1930-1937

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The Administration of Chief M.D. Caffey

On January 30, 1930, Mike D. Caffey was appointed as Greensboro's 11th Chief of Police. At the time of his appointment, Caffey was a member of the Guilford County Sheriff's Department.

The Greensboro Police Department faced many challenges during the Great Depression. Chief Caffey's first major problem was an 11 percent across-the-board salary reduction due to the depressed local economy. This pay cut took place in July of 1932 and lowered most patrolmen's pay from $140 per month to $126, or about what an officer had been making nine years earlier. By 1932, patrol officers in Greensboro were working 8-hour shifts. The only time they got an off-day was when they took one of their 10 vacation days. Otherwise, they worked seven days a week, every week of the year. The plain clothes division remained on 12-hour shifts until September of 1933, when they, too, began working 8-hour days.

Radio Communications

In 1934, the GPD implemented the use of radio communications. This added a new dimension to police work. Now an officer could be dispatched to a call almost as soon as it came into the station. Interestingly, in that same year, the youngest officer in the Department was 30 years old and the oldest was 67.

Greensboro's first recorded tornado struck at twilight on April 2, 1936 in the general vicinity of Lee and Elm Streets. Within two and one-half minutes, 12 people were dead and more than 100 were injured. Property damage was more than $2 million.

In 1937, Chief Caffey faced yet another setback. The City Council decided to lay-off six policemen in an effort to trim the budget. Although their decision was met with fierce opposition from Greensboro citizens, six officers were dismissed. On January 19, 1937, Chief Caffey began a four-month leave of absence after submitting his resignation.