotland Yard.
The City purchased its first motorcycles for use by officers. At first, they were used only for
emergency reasons. Reports indicate that two detectives, assigned to nights, were
dispatched to the scene of a burglary-in-progress on their motorcycles. After apprehending
the suspects, they did not wish to waste time waiting on the horse and buggy wagon, so they
drove the prisoners back to the station on the handlebars of the motorcycles, at speeds up
to 50 mph.
Toledo’s First Mounted Patrol, in 1907, Sgt. Jim Brittson, Merle Unkle, “Buck” Dear, Harry
Sherfield, Bill Debren, Joe Harrison, “Buck” Welsh, Cliff McClusky, Chris Brenman.
By 1908, the Toledo Policeman’s Band had established itself as a Toledo jewel. Photos of
the band on one-cent postcards were sent to friends and relatives across the United States
by proud Toledoans. Standing at the front of the band was six-year old John Canelli, who
later became a wealthy local beer distributor.
The use of horses was part of police history, but for the first time, mounted police were used
in 1908. Each officer assigned to the Mounted Unit was required to care for his horse, which
included feeding, cleaning and grooming. The Police Mounted Unit (squad) remained
operational until 1928).
The Police Department added a full motorcycle squad consisting of 20 men.
On May 12, 1913, the Toledo City Council created by ordinance the Bureau of Identification,
but it was known as the Bureau of Identification & Records shortly thereafter. Richard McKey
became the Superintendent of the Bureau effective December 12, 1913 and retired from
that position on August 28, 1923.
On October 19, 1917, the Director of Public Safety appointed four clerks to begin staffing
the Bureau. They began their duties on November 1.
The position of turnkey was filled with a sworn police officer rather than a civilian. On May
30, 1919, Mayor Cornell Schrieber had 200 Emergency Policemen sworn in to help police
the city during the Willys-Overland Company and Auto-Lite strikes. The number soon
reached 700. They were called on later by the Mayor on July 4, 1919, to patrol the City while
almost the entire regular Toledo Police force attended to crowds at the Willard-Dempsey
Toledo’s first Policewoman was Mary Shaw who was appointed by the Safety Director on
November 16, 1920 and she began her duties the same date. Her appointment read that
she was to be paid by the Toledo Boxing Commission, until City Council passed an
ordinance creating the position and the salary of a policewoman, at which time she would be
added to the payroll of the Police Division. Among her duties was the checking of dance
halls and other places of public amusement, as well as handling certain cases involving
women. Empowered with a special police commission, she spent the remained of her time on
On May 9, 1921, the Safety Director appointed Mary A. Fair and Kathryn R. Geddes as
Police-women to the Police Division. They began their duties on May 16.
“The Marmon Speed Cars” were operated out of five stations under orders from the
detective captains. The speed crews, a driver in uniform and two men in citizen clothes,
answered all complaints in their districts. For some time, all of the men on the machines were
in citizen clothes. Inspector Haas put the drivers in uniforms to do away with the possibility of
an unnecessary shooting affray which might result from a looked-for person claiming that he
did not know the men were officers. One of my men’s lives is worth more to me and to the
City than all the crooks the whole department could apprehend in a year said Inspector
Haas. Each Marmon speed car, at all times, is equipped with three shotguns and a 30-30
high power rifle. The members of the speed cars are also trained for use on the machine
guns which were stored at the Central Station in readiness for quick mounting on one of the
Charles Roth, with eight policeman as the nucleus, organized the Toledo Civic Symphony
Orchestra in 1923. Roth, a police officer since 1917, started his musical career at the age of
8, when he began the study of the piano. He was able to play a half dozen musical
instruments. In the beginning, he was better known to Toledoans as a musician rather than
a policeman. He composed over 79 musical numbers, many of which were scored for full
symphony. He wrote the “Toledo Centennial March” to mark the occasion of Toledo’s 100th
anniversary. He presented the piece in a concert held at the Civic Auditorium as a part of
the City’s observance of its 100th birthday.
The Toledo Police Division pistol range at Detwiler Park (near Summit and Manhattan
streets) was dedicated. The range was built by members of the police department and was
reported to be one of the best in the country, if not the world. It was estimated at that time to
have been worth $100,000. But, the total construction cost was $5.60. Most of the materials
were donated and the labor was performed by the officers themselves. Inspector Joseph
Delehaunty conceived the idea of the range and oversaw its construction. Patrolman Basso,
Corbett, Fackelman, Dear, Strable and Harvey were his lieutenants’.
The Police Division moved from the 80 year old structure on Superior street to the new
Safety Building at 525 N. Erie street. The original concept called for a “Toledo Civic Center
site” with plans for a safety department building with police prison and headquarters and fire
department headquarters. Other buildings planned for were a memorial hall or convention
building, a building for university night classes, a historical museum, a service department
building and another building for the city’s use.
The Women’s Bureau of Police was created by City Council on February 24, 1926 and the
Director was to have the rank of Sergeant of Police. Mrs. Grace Jamison became the Acting
Sergeant in Charge of the creation of the Bureau. The Bureau handled cases of missing
girls and women, and other cases involving women. The women sergeant named as head of
the Bureau was Sergeant Margaret Slater. In an early history of the Police Department by
Professor Harold Towe, University of Toledo, stated that “…it must be said that the Women’s
Bureau has, from its inception, been an honest to goodness police unit, making its own
investigations, check-ups and arrests. They have been police officers, not social workers.”
Chief of Police, Harry Jennings, instituted the concept of probation in the courts here in
Toledo by establishing the “Reclaiming and Probation Division” of the Department. Police
officers assigned interviewed first offenders and made a recommendation to the court. If the
offender was released, the officer worked closely with him for approximately six months.
Patrol cars were slowly replacing motorcycles as the usual patrol vehicle by the end of the
1920’s. Motorcycles had taken their toll. The last horse mounted squad was disbanded in
1928. Several stables on Superior street housed the division’s many horses that were used
for patrols. A throwback to that fact still exists in that the Safety Building garage to this day is
still referred to as the “barn” and if a patrolman says he’s “throwing a shoe” it means he’s
not coming into work.
1928 saw the Memorial Monument to police officers killed in the line of duty dedicated this
year. The memorial was at the Detwiler range on Summit street. It was said to be the only
memorial in the country conceived and built by police officers. It was regarded as a fine work
of art and architecture.
The City Police Division began regular broadcasting of police air traffic in 1930, with the
installation of radios in all of the police vehicles. The station call letters were WRDQ.
During the era of the “30”s, sirens were added to police cars, traffic lights were installed on
city streets and the Fraternal Order of Police was founded (Toledo lodge #40 was
chartered in 1937).
The first police school was instituted, with private citizens donating the time and expertise.
The first class lasted eight week. In the early days of the Division, training consisted of
walking a beat with an older policeman three nights – the fourth night the officer was on his
The Identification bureau opened nights’ previously it had only functioned during the day.
Death takes Poet-Policeman, Adelbert “Dell” Hair, author of several books of verse died
March 22, 1932 after he became ill of influenza. Dell Hair was described as a “giant” in
stature, and one of the burliest officers on the Toledo Police force. Hair would never have
easily been taken for being a poet. Hair had a deep and abiding regard for his fellow officers
and the firemen. The dedication to this third volume of poetry, “Echoes from the Beat”,
published in 1908 reads: “In honor of the great love I bear for the police and firemen who,
without hesitancy, risk their lives for the welfare of others, I dedicate the third volume of my
The establishment of a school for traffic violators took place. The judge now had the option
to sentence the violators to the school, which was conducted by police officers, to improve
basic driving skills.
The Crime Lab was established within the department. Prior to this time, limited scientific and
chemical analysis was done, but the facilities at the University of Toledo Lab were utilized.
The Juvenile Bureau was formed, although some what limited in its functions.
Police began to expand their duties from apprehension to prevention. The entire concept of
law enforcement or police work was changing.
The Accident Investigation Bureau was formed by Chief Ray Allen in 1937. In 1937 there
were 900 auto accidents in Toledo.
The Toledo Police Academy was initiated this year and graduated its first class of rookie
The “Lie Detector” was invented
The population of Toledo had increased to 282,349
The 740 trained and certified Toledo Auxiliary Policemen served in emergencies from the
summer of 1942 until disbanded by federal wartime order in April 30, 1945.
In 1944, Toledo City Council passed a resolution calling for Medals for Bravery by both
Police and Fire Division personnel.
Policemen who had served in the military during World War II found their jobs waiting for
them when they returned.
Nine policemen began flight training to become “policemen of the air”, as soon as the Police
Department received its first airplane.
McCarthy Stadium was dedicated to Officer John McCarthy who was killed in the lime of duty.
His name, and the names of 21 officers killed before him, are commemorated on a plaque
at the stadium.
The first use of the “Electric Speed Radar” in the United States, for clocking the speed of
motor vehicle traffic took place in Toledo, Ohio. The first patrolman to use the new device
was Fred Addis (a member of the first TPD academy class, 1938).
A Police library is begun under the guidance of Inspector Roth.
A Harbor patrol unit became operational, part-time in the summer months of 1953 with a
borrowed boat (from the sewage treatment division). The boat was operated by an
employee of the treatment plant and was manned by Officer Al Carper, the first officer
assigned to the harbor patrol.
Due to a high injury rate, the two wheel motorcycle squad was done away with. The three
wheel motorcycles continued in use for several years doing parade and parking meter duty.
The City was given a retired US Coast Guard boat to enforce the water laws in the Toledo
area. This was the beginning of the Harbor patrol.
The police work week was reduced from 48 to 44 hours. It was not until 1960 that the 40
hour work week was implemented.
The rank of Inspector changed to Major on December 1, 1959. Classes of ’59 were first to
wear gray shirts, replacing the navy all blue.
The TPD uniform was somewhat changed when the shoulder patch was added to the
uniform. The same patch is still worn today. The Division also changed to the white uniform
caps to get away from the “bread truck driver” look.
The Division began use of portable walkie-talkie radios
All black patrol cars were being replaced by the “black and Whites” in the 1960’s
Fifteen patrolmen were added to the Detective Bureau. Prior to this time, all Detectives were
Sergeants or Command officers
The year 1967 was the 100th anniversary of the paid police force. The ranks of
Superintendent, Major, and Assistant to the Chief became Deputy Chief on July 17, 1967.
By 1968 twelve medals for service “beyond the Call of Duty” had been presented to Toledo
Policemen by the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
The Afro-American Patrolman’s League was formally founded.
The Police Benevolent Association (P.B.A.) modified its constitution and changed its title to
the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association and established themselves as the recognized
“Voice of the Patrolman”.
On December 17, 1970, the former Toledo City councilman Hans Berlacher presented
Captain of the Detectives, Ed Nasser with a Toledo Police Chief saddle badge. He explained
that he had wandered into the police barn about 1912 and ‘swiped it right off the Chief’s
The “black and White” patrol cars were being phased out for all white cruisers in the early
The first woman to graduate from the Toledo Police Academy with the rank of “Patrolman”
was Carol Tipton.
The Division adopted the concept of one-man patrol units for the first time.
The Toledo Police Academy ended a 35-year tradition when it closed its doors to affiliate
with the Toledo Lucas County Criminal Justice Training Center.
Air conditioning was placed in marked police vehicles for the first time in 1974.
The K-9 unit was formed with a three-man and three-dog unit. Training began in August,
with graduation on November 11, 1974. The first K-9 units were Officer Tony Bill and King,
Officer Fred Freeman and Baron and Officer Richard Mohr and Cannon. Sgt. Virgil Oliver
and Sarge was the unit commander. Officer Dennis Romstadt and Joe, Officer Bill Shinavar
and Rommel and Officer Chester Wolf and Deesha were added to the K-9 unit at a later
date. The unit would continue until it was disbanded on September 3, 1981.
The Scott Park District Station was opened, becoming the first substation since the Safety
Building opened in 1925.
Chief Corrin McGrath created the Intelligence/Organized Crime Unit. Captain Ronald Marr,
Detectives Eugene Fodor and Frank Kasee were selected as the first members of the unit,
whose mission was to gather information on organized crime figures and work with other
investigative agencies, developing and disseminating intelligence reports. (Ostensibly due to
budget and manpower considerations, Chief John Mason, under political pressure, was
forced to disband this and other units and reassign personnel in
The Crime Analysis Unit was started this year to collect, analyze and disseminate information
to field operations units and detectives, to assist in detection and apprehension of criminal
offenders and assist in crime prevention.
The Toledo Police Division closed the men’s and women’s jails (June 17, 1977 for the
women’s jail), and began booking all prisoners at the new County Corrections Center. This
ended an era which began in 1837 when the jails had begun. Thus “one for four” or “one for
five” was replaced with “one for LCJ”.
“Safety City” was opened adjacent to the Scott Park Station to instruct preschoolers in traffic
safety. The uniformed units at the Scott Park Station began the Crime Prevention program
to alert businesses to be aware of potential burglary areas, through an inspection of the
premises by the unit on the beat.
All Field Operations Bureau and Investigative Personnel were pulled out of the Scott Park
District Station and the Division was once again totally centralized. The facility at Scott Park
would then house the Community Relations and the Crime Prevention Sections.
Almost all civilian employees were laid-off because of severe fiscal problems facing the City.
Many returned to their jobs later in the year after the passage of a payroll income tax. The
Police Division worked shoulder to shoulder with other City agencies to help pass the ¾%
tax increase. With the passage of the tax was the promise from City fathers to restore full
services of the Police Department to the public.
The Toledo Police Memorial Garden was dedicated in 1982. Located behind the Municipal
Court Building, the gardens feature a sculpture of a police officer helping children to cross
the street. The art work was created from a photograph made in the 1920’s of Toledo Police
Officer Oscar Bruhl leading school children across the street.
Holy Spirit Seminary, Reynolds and Airport, 121 would survive the rigors of the training
process to graduate the following January. The class of ‘83’ was the first to be issued PR 24’
s, described as a side-handled defensive baton, which replaced the classic nightstick or
billy clubs. After being taken away by Mayor Sam Jones in 1900, nightsticks had been again
issued to street officers in August , 1936, by Chief Ray Allen in response to a series of
police vs. hoodlum battles. Mayor Jones’ “kind words” philosophy had failed to turn away
wrath and several officers had been painfully injured in the melees.
January 13, 1984 saw the graduation of 121 rookie officers, the largest graduating class in
Division history. Manpower was brought up to authorized strength(of 725), for the first time
Foot patrol was restored to the revitalized downtown area, in particular the Portside Festival
Directed Patrol was used on all shifts (with the exception of the day shift) in an effort to
concentrate on target areas, apprehend suspects and prevent criminal activity. The
Directed Patrol function would later become more sophisticated with the creation of the Entry
Team concept in 1987. The Entry team was trained by Sgt Robert Condon and Ed. Phillips.
This highly skilled and proficient group of officers became an elite force which is called into
operation whenever a tactical situation demands special skill, expertise and equipment.
They remain a vital part of the police operation.
The City Council approved the hiring of 25 additional officers, raising the authorized
strength to 750 officers, the most since the strength was reduced in 1977 to 725.
Officer Michael Palicki becomes a police officer, when he is sworn in with the class of Sept.
20. When he joins the Division, he became a part of the “First Family” of the Police Division.
Father Dan Palicki (class of April 1, 1963) and mother, Barbara (class of Oct. 16, 1972) are
active officers. This is the first father-mother-son active officers in the Division history.
The division’s Records Section began computerizing its records.
Redistricting took place, doing away with the basic 22 districts and replacing it with a
‘flexibeat system’ consisting of seven primary sectors with numerous beats within each. The
traditional 2 or 3 digit call numbers were replaced with a number-letter combination such as
The Mounted Patrol Officer would become a part of the Toledo scene again as Chief John
Mason implemented the idea of a mounted patrol unit. Two sergeants and nine patrol
officers were selected to receive training at the Detroit Mounted Police Stables in.
On March 3, 1986 the Toledo Mounted Patrol Unit began operations and became an instant
success with the public.
Officer James Schaber (brother of Marty) joins the Toledo Police Division, becoming a part of
a three generation tradition begun with Grandfather, and continuing with father and two
sons. Other generational traditions whose father and grandfather were Toledo Police
Officers include Jim Matthews, Robert Pribe and Ed Petersen and (ret) Sgt. John Connors;
the five Hanus brothers all current division members, are also a ‘first’.
January 18, 1988, saw a change from the white plastic hats to dark blue caps, similar to
those worn by the Los Angeles Police.
The Toledo Police Historical Museum was formally dedicated in ceremonies attended by City
officials on Jan. 19, 1988.
The Mounted Unit established its stable in a building that formerly housed the Sealtest Dairy
garage at 1820 N. 12th street.
In November, it was announced that the city service station would no longer pump gas for
the police vehicles. Officers received a “gas card” for the computerized pumping system and
received training on how to use them and fill the police cars.
The Forfeiture Unit was established.
The name of the Crime lab was changed to “The Toledo Police Forensic Lab”.
On March 21, 1989, City Council raised the Division’s authorized strength from 750 to 775.
The division has yet to attain the newly authorized strength.
In October 1989, the Division began the first phase of its transition from stainless steel .38
caliber revolvers to 9 mm semi-automatic pistols. Chief Marti Felker received the first 9 mm
issued and took a week-long training course in its use at the new pistol range at Scott Park.
Vice Metro and Directed Patrol Officers were the first street officers to receive the week-long
The Mounted Patrol Unit was disbanded in August as a result of political pressure and
budget considerations. Most of the officers in the unit purchased their “partners” and retired
them to private stables as ‘civilian horses’. Officer Marty Schaber purchased his ‘partner’,
‘Bullwinkle,’ a Percheron standard bred, and assigned him to duty at Bittersweet Farms, a
home for the disabled.
The new Scott Park Indoor Firing Range was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1990. Thus ends the
years of the outdoor range and its elements. Prior to the move to the Hoffman Road Landfill
range site, the Division had ‘roamed’ to use the facilities of the Federal Building and Owens
Technical College, following the closing of the Detwiler Range.
The Communications Section moved into temporary quarters in the Safety Building during
the refurbishing of the Alarm Building.
The Communication Section moved back into the Alarm Building in anticipation of the new
radio system. Oct. 13, 1991, the new 800 MGH radio system went on-line.
Lt. Mark Mason is promoted to captain on July 15, 1991. Lt. Linda (lee) Mason is promoted
to captain on November 1, 1991, becoming the first female captain in the history of the
Division. They become the first husband and wife Captains in the history of the Toledo
The “ sculpted garden” in front of the Scott Park District Station was dedicated on Dec. 5,
1991. The work, created by Sculptor Carl Floyd, is part of the ‘one per cent for art’ effort in
the City, in which funding is specifically set aside for works of art. Floyd’s design included a
gateway made up of limestone faced pillars with huge stone capitals. The letters of the
division motto “To Protect and Serve” are layered in the steel gate. The Plaza beyond the
gateway includes seating high stone walls, a stainless steel table with base lighting and a
number of stone benches. The goal of the work is to draw people into its space, to sit and
reflect, perhaps to hold small meetings.
KTS 670 signed off, to the disappointment of thousands of Toledoans who actively listened
to police calls on their home scanners. The newly established 800 MGH, radio system would
mean that few citizens would be able to listen to their favorite dispatchers and district crews.
The star is the symbol of authority with which all police officers
are more or less invested.
Midway between the points and center of the star is a blue
field. The points are gold, which indicates the position under
which we serve.
The background is white, white being the virgin or unstained
color, represents purity; among our many efforts, one is to
allow nothing of a corrupt nature to be injected into our
Order, therefore blue, gold and white are our colors.
In the three uppermost blue fields are the letters F.O.P.,
which is the monogram of our Order, the "Fraternal Order of
In the blue field, in the lower left-hand corner, is the open
eye, the eye of vigilance, the ever watchful eye, which notes
danger, and offers protection to the public, asleep or awake.
In the lower right-hand corner, is the hand clasp, which
denotes friendship. The circle surrounding the Star midway,
indicates our never ending and never tiring efforts to promote
the welfare and advancement of this order.
In a half circle over the centerpiece is our motto, written in
Latin, Jus, Fides, libertatum, which translated means Law is a
safeguard of Freedom.
In the center of the star is the seal for Fort Pitt, which
reminds us of where the first efforts were put forth to
establish this highly necessitated Order.
Toledo’s Known Police Stations, Sub-stations, Jails and Lock-ups
Until June of 1837, county and city prisoners were lodged in the Wood County Jail. Then
prisoners were kept in the house of the Lucas County Sheriff.
Toledo’s first jail was a joint city-county log jail built in 1838. On January 6, 1838, a proposal
of Albert Swift to build a jail was accepted. It was to be 20x30 feet in size, one story high, with
an entry or hall six feet wide and having three cells, each to be 10x14 feet in size. The
timber was to be twelve inches square, the whole to be planked around the outside with
plank two inches thick, and the building was to be complete except for locks. This jail was to
be owned jointly by Lucas County and the City of Toledo. On February 28, 1838, Toledo
City Council paid one-half the cost to build the jail, $200.00. Cornelius G. Shaw, the Sheriff,
was appointed to superintend the construction. This jail, the walls wholly of logs, was built
between Summit and Superior Streets below and near to the eastern side of Cherry St. on
lot 352 of Vistula plat. On April 9, 1838, the new jail was accepted by the county
commissioners and a $25 appropriation was made for furniture and bedding for it. It was
used jointly until 1840, when the county seat was moved to Maumee City, but this jail
continued to be used for prisoners of the Marshal of Toledo until 1854. On November
7,1854, the Toledo City Council passed a resolution directing the street commissioner to sell
this jail. It was sold in 1855, to Scott and Company (S.B. Scott & Richard Mott) for $2.50.
Scott & Co. then had it removed to Water St., had a new roof put on it, stuccoed the walls
and used it for an office in connection with their forwarding and commission business. By
ordinance of May 24, 1854, which created the “Night Watch or Police,” the City Council
provided that arrested persons were to be confined in the police station located on lot 46 of
Port Lawrence division. This police station, however, appears not to have been in use until
the jail built in connection with it was opened for business about September 5, 1854. The
Toledo Blade notes that its construction had been delayed because of shortages of workers
caused by the deadly cholera epidemic. This building was still in use in April of 1867, when
the Metropolitan Police of Toledo came into being. By this time its address was No. 58
Monroe St. and it was situated on the eastern side of the alley between Superior and St.
Clair Sts. The lock-up was in the rear of the station and the Marshal’s office, and later the
Captain of Police’s office, was upstairs. This building continued in service until 1872.
On February 28, 1872, the Toledo Police moved from the station on Monroe St., to a new
large brick station located on the “Market Space” at 16-26 Superior St., between Monroe
and Washington St. This new police station had its own jail and cost $23,434.73. Until 1872,
two regular policemen had been assigned turnkey duty for the city jail. On July 26, 1872, the
mayor appointed two individuals as turnkeys under the City Prison Ordinance passed by
Council on January 25, 1872. This building remained in use until
The present police station is situated in the Safety Building. Ground breaking for the new
Safety Building was held on October 18, 1923, with Mayor Bernard Franklin Brough doing
the honors. It was constructed between 1923 and 1926. On May 13, 1926, the Toledo Police
Division moved from the station on superior to the new Safety Building at 525 N. Erie St.
Prisoners were not moved to the new police station until May 16. The jail for men was
located on the fifth floor and that for women on the fourth. The Safety Building was officially
opened to the public by Mayor Fred J. Mery at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, 1926. The
familiar radio calls “One for 5” and “One for 4” became history in 1977 when the men’s and
women’s jail facilities in the Safety Building were closed. Construction on the new Lucas
County jail had begun on Monday, August 26, 1974. In 1977 Toledo began keeping its
prisoners in it. A tunnel runs from the county jail to the municipal court building. Prisoners
today are often taken to the regional jail at Stryker, OH.
During 1872, Engine House No. 6, located on what was then known as Cherry St., now the
corner of Euclid and First St. on the east side, began to see double duty. In addition to fire
department use it was fitted up with three cells, and a turnkey was appointed for it. On
November 5, 1895, it was abandoned by the Fire Department and after some remodeling it
became the East Side Police Sub-station. Between 1872 and 1895, it was known as the
Tramp Room. About January 1, 1925, this sub-station was abandoned by the police and a
new station at Second & Oswald came into use. The Police Academy, began in the 1930’s
by Inspector William Delehaunty, was located on the second floor of this sub-station until it
closed about 1959.
Engine House No. 1, located at 614 Lagrange St., was abandoned by the Fire Department
on May 22, 1893. In September of 1893, it became the Lagrange Street Police Sub-Station.
On April 13, 1908, the Board of Public Safety ordered that the iron from its jail cells was to
be sold and more room for police horses was to be made. This station ended its service in
There were other smaller sub-stations. Fire Station No. 18, 918 Sylvania Ave. at Peak, was
placed in service by the Fire Division at 3:11 p.m. on March 1, 1920. In the 1930’s a small
police sub-station was located in the rear of this fire station.
House of Refuse and Correction
On May 1, 1975, the House of Refuse and Correction was opened and on May 11 its
operations began. It was located on Broadway near what was then the city limits. Young
boys were housed there and they operated a knitting factory and farm. Mr. A.T. Stebbins
was the Superintendent and Mrs. Stebbins was the Matron. On the evening of March 12-13,
1886, its main building was burned to the ground. The fire was believed set by one of the
boys. On March 16, the 139 boys who had been there were taken by railroad to the State
Reform Farm at Lancaster, Oh.
The City Workhouse
(Later, the Toledo House of Correction)
Originally referred to by its inmates as the “Stone Yard,” the City Workhouse opened for
business on December 17, 1875. It was located at the foot of Logan St. at the canal. It was
entered by passing over a small bridge over the canal. The 1897 annual report shows that it
had a Superintendent, an acting Assistant Superintendent, a Physician, a Matron, three
Guards and one night guard. It was enclosed by boards and during the summer months the
inmates made bricks, with the winter months used to break up stone. In 1906, its name was
changed to the Toledo House of Correction. The capacity of the grounds was 150, but by
1920 it had over 200. In 1919-1920, it was converted into a Wayfarer’s lodge and it was
razed during the summer of 1925.
The City of Toledo Welfare Farm and House of Correction, Whitehouse, Ohio
This facility was designed by Archibald Cresswell. Work on its construction began March 29,
1918. Its first inmates began to arrive in late December of 1918 or early 1919. In 1920 it was
officially opened. In 1973 it had 22 guards. Today its use is limited as prisoners are now
transported to the Regional jail at Stryker. In spite of public protest and a vote by the
electorate to keep it open, City Council closed the facility in 1991.
Since the establishment of the Toledo Police division in 1867, the officers of the Division
have worn six different styles of badges. It is through the research of John J. Connors IV and
the documentation in his book, Badges of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, that the history
of the badges of the Toledo Police division is preserved. Articles by Lt. Wayne Markland in
the Toledo Police Division Newsletter also provide historical insights into the present hat
piece and badge of the Toledo Police Division.
1867-1868 (Metropolitan Badge)
Little is known about the first badge worn by Toledo Police officers in 1867, other than
descriptions of it from newspaper accounts. It was described as being similar to the New
York City Police Department badge of that ear and it was made in New York City. There are
no known badges of the Toledo design in existence, nor are there any known pictures. This
badge was worn by Toledo Police Officers for one year, until it was replaced on July 3, 1868.
July 3, 1868 – 1905 (Canal Boat Design)
On July, 1868, the badge which came to be known as the “Canal Boat Shield” was first
issued. The badge was named this because of a large canal boat in the center of the “The
Great Seal of Ohio.” The commerce and history of the area was illustrated by the canal boat
on the shield. The Miami and Erie Canal ran through this area and was a source of
commerce. This badge was worn by most officers until 1905; however, motorcycle officers
continued to wear it until the early 1920’s. The “Canal Boat” badge was made in Toledo. (In
1929, the canal was drained and filled-in to become the Anthony Wayne Trail.) (This badge
is on display in the Toledo Police Museum.)
July 1, 1909 (Fort Industry Design)
The Fort Industry badge was first issued on July 1, 1909, and was worn by command officers
until June 9, 1922. Patrolmen wore this badge until December, 1925. The badge had a
design of Fort Industry on the top along with the year that the City of Toledo was
incorporated. Fort Industry was the first settlement in what is now Toledo and was located
where Swan Creek and the Maumee River meet. It was referred to as “the frying pan” by the
members of the Division because of its shape. The badges were made in Philadelphia; they
were bronze with nickel plating. The patrolmen had badges with their numerals, while
command officers’ badges displayed their rank. (This badge is on display in the Toledo
June 10, 1922-December 28, 1959 (Delehaunty Design)
In May of 1922, the City Council adopted a new badge which was designed by Inspector
Joseph W. Delehaunty. This oval shaped badge was first worn by command officers on June
10, 1922. The sergeants’ badge were solid sterling silver with a gold-plated “Great Seal of
the State of Ohio” with royal blue enamel lettering. Command officers above the rank of
sergeant wore a badge which was gold-plated with royal blue enamel lettering.
Three years later, in December, 1925, patrolmen began wearing the badge designed by
Inspector Delehaunty. The patrolman’s shield was nickel-plated with bronze numerals. The
badges were made in Toledo by the Roulet Company. A large replica of a badge of this
design hangs on the wall in the Field Operation Bureau Desk Lieutenant’s area. (This badge
is on display in the Toledo Police Museum.)
May 23, 1938 (The Metropolitan Shield)
On May 23, 1938, the City Council passed an ordinance which adopted a hat piece and
badge designed by Inspector Roth. The hat piece is the same basic design as our present
hat piece which depicts the three figures on the Fallen Timbers Monument, however, it did
not have “Toledo, Ohio” on it. The badge was known as “Roth’s Metropolitan Shield.” It was
called this because Inspector Roth pointed out to City Council that Toledo was a major city
and should have a badge of a metropolitan design. He is quoted in the Toledo Times, (June
12, 1939), as saying, “we want to come to the metropolitan idea of design used by
Milwaukee, New York and other large cities.” These badges and hat pieces were never worn
by Toledo Police Officers because City Council didn’t authorize their purchase. In the same
article, the Toledo Times states, “the city’s present financial straits would scarcely justify
appropriation of $2000.00 estimated as the needed amount for such badges-in fact, council
recently refused to pass such an appropriation – but someday when the financial picture is
rosier, Toledo’s finest may sport a shiny, new insignia. “This “someday” would not come until
December 28, 1959. Until then, officer of the Toledo Police Division continued to wear the
badges designed by Inspector Delehaunty.
December 28, 1959 (Fallen Timbers Monument Design)
On August 3, 1959, City council authorized the purchase of the present hat piece and
badge, at a cost of $7000.00. The 1938 hat piece which Inspector Roth had designed was
the prototype for our present hat piece and badge. The monument from which the hat piece
and badge were modeled depicts Chief Little Turtle, General Anthony Wayne, and an early
settler. It is located at Fallen Timbers State Park, just south of Maumee, Ohio, on U.S. 24.
(Anthony Wayne Trail). The monument commemorates General Anthony Wayne’s victory
over Chief Little Turtle and the Miami Indians on August 20, 1794. This victory opened up
Northwest Ohio for peaceful settlement. The hat piece consists of the three figures
displayed on the monument with a blockhouse of Fort Industry. The blockhouse represents
security and is found on the seal of the City of Toledo. The badge also depicts the same
figures as on the hat piece with the “Great Seal of Ohio” at the knees of General Anthony
Wayne, all under the protection of the American Eagle. This hat piece and badge, made in
Toledo was first worn by Toledo Police Officers on December 28, 1959.
The badges and hat pieces for patrolmen are silver-plated with black lettering and have not
undergone any changes since it was adopted. The badges and hat pieces for sergeants are
gold plated with royal blue lettering. When first issued in 1959, the sergeant’s badge had a
silver State Seal in the center, as well as a silver blockhouse on the hat piece. Over the
years, the badges and hat pieces were gold-plated as they were reissued. Today there are
only a few sergeant badges and hat pieces remaining which have the silver blockhouse and
State Seal. The badges and hat pieces for the ranks above sergeant are entirely gold-
plated, with royal blue lettering as they were when initially issued.
On February 4, 1989, another change appeared in the badge for command officers. Since
the adoption of the present badge, the lettering of the rank has been in gold, with a blue
background (referred to as “reverse blue enameling”). However, since the death of the
manufacturer of the badges, the City has not found anyone to duplicate this design. The
new command badges now have the rank in blue lettering with a gold background (referred
to as “imprinted blue lettering”).
The original badges designed by Inspector Roth did not include a special badge for
detectives; however, in the mid 1970’s a badge was adopted for detectives of patrolman
rank. This badge is silver-plated and of the same design as the patrolman’s badge,
however, has “DETECTOVE” printed in silver lettering with a royal blue background where
the numerals appear on the patrolman’s badge. A command officer detective continues to
carry the command badge indicating his rank, rather than a “detective badge”.
In addition to the representation of the monument, the badge has three distinct parts, the
American Eagle, the “Great Seal of Ohio” and the name of the City. These three symbols
remind us of the oath we took when we were appointed to the Toledo Police Division. The
American Eagle reminds us that we swore to uphold the United States Constitution. The
“Great Seal of Ohio” reminds us that we are also sworn to uphold the Constitution of Ohio
and that it is from the State that the Police Division derives its authority. “Toledo” imprinted
on the badge is a reminder that we are sworn to enforce the ordinances of the City of
Toledo, as well as provide protection to the citizens of the community.
A Very Special Badge
Upon his retirement as Chief of Police, Harry Jennings was presented with a very special
badge. It was made of three colors of gold, Roman, Green and White and in the star-shaped
center was a diamond said to weigh 2 ¾ carats. On the back was inscribed “Presented to
Chief of Police Harry Jennings by his Toledo friends in recognition of his practice of a great
virtue – THE SQUARE DEAL.”
A Symbol of Pride
Until about 1920, policemen who retired with an honorable record, were allowed to keep
their badge. From about 1920, until 1982, a series of badges having the words Pensioner or
Retired were given on retirement. Following a ruling by City Law Director, Sheldon Rosen in
January of 1982, Chief John Mason began presenting retiring policemen the badge that they
had carried encased in Lucite.
Toledo Police Woman First to Wear Badge #1
Toledo Policewoman, Mary Gilley, appointed in 1927, was believed to be the first
policewoman from a major metropolitan area to earn the distinction of wearing Badge #1, in
recognition and honor of her 42 years of service. She received Badge #1 in January, 1969
and wore it until her retirement later that year. Gilley, a former stenographer, took the civil
service test in 1927 and placed first among the twelve women taking the test. She began her
career a few months later.
Her first arrest was a memorable one. She brought her prisoner back to the station on a
trolley car…after first paying his fare back to the station. During the prohibition era, Gilley
worked as an “undercover agent,” going on raids in speakeasies and checking on dance
halls. She also walked the Cherry Street beat during her career. She was matron of the
woman’s section of the City jail from 1961 until her retirement. In an interview in 1969, Gilley
said, “when I saw some of the things that were involved, I figured that two or three years
were going to be plenty.” According to family members, Gilley “loved it (the job) dearly…she
enjoyed it to the hilt.”
On June 18, 1873, the Board of Police Commissioners passed a resolution stating that
badge #1 was to be issued by seniority, that is, to the patrolman having the longest service
on the force. The resolution also stated that badge #2 and on , were to be issued
accordingly. It appears that the resolution has not always been adhered to through the
history of the force.