intersection make it their duty to assemble the children in
groups, and to refrain them from crossing until the inter-
section is clear of automobile traffic, and there are no auto-
mobiles close enough to constitute an immediate hazard.
Motorists cooperation with the School Safety Patrols
was necessary to make the program a success â€” and motorist
cooperation, throughout the years, has on the whole been
excellent, says Inspector Getchell. The motorist who re-
fuses to cooperate with the Patrol boys in their efforts to
guard the lives of their schoolmates is a rarity, and for
such a motorist the law provides a penalty for violation
which tends to correct his attitude.
When there is a violation by a motorist, the offender's
license number is taken by the Patrol on duty and turned
over to the Police Department, which proceeds to bring the
motorist guilty of violation to an accounting with the law.
In addition to his work of training the School Safety
Patrols in their duties. Inspector Getchell has also worked
ceaselessly to bring about the proper signing and painting
of school intersections throughout the city, so that motor-
ists would have no excuse for violation.
In 1929 he succeeded in having 75,000 galvanised metal
markers installed at school crossings, many of which are
still in place. The first pedestrian crossings at school inter-
sections were painted in 1938, but this work was hampered
by lack of funds until 1940, when the need was recognized
by the Department of Public Works, which then made its
first appropriation, $5,000, for that purpose.
At the present time an annual appropriation for marking
school crossings in the amount of $20,000 is made from
gasoline tax allocations to San Francisco. Now every school
intersection in San Francisco has been painted, under In-
spector Getchell's supervision, and from year to year the
necessary maintenance work is carried on. Before a new
school crossing can be established, however, its location
must be approved by the Police Commission and the Board
of Supervisors, and the ordinance establishing the crossing
must be signed by the Mayor. All such crossings, therefore,
are legally recognized, and the Safety Patrols stationed at
these intersections have the support of law.
Today there are 640 such intersections in San Fran-
cisco, marked with white painted lines, one foot in width.
Painted on the stret 75 feet before the crossing is reached
are the words "SCHOOLâ€” SLOW" in 4-foot letters.
Gratifying to Inspector Getchell is the fine spirit of co-
operation between the four sponsoring organizations. As
the program has developed, through the years, each of the
four organizations has taken on definite duties and respon-
sibilities, the execution of which contributes toward the
smooth functioning of the operation from year to year.
The San Francisco Police Department heads up the
sponsoring group, with the Chief of Police serving as
Colonel of the Patrol Regiment. Keen interest, mingled
with pride, in the School Safety Patrols is evinced by its
commanding officer, Chief Mitchell; and this has been
true of every Police Chief under whose direction the
Patrols have functioned. Chiefs Daniel J. O'Brien, one of
the founders of the Patrol, William J. Quinn, Charles W.
Dullea and Michael J. Riordan.
An officer of the Department is regularly assigned to the
work of training the Patrols in their duties, and supervising
their work â€” the post held by Inspector Getchell. For about
seven years Inspector Getchell was assisted by Officer
Joseph Kane who died in April, 1946. Officer Kane was
succeeded by Officer Frank Lynch, and now, in view of the
large number of School Safety Patrols, a second officer,
Robert Gremminger, has also been assigned to this duty.
Under the direction of the Board of Education, the
principal of each school assigns a teacher who assumes
Police and highway patrol officers from other Bay Region communities were guests of honor in the reviewing stand at the Silver Anni-
versary Parade and review of San Francisco's School Safety Patrols. Among those present were (left to right) California Highway
Patrol Officers Captain Roland Wilkinson, of Hayward, Inspector Fred Leber of Richmond and Inspector Elmer Steinmeyer of Oak-
land: and Captain Lester Divine, of the Traffic Division. Oakland Police Department.
POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS' JOURNAL
June â€¢ July, 1948
The Color Guard, which led the parade and review of San Fran-
cisco's School Safety P^ols at Kezar Stadium. All from James
Denman Junior High School, they are (left to right): Thomas
Hawkcn, Gordon Spencer. Malcolm Ziegler and Mervin Snyder.
daily charge of the work of the school's Safety Patrol Unit,
who selects the members of the Patrol from the school's
enrollment, and designates the officers. A squad of substi-
tute Patrol members is also designated to fill in for absen-
tees whenever needed.
Members of the School Safety Patrols are selected tor
their qualities of scholarship, responsibility and sense of
civic duty, health, character and adaptability to discipline.
The appointment must be approved by the Patrol members
parents or guardian, and once appointed, members con-
tinue to serve indefinitely, provided they m.iintain a high
record of citizenship and scholarship.
Those who serve a year or more on the Safety Patrol are
presented upon graduation from school, with an attractive
Certificate of Award for their services. This certificate is
awarded by the California State Automobile Association,
and bears the signatures of the Chief of Police, the Super-
intendent of Schools, the Inspector in charge of the School
Safety Patrols, and the school principal.
The white Sam Browne belt, familiar to motorists, is fur-
nished by the California State Automobile Association, to-
gether with the oval-shaped insignia and the arm bands.
Raincoats and hats, obtained at cost through the Auto-
mobile Association, arc furnished by s.'hool units of the
Parent-Teacher Association. These Parent-Teacher units
also supervise the maintenance of Patrol equipment, mak-
ing sure that it is kept clean and in good condition at all
Many schools provide their patrols with uniform over-
seas caps and sweaters for parade purposes and ceremonies,
but this is optional with the schcKil. Each school also pro-
vides its own guidon flag, designed to meet certain specifi-
c:itions as to size and color.
Duties of the Safety Patrols are definitely prescribed. It
is the chief function of the Patrols to regulate pedestrian
traffic, not motor vehicle traffic, and the Patrol members
t.icrcfore assemble the children on the sidewalk at the in-
tersection, where they are held until it is safe to cross.
Only v.'hen the view is obstructed by a vehicle parked close
tj the crosswalk is a Safety Patrol member permitted to
l;ave the curb, and then only for a distance not to exceed
the width of the parked vehicle.
Patrols are on duty for one-half hour before school takes
up in the morning, during the lunch hour for periods that
will efficiently meet the school's traffic problems, and in the
a''tcrn-3on for a period of ten minutes after school is dis-
An important supplement to the training of the Safety
Patrols, in the eyes of the sponsoring organization, is the
training of pupils in the schools in the principles of traffic
saf^cty, and the importance of obeying the Safety Patrols
v/hcn they are on duty.
To this end, considerable emphasis is placed on class-
room instruction in the principles of traffic safety.
Throughout the year safety meetings or assemblies are held
at the schools to discuss the subject, with particular em-
phas's on problems peculiar to the various schools.
Material for classroom instruction on this subject is fur-
ni.^hcd to the schcmls by the California State Automobile
Association, together with school safety posters for class-
room and bulletin board display. Representatives of the
Association's Public Safety Department are available at all
times for school meetings on this subject, and considerable
attention is given to visual education in traffic safety
through the medium of motion picture films.
From the primary grades through to graduation from
high schcxsl the subject of traffic safety is taught by precept
and example, with the School Safety Patrols furnishing the
model to school students for proper conduct in traffic.
With the principles of traffic safety now an integral part
of the educational system, attention is turning more and
more to the practices of traffic safety. This is seen in the
rapid advance in recent months in the program of Driver
Education and Training in high schools, sponsored in Cali-
fornia by the California State Automobile Association and
the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Scores of high schools throughout California added this
course to the curriculum last year, and additional scores
arc expected to join the ranks when the next school year
opens. In the Driver Education and Training Course the
students are actually taught how to drive an automobile
safely, with cars equipped with dual brake and clutch con-
trols loaned for that purpose by automobile dealers.
Thus, with the School Safety Patrols in the vanguard,
with classroom instruction on traffic safety firmly estab-
lished, and with Driver Education and Training winning
increasing favor among both parents and educators, the
outlook is much improved for oncoming generations of
traffic-wise pedestrians and drivers.
June â€¢ July. 1948 POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS' JOURNAL Page 9
Address of Mayor Robinson â€” Flag Day Ceremonies
President Truman Pleased With San Francisco Police
When President Truman came out west to address the
University of California at its annual commencement exer-
cises, and on Sunday, June 13, gave the Flag Day address
sponsored by the B.P.O. Elks' Lodge No. 3, he attracted
great crowds of people at Berkeley and in San Francisco.
The Berkeley Police Department under Chief John
Holdstrom and Chief Walter J. Lee of the University
Police did a magnificent job of handling the huge crowds
that gathered in the College City to see the President.
After finishing his visit at Berkeley President Truman
was escorted to San Francisco over the San Francisco-Oak-
land Bay Bridge. Here the Police Departments of Oakland,
Berkeley and San Francisco aided by Calitornia Highway
Patrolmen got him to his quarters in the Fairmont.
Then the San Francisco Police Department took over
under the direction of the Secret Service, headed in this
area by Chief William Merrill. Uniformed and plain-
clothes men guarded the hotel entrances and Inspector Fred
Bohr and his members of the Hotel Detail had everything
working in first class order.
The President was escorted on Sunday to Golden Gate
Park where he made his Flag Day address and then back to
his hotel and when he was ready to embark on his special
train for Los Angeles he was accompanied by special se-
lected members of the San Francisco Police Department.
At the Southern Pacific Depot at Third and Townsend
Streets the President shook hands with every San Fran-
cisco policeman who was on hand to see him safely on his
way. He paid high tribute to the officers for their well
planned and executed program for his visit to San Fran-
cisco. He was high in his praise, too, of Chief Michael
Mayor Elmer E. Robinson, also a member of the Order
of Elks as is President Truman, made an address at the
Flag Day exercises in which he welcomed the President of
the United States.
It is a high privilege for me as Mayor of San Francisco
to express the cordial welcome of this city to the President
of the United States.
To you. President Truman, I convey the heartfelt appre-
ciation of the City of San Francisco for honoring our Flag
Day observance with your presence.
To the great Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
let me express the thanks of our people for making it possi-
ble for President Truman to be with us here today.
In a very special sense, San Francisco is a typically
American city. Here you will find Americans of every
race, of every creed, of every national origin, living in har-
mony and genuine mutual respect.
Here is a city where no one is a stranger. San Fran-
cisco, by temperament and by conviction, dearly prizes the
contributions made to this vigorous and high-spirited city
by our people of various backgrounds.
Ours, then, in a very special sense, is truly an American
city, for here it matters not what a man's national or
racial origins may be, and no man's religious convictions
are a barrier to winning the esteem of his fellow citizens.
Our single test is this: Is he a good and a completely
On this Flag Day, when our city is so highly honored
by the presence of our Chief Executive, it is proper and
fitting for each of us to look now again at the Stars and
A great American once said that when you look at our
flag, the broad white stripes running so clean and free rep-
resent the parchments of our liberties. The vivid red stripes
represent the blood shed by every generation to maintain
and to preserve the liberties reflected by the white stripes.
And if you lift your eyes to the field of blue in the corner,
you are looking at the color of loyalty, the color of fidelity.
There in our flag you may see the unity of the past, of the
present, and of the future of the United States.
For our liberties, represented by the white stripes, and
the American blood shed to preserve them, demand of us
that we never forget and never compromise t'ne loyalty
symbolized in that field of blue.
Every man, every woman, and every child in this g.ithrr-
ing today understands very well that wherever the Stars
and Stripes fly in this world they there proclaim the c'ig-
hity and self-respect of men free to govern themselves,
freely accepting the results of their freely rendered de-
It is the dark destiny of our day to look upon the brutil
realities of political systems determined to enslave man-
kind. There are typrannies in the world which would ob-
literate the white stripes in our flag, and with those white
stripes proclaiming freedom, those tyrannies would cancel
out, too, that field of blue, the symbol of our loyalty.
But, so long as we, in the quiet and sacred places of our
own hearts, never forget what that field of blue demands
of us, then there shall be always three colors, and never
just one, in the flag flying over the United States of Amer-
To every true American citizen the flag is a symbol of
God's blessing upon a liberty-loving people. To all lovers
of our country it is the emblem of freedom in its true and
fullest meeting. It signifies government resting on the con-
sent of the governed; liberty regulated by law; security
against the exercise of arbitrary power; the protection of
the weak from the strong; and generally it awakens a reali-
zation and an appreciation of the rights, privileges and
benefits guaranteed to us in this great democracy by our
constitutional form of government.
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SPECIAL PRICES TO MEMBERS S. F. P. D.
POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS' JOURNAL
June â€¢ ]uly. 1948
Capture of The Lake Street Gang
Another Bright Chapter in the History of the San Francisco Police Department.
By Jim Leonard, Police Reporter for the CaU-Bidletin
San Franciscans could well afford the tribute paid their
Police Department during the month of May.
An ever increasing number of businessmen had expah-
enced the forays of a group of armed robbers â€” well plan-
ned operations of the gunmen for six months kept grocers
Skrgeant James V. Erickson
on edge, while police desperately waited tor the break
which would lead to a capture.
The "break" came on May 13 with a violence that shat-
tered the early morning quiet of the Inijlcsidc district and
Ofucrr Charles G. FowLit
shocked all of San Francisco.
When the smoke cleared away, two police officers lay
critically wounded, and but for the grace of God would
have been dead.
Detective fiction could be no more fantastic than the
facts surrounding this cold-blooded shooting and the en-
Shortly after 5:30 a. m. the Bureau of Inspectors re-
ceived a telephone call from Patrolman Harry Mallett, a
Negro officer attached to Northern Station, who said he
had been tipi>ed off to a "narcotics deal" at 100 Rae Ave-'
nue by the telephone operator in a Fillmore district hotel.
Details were lacking, but the bureau decided to dispatch
an Ingleside Station radio car for a check.
Out at Ingleside Sergeant James V. Erickson, 38, Pa-
trolman Charles G. Fowlie, 30, and Patrolman Edward
Casazza, 25, were thinking their duty shift would soon be
over â€” a good breakfast and some sleep seemed pretty at-
tractive. So they crawled into the radio car wondering
what sort of a "deal" could take place in a respectable
neighborhood like the Rae Avenue address, even sd early
in the morning.
Arriving at the scene. Sergeant Erickson and Casa:ni
went to the door, leaving Fowlie in the car. Unsuspecting,
they rang the bell. When the door opened they faced the
guns of two men and were immediately disarmed.
The officers had interrupted what was to have been a
downtown drugstore robbery, the ground work for which
had been laid with the terrorizing of the t.imilics i>t two o!
the store's officials.
At 1 1 :30 p. m., six and a half hours earlier, three gun-
men, identified later as Louis Fortier, 40, his br:thcr, Ches-
ter, 24, both Negroes, and Doyen Golding, 25, a white
man, appeared at the home of Sam W. Potter, office man-
ager of the Benatar Drugstore at Fourtii and Market
streets. There they demanded keys to the store. Failing,
they kidnapped Potter, his wife and son, taking them to
the home of Philip Bitlin. the store's gener.il manager, at
100 Rae Avenue.
There they repeated their demands, but Batlin explained
he had no keys â€” besides, he couldn't open the store in the
middle of the night without setting off the burglar alarm.
The gunmen decided to wait until morning, then ti!:e
the officials to the store to wait until the person carrying
the keys came to open up. They drank coffee, joked, and
listened to tiie radio during the all night wait.
At 2 a. m. Chester disappeared on the pretext of miking
a phone call. Realizing his brother had a case of cold feet,
Louis placed a call to the Fillmore district hotel for another
It isn't much fun to operate a hotel switchboard during
the hours of early morning. Things become pretty dull â€”
or perhaps it was an accident that the girl operator over-
heard that conversation. If she were eavesdropping, all
San Francisco would have patted her on the back for it;
because the police soon knew what she had heard.
June â€¢ July, 1948
POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS' JOURNAL
Page 1 1
Meanwhile, as the two officers pondered the gunmen's
next move. Officer Joe Green, on duty at poHce radio in
the Hall of Justice, worriedly awaited some word from the
Finally Green contacted Fowlie, waiting in the car, who
replied: "They're leaving the house now. The sergeant
say, something's wrong â€” they have guns â€” their
hands are in the air." Then the radio was silent.
Green immediately sent other cars speeding to the scene.
Golding led the group to the car, Fowlie thinking he had
submitted to arrest. Erickson and Casassa followed, while
Louis Fortier brought up the rear, his gun leveled at their
Erickson, thinking a rough fate was in store for his com-
rades and himself, thought fast and decided on a desperate
move. As Golding stopped to enter the rear door of the
radio car, the sergeant lunged at him, yelling: "Get num-
"Number two" (Fortier), panicked by the sergeant's
action and the blaring police radio, immediately opened
fire. Fowlie was hit in the neck and shoulder â€” Erickson
in the abdomen, shoulder, and thigh.
Fortier and Golding fled in an auto belonging to Batlin.
Then began the most high powered manhunt in the
history of the San Francisco Police Department. Green,
joined in communication by Sergeant Nello J. Gerolami,
broadcast instructions to radio cars placing them at strate-
gic locations throughout the city. These two officers were
credited with contributing greatly to the success of the
search. Both men had hunches that the fugitives would
head for Golden Gate Park, so they blanketed that area
with police cars.
Their call to Mission Emergency Hospital gave doctors
time to be ready for work before the wounded officers ar-
rived â€” the hospital even received a general description of
In a matter of minutes Officers Richard Hutchinson and
John Long from a Richmond Station car reported sighting
the getaway car speeding from Golden Gate Park toward
the Marina district. A few minutes later Officers Harold
Walker and Joseph Gordon in another car found the
escape auto abandoned at Twenty-second Avenue and
Within three hours after the shooting the suspects were
in custody. The story of the actual capture is also an ac-
counting of brilliant and aggressive police work.
Police reasoned that the fugitives must have necessarily
gone into hiding in the adjacent neighborhood, because so
little time had passed. Inspectors Frank Lucey and Bill
Stanton of the General Works Detail were familiar with
the neighborhood â€” an elaborate home at 1812 Lake Street
suddenly became interesting. It was the only negro resi-
dence in the area, owned by Frank Burr, Hunter's Point
tavern owner. Lucey and Stanton had previously provided
some of its residents- with free lodging at Kearny and
Captain of Inspectors James L. English decided to lead
a delegation of his most experienced investigators on an
uninvited visit to the home. The group included :
Stanton, Lucey, Lieutenant Dan McKlem, Inspectors
Frank Gibeau, Joe Farrell, Frank Baroni, Jules Zimmerlin,
Emmett Cottrell, William Merrick, James Brown, Edward
Preston, and Jack Cruickshank.
Sleepy Richmond dwellers peered from their windows
at the party, wondering why such a large all male group
was calling so early. They saw Captain English ring the
front door bell and receive no response. It was indeed
strange when they saw Gibeau climb a drain pipe hand
over hand at the rear of the house and enter an upstairs
Promptly Golding, the fugitive, his common law wife,
Betty LaMarra â€” and Gibeau â€” opened the front door.
Golding said : "We are the only ones here. " He was brush-
ed aside, and the raiders started searching. From various
parts of the lavishly furnished home they flushed out three
negroes â€” Louis and Chester Fortier and Louis' 38 year old
Among articles seized for evidence were a sub-machine
gun, eight pistols, and two police revolvers (those taken
from Sergeant Erickson and Officer Casazza) .
Before the day was over the two Fortiers and Golding
had signed statements clearing up not only the night's case
but more than 20 robberies in San Francisco and Los An-
geles. The gunmen had specialized in Safeway stores and
The harvest was only beginning â€” the trio gave more de-
tailed information; and before the month's end thrfee more
members of the ring were located and returned from Salt
Lake City and Groom, Texas.
Lieutenant McKlem and Inspector Max Reznik returned
James R. Lynch, 28 year old ex-convict, and Paul Nelson,
27, to San Francisco from Salt Lake City. Nelson, after
(Continued on page i8)
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Res. Phone JUniper 4-8306
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2901 SAN BRUNO AVE. SAN FRANCISCO. CALIF.
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Dan E. London. General Manager
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SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
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SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
POLICE AND PEACE OFFICERS' JOURNAL
June â€¢ July, J 948
Oakland's Police Department Exemplifies Fact That Law Enforcement Agencies
Are Just As Great As Their Commandins Officers
By B. S. (Sandy) Sanders, Veteran Police Reporter, Editor, Author, Advertising Agency Executive.
Chief of Police Robert P. (Bob) Tracy of the Oakland the enthusiasm of their interest in crime prevention, in
Police Department, smiled and reached for a couple of running down, arresting and producing evidence on which