1892-1921

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The Administrations of Hall, Weatherly, Reese, Scott, Neeley, Isley and Foushee

The last several years of the 19th Century, and the first two decades of the 20th Century saw numerous leadership changes within the Greensboro Police Force.

Following Chief Reese's resignation to become full-time Tax Collector, F.R. Hall was selected as the Greensboro Police Force's second Chief on May 16, 1892. Chief Hall's tenure lasted six months. Apparently his administration was beset by continuous, adversarial relationships with the City's Aldermen, the force's officers and the community. He tendered his resignation on November 13, 1892.

Officer W.J. Weatherly was named as the Acting Chief of Police. Two days later, on November 15, 1892, Weatherly was selected as Greensboro's third Chief of Police. Chief Weatherly served for almost two years. During his administration, a public telephone exchange was installed in Greensboro. This proved to be very advantageous to the police force. Prior to the installation of the telephone system in 1894, citizens had to go to the police station to get assistance or be lucky enough to encounter a beat officer. The telephone also eliminated frequent trips to the station by beat officers to handle administrative tasks or receive calls for service.

Chief / Tax Collector Offices Combined

In 1894, the Aldermen decided to combine the offices of Chief of Police and Tax Collector once again. R.M. Reese was elected by the Aldermen for the second time to fill the position of Chief of Police. As Greensboro's fourth Chief, he received 3 percent of the taxes collected, $120 in salary and other fees.

At this time, he had five officers on his force: W.A. Scott, M.S. Whittington, Arthur Jordan, J.H. Davis and R.E. Pearce. Chief Reese served his second term until almost the end of the decade. He was replaced in May of 1899.

On May 12, 1899, W.A. Scott became Greensboro's fifth Chief of Police. The new chief's salary was $690 annually. Chief Scott's administration reflected the continued growth of Greensboro. Construction of a new City Hall began in 1900 and the city's population stood at 10,035 in that same year.

The Force Continues to Grow

By 1902, the force had grown to seven officers. The following year, officers were granted 10 days of annual leave and officers began filing written reports. In 1904, the police station was staffed all night for the first time.

Existing records indicate that Chief Scott resigned in early 1904. It appears that Officer R.J. Barnes served as the Acting Chief of Police for a very short period of time. C.F. Neeley was elected as the sixth Chief of Police on March 24, 1905. By this time, the Greensboro Police Force had grown to 14 officers. In April 1905, the position of Sergeant of Police was re-established (having been abolished in 1892) and the new position of Corporal of Police was created. The corporal's job paid a salary of $52.50 monthly.

In about 1905, the automobile was introduced into the city. Soon, streetcars and automobiles were creating traffic and noise problems as the city continued to grow. By 1910, the population had increased to 15,895. A new city charter was obtained in 1911 and the police force had increased to 21 sworn officers.

Between 1905 and 1921, it is difficult to establish with certainty the appointment and termination dates for the Chiefs of the Greensboro Police Force. From existing records, it appears that Chief Neeley was replaced around 1911 by I.B. Isley, who became the seventh Chief. Several years later, W.H. Foushee was appointed as the eighth Chief. The next pertinent entry in City Council minutes shows that Chief Foushee was replaced by I.B. Isley as the ninth Chief on May 1, 1919. As with Chief Reese, this was Isley's second term as Chief of Police.

Recollections from then rookie officer William Donnevant shed light on the police officers' lot in 1921. He recalled that officers, "...were paid a salary of approximately one hundred dollars a month. The City furnished uniforms and there were twenty-three men allotted to the Police Department. They worked two shifts of twelve hours each. At that time, the Department had two vehicles and no radios. All communication...was by telephone."

Officers Die in Line of Duty

During Chief Isley's administration, two Greensboro officers died in the line of duty. On May 4, 1921, Officer William T. McCuiston and his partner, Officer Burton D. Oakes received information on a gang of whiskey runners. McCuiston, who was off-duty, and Oakes lay in wait for the bootleggers near Washington and Forbis (now Church) Streets. When the whiskey-laden vehicle approached on Washington Street, Officer McCuiston hailed the car. When it did not stop, he stepped onto its running board and ordered the driver to halt. Before McCuiston could take any further action, one of the three occupants fired a .38 caliber pistol point-blank into McCuiston's chest. He died instantly.

Less than three weeks later, Greensboro lost its second officer to violent death. On May 23, 1921, motorcycle Officer Arthur G. Calhoun gave pursuit to a speeding Cadillac, and a vehicle chase ensued. As Officer Calhoun tried to pass another vehicle during the chase, he lost control of his motorcycle at over 60 miles per hour and it slid out from under him. Six days later, Officer Calhoun died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the collision.

I.B. Isley continued to fill the position of Chief of Police until the end of July 1921.