Beginnings Toledo Police History

“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 Police.

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 arrests.

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 10, 1861.

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 police officer.


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 injuried 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 night men.


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 body.


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 fight.


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 patrol.


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 sometime, 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 speed cars.


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 own.

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 poems”.


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 officers


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 saddle blanket’.

The “black and White” patrol cars were being phased out for all white cruisers in the early ‘70’s.


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 1980.

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 billyclubs. 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 since 1978.

Foot patrol was restored to the revitalized downtown area, in particular the Portside Festival Market-place.

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 9-F-57.

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 1985.


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 Divison, 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 training.


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 Police Division.

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.

Badge #1 goes to Officer Ed Grubinski in February, 1992, as Officer A.J. Lee retires. Officer Grubinski will wear #1 until his retirement on March 26. Badge #1 then passes to Officer John Hack, class of 1962.

In September, a new look appeared on the patrol cars on the streets. The new design features a clean, sleek look which compliments the design of the vehicle.

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 20×30 feet in size, one story high, with an entry or hall six feet wide and having three cells, each to be 10×14 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 direting 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 1926.

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, Ohio.

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 the 1920’s.

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, Ohio.

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.