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Anaheim Police Department History: 1920



Although two men had expressed an interest in assuming the position of City Marshal, a large group of townspeople convinced sixty-two year old Frank Steadman to return and wear the badge that he had worn for nineteen years earlier. Steadman, who had returned to Anaheim after trying his hand at ranching in Victor Valley after his retirement, was reelected Marshal and appointed by the city council on June 1, 1920. Among the many people selected to serve as constables were Marcus Andrade and former Marshal Albert Wood.

The Anaheim Gazette was used as a valuable tool in keeping citizens informed of whom to call for police service. The Gazette of July 14,1921 reported that "Constable A.W. Wood left the latter part of the week with Emil Crespin, whom he placed safely behind the gates of San Quentin Penitentiary." The Gazette also boldly announced that "Policeman M.F. Andrade is taking a two week vacation." During the first four years of the 1920's, the population of Anaheim doubled. As people moved into this inexpensive Southern California city, additional land was annexed and businesses grew. When his health became poor, Marshal Steadman decided to give up the responsibilities of public office entirely, retiring to private life in March of 1923.


Bert Moody began his law enforcement career at the Vernon Police Department in Los Angeles County as a city patrolman. He later transferred to the San Diego Police Department where he worked in the Secret Service Department of that agency. Moody then moved to the Santa Ana Police Department before coming to the Anaheim Police Department as a patrolman in 1920. In early 1923, Bert Moody was promoted to the rank of Desk Sergeant. With the retirement of Frank Steadman in March of 1923, Bert moody was appointed as the new Chief of Police.

The year 1923 brought not only a new Chief to Anaheim, but also its first automated traffic signal and a new City Hall, which was built around the two existing town jail cells. To many, the Anaheim City Jail was regarded as one of the worst jails around. Many a prisoner resisted arrest when they discovered that they would be incarcerated in the Anaheim Jail.

Although many would have viewed this as an insult, Anaheimers were proud to view this as a positive crime prevention measure. It is believed that this was one major factor in maintaining Anaheim's low crime rate.

The cost of operating a city jail was not cheap for Anaheim officials. During the fiscal year of 1924-1925, the total cost of food for feeding the prisoners amounted to $250.35, an average of $1.45 a day. During this same fiscal year, Anaheim paid a salary of $2,100 to Chief Moody and an additional $17,909.98 in salaries for all of the remaining policemen. This same year, Anaheim purchased, at the cost of $1,196.25, its first police car: a Dodge.

Anaheim continued to grow in population and territory, but the downtown area continued to be the focal point of activity. The downtown area located in the center of Anaheim, consisted of a large variety of popular shops. These were patronized not only by local citizens, but by many people from neighboring cities as well. With the increase in traffic, control of the area was of great concern. Large bot dots were placed in the intersection of Center Street and Los Angeles Street (now Lincoln Avenue and Anaheim Boulevard) to separate traffic and keep vehicles from cutting corners. Traffic was monitored regularly and often by Captain Marcus Andrade, who could be found at the intersection directing traffic while remaining seated on his horse. The only assigned patrol beat was in the downtown area, with officers patrolling the area only on foot. When police assistance was requested anywhere in the city, officers were given a visual signal seen from anywhere in the downtown area.

A red light had been mounted atop the Valencia Hotel. When the light was illuminated, it signaled for the officer on duty to return to the police station and contact the desk sergeant, who controlled the signal from his office.

In 1924, the reputation of the City of Anaheim, with its population of about 11,000 took a turn for the worse. Through events controlled by a small cadre of individuals with unsavory ideas, Anaheim government and businesses gained a poor, but fortunately short lived, influence. Members of the Ku Klux Klan infiltrated the city government and spread their poisonous ideas throughout the town. This influence caused businesses and growth to enter a long period of stagnation. During the municipal election held on April 14, 1924, the citizens of Anaheim unsuspectingly elected four men to the City Council who, secretly supported and were affiliated with, the Ku Klux Klan. Three of these Klansmen were appointed as city councilmen and the fourth was selected as President.

Through the election, the unsuspecting populace placed the KKK in a position to effectively take control of city government. Many city employees wisely chose to resign their employment with the city. However, nine of the ten officers on the Anaheim Police force, including Chief Moody, chose to retain their jobs and sided with the Klan. The Klan spread their messages to the townspeople entering into the city. The letters " K.I.G.Y." (Klansmen I greet you) were visible to all entering Anaheim as the letters were painted on the pavement entrances to the city. Anaheim temporarily and jokingly became referred to as "Klanaheim."

Although the Klan claimed a large Anaheim membership, it is believed that the total Anaheim membership never exceeded 300. The Klan, who restricted its membership to Protestants, centered its cause on Puritanism, calling for the strict enforcement of prohibition laws. The KKK of Southern California did not make race a major issue, but instead centered their wrath against local churches. The Klan attempted to tie drunkenness and lawlessness as a conspiracy by the Catholics. Klan parades and public demonstrations were common to Anaheim in 1924. On at least one occasion, Anaheim Policemen had been seen directing traffic while wearing their white robes and hoods. When crosses were burned in town, Klansmen were stationed on top of nearby buildings ready to shoot anyone who attempted to extinguish the fiery cross. In August of 1924, a large nighttime initiation rally was held at City Park, now known as Pearson Park. The rally was the largest Klan rally ever held in California at the time. It was attended by an estimated 10,000 people, some from as far away as San Bernardino and San Diego. The townspeople of Anaheim would only tolerate so much. On February 3, 1925, a successful recall election was held by the citizens of Anaheim to oust the four Klan-affiliated City Trustees.

Upon evicting the Trustees from office, the good people of Anaheim went on to identify other Klan-affiliated city employees, including members of the Anaheim Police force. Upon being exposed, the Officers denied any involvement with the Klan, but later admitted their membership. Believing that there was safety in numbers, the officers issued an ultimatum to the new Trustees: either their jobs be guaranteed or they would resign en masse, leaving the city virtually without law enforcement. On February 16th in a meeting between Police Chief Moody and the new City Trustees, the Chief publicly announced the discharge of all but two members of the police force. The officers relieved of their positions were O.B. Baxter, L.B. Stump, Earl J. Michels, A.A. McCoy, V.E. Hammond, Henry Tipton, Andrew Wells, Bert Barr and J.E. Hurley. The only two members of the force allowed to remain were Marcus Andrade, who had no connection to the Klan, and Chief Moody. At the conclusion of his meeting with the Trustees, Moody publicly denied that he had been re-appointed to his position of Chief, stating merely that he had not received orders to vacate his position and would continue to serve as Chief until notified otherwise.

Five deputies with the Orange County Sheriffs Department were summoned into Anaheim to assist in policing the town until a new police department could be organized. Shortly thereafter, Chief Moody appointed former Orange Police Officer L.O. Whalen and former Santa Ana Police Officers J.M Smith and F.E. Howell as officers of the new Anaheim Police force. On the same day that the officers were fired, the Police Department was again the center of controversy. A storage vault located inside the police department stored liquor confiscated from local raids. Sometime during the preceding night, someone broke the large lock and removed all of the liquor. Federal officers were called to investigate, with Chief Moody declaring that no one was under suspicion. The results of the investigation are still unknown. In mid February, Bert Moody resigned as Police Chief without giving public explanation. He continued to reside in Anaheim with his family until the time of his death in 1964. He was laid to rest with his wife at Melrose Abbey Cemetery.


On February 18,1925, City Trustees appointed Charles B. Nichols to the position of Police Chief. Prior to coming to Anaheim, Nichols had served as a Deputy Marshal for the County of Los Angeles. He had also worked as a Sheriff of Cattaraugus County in New York.

His new position in Anaheim provided him with a salary of $87.50 per pay period. On his appointment as Chief, Nichols issued a public Statement declaring his intentions to modernize the Anaheim Police Department.

On March 4, 1925, Chief Nichols appointed former Police Chief Bert Moody as his Captain. The Anaheim Police Department also now consisted of Officer James G. Looney, Sergeant Thomas H. Tolbery, Sergeant James Bouldin, Sergeant E. Gowling and Officers Leonard Whalen, Marcus F. Andrade, James D. Woodruf, E.G. Sawyer, Jack Coombs, Gib Cheatum, Elsworth Kight and Chas. Thornwaite. Each member of the department was paid $67.50 per pay period. In the months following his appointment, Chief Nichols and his men kept busy pursuing bootleggers and burglars, incarcerating them in the unpopular city jail. Word quickly spread throughout the city of the accomplishments of Chief Nichols and his men, bringing rapid popularity to the new chief and his hard working department. His popularity was short lived however as discussions about the local Klan activity resurfaced.

On May 10, 1925, local church minister and exalted Cyclops of the Klan, the Reverend Leon Myers spoke to his Anaheim congregation saying, "the Ku Klux Klan is the only hope of America." Reverend Myers continued his sermon, attacking the Anaheim Police Department by alleging that officers were lax on their enforcement of prohibition laws. Reverend Myers then produced a copy of the Cattaraugus Republic Press newspaper dated several years prior. Myers read to his assembly an article about the arrest of Charles Nichols on the charge of grand larceny, accused of stealing four thousand dollars. When later informed of the accusations, Chief Nichols laughed about the grand larceny charges, saying that he would explain it all in good time. Shortly following this revelation, a man by the name of N.L. Harvenson filed a suit to oust five Trustee members because, according to his claim, they hired the new Chief with the knowledge that he was an ex-convict. City Trustees suspended Chief Nichols pending a full investigation, but in order to save the Trustees further embarrassment, Chief Nichols gave the Trustees his immediate resignation.

The City Trustees found themselves in a position to act quickly to replace the outgoing Chief or face the collapse of the entire Police Department. A city ordinance mandated that should the Police Chief resign, Trustees were required to make an immediate appointment. Should they fail to make an appointment immediately, all of the Police Officers would be required to leave office with the outgoing Chief. City Trustees offered the position to former Orange County Sheriff C.E. Jackson, but, because of a leg injury, he was unable to assume the position immediately. Faced with a dilemma, former Anaheim City Manager Steward was summoned before the council and offered the position of Police Chief. Steward reluctantly accepted the position temporarily until a permanent replacement could be found to lead the police force. Two weeks later, the previous lawsuit was brought before the courts and a trial was held. The Anaheim City Trustees were found to be not guilty of negligent hiring. President Mathis issued a public statement saying that the background investigation on Charles Nichols "revealed him to be a man who could safely be entrusted with the work of reorganizing the Anaheim Police Department...how well he succeeded will readily be judged by his record in the short time that he has been at the head of the department. No official notice of any misconduct has ever been brought to the attention of the Trustees, however at the request of the Chief, his resignation was accepted." Nichols did not remain unemployed for long. Offers of employment besieged the former Chief. In one offer, a telegram was sent to Anaheim requesting that Nichols accept the job of Police Chief in his old hometown of Olean, New York at a salary of five thousand dollars a year. Two days before the trial began; Charles Nichols left California to begin his new job as Police Chief in a Massachusetts town.


Olin Steward served as Chief for only about one month. Although this was a short time period, Steward had his hands full with a department in turmoil. He had a decision to make which would affect the reputation and direction of the department for many years. Olin Steward was sworn in as Chief of Police on May 28, 1925. Within days of assuming his new role a Chief, Olin Steward accepted the resignation of one of his Desk Sergeants, replacing him with a young man named John Martin. Pleased by what he saw in Sergeant Martin, Chief Steward recommended that the city council appoint Martin as the Chief of the Anaheim Police Department.

On the twenty-fifth day of June, Chief Steward gladly relinquished his temporary job as Police Chief, handing over the department to a newly selected Chief of Police John S. Martin. Steward remained as an employee of the city, but worked territories he was more familiar with. Olin E. Steward, Police Chief for less than one month, became an Anaheim City Maintenance Engineer, a position he held for many years.

1925 - 1928 - JOHN S. MARTIN

John S. Martin was a newcomer to Anaheim but not new in the role of Police Chief. Before coming to this city, Martin worked as deputy sheriff in Grand Island, Police Chief in Grand Island and Police Chief in South Bluff.

In 1925, John Martin appointed Mrs. Mabel Griffith to the position of Deputy City Patrolwomen and assigned her to the role of Day Shift Desk Sergeant. With this selection, Mrs. Mabel Griffith became the first female Sergeant of the Anaheim Police Department. Months later, Chief Martin added Mrs. Marie A. Knott to the department as another Deputy City Patrolwomen. As with all department heads, Chief Martin found it necessary to take disciplinary action on some of his men who did not abide by the rules established for Anaheim's Law Enforcement Officers. On December 30, 1926, Chief Martin fired one of his motorcycle officers for using poor judgment during a sensational chase. For reasons now unknown, the motor officer went in pursuit of a car driven by a female motorist. As the vehicle entered a congested area out of his jurisdiction, the officer began firing at the car with his service revolver. Several sailors who were passengers in the pursued vehicle jumped out of the moving car, sustaining injuries and requiring medical attention. The car and its driver continued down the road and were never located. After firing the officer, Chief Martin promoted Patrolman Oscar Kelly to replace him as a motor officer and Ross Sidebottom was appointed to replace Oscar Kelly in his old position.

In July of 1927, a young man named Mark Stephenson joined the Anaheim Police Department as a relief patrolman. When hired, like all other new officers, Stephenson received no official training. Stephenson recently commented, "When I came on, they gave you a badge and a gun and put you to work. About all the help you had was your common sense, but, strangely enough, that was all it took and in most cases, it still is." The largest criminal problem during this era was bootlegging. Although a burglary occurred every once in a while, and an occasional fight would break out, the Anaheim Police force kept busy locating and chasing down bootleggers. The police station was situated in three small rooms in the City Hall building on Claudina Street at Lincoln Avenue. The Anaheim City Jail, located in the rear of the building was comprised of two cells, one capable of housing four men and the other cell large enough for twelve people.

The Anaheim Police force still maintained one motorized police vehicle, a 1925 Dodge touring car complete with side curtains. The car was rarely driven except for emergencies and a nightly trip at two o'clock in the morning to patrol the outskirts of the city. Because of its little use, the department was able to keep this car for ten years. Anaheim was a four square mile territory of land.

Officers continued to patrol the downtown area on foot, utilizing the patrol car only to respond to any calls for service located beyond running distance.

On September 29, 1927, motor officer Oscar Kelly found himself in trouble with Chief Martin. Officer Kelly and one of the local State Traffic Officers engaged in a bet on the Dempsey-Tunny fight. The loser of the bet had to push the winner down the main street of Anaheim in a wheelbarrow. It is not known which officer won the bet, but, on the night of the fight, both men were seen downtown, one pushing the other in a wheelbarrow. Unfortunately for both officers, approximately 500 people came out to see the spectacle. An on-duty officer arrived and issued both men citations to appear before Police Court for causing a disturbance. For their punishment, the Police Court Judge sentenced both men to roll a peanut from the front of City Hall to a nearby firehouse door.

May of 1928 brought public protest against Chief Martin. After discharging one of his officers for failing to cooperate with his department supervisors, citizens of the community packed the City trustees chambers to air their complaints against Chief Martin.

Tension grew as the public anxiously awaited for "a bomb to drop" on the Chief. Although speaker after speaker addressed the board to complain not only about the manner in which they believed the Chief treated his officers, but also about the fines imposed on citizens after they were arrested; no one filed a formal grievance. The bomb that they awaited turned out to be a dud.

To the surprise of the Trustees, it was announced on August 23,1928 that Chief John Martin had submitted his notice of resignation to the city clerk. A.W. Franzen, chairman of the city Police Committee, issued a public statement: "I for one am certainly loathe to see him leave, but of course am glad he has found a better position. A police chief in any city must expect to meet a certain opposition, and Chief Martin had labored faithfully under the handicap of bitter, and what seems to be unfair, criticism. His work has been of the highest order and it will be difficult to find another chief whose service will be satisfactory." On October 1, 1928, John Martin retired from the city and began working for an insurance company in Anaheim.

1928 - 1942 - JAMES S. BOULDIN

On the retirement of Chief Martin, Sergeant James S. Bouldin was appointed to fill the vacant seat of Police Chief. Prior to his new appointment, James Bouldin had served the department as a police patrolman. In 1925, after an unknown amount of time as a Policeman, he resigned from the Anaheim Police Department to accept a job as the manager of a professional baseball team. On April 15, 1928, he returned to the Anaheim Police Department as a policeman. He was promoted to Sergeant shortly after his return and was then appointed to the position of Police Chief in October. Bouldin became a working chief just like his predecessors, often spending much of his time on the streets as any of his fourteen men. In his younger days, James Bouldin was a professional baseball player. A veteran of the war, Bouldin was connected with several of the minor league teams and was later a first baseman with the Pittsburgh pirates.