Title: Panama Canal Museum Exhibit Materials : Police
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098884/00001
 Material Information
Title: Panama Canal Museum Exhibit Materials : Police
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Panama Canal Museum
Publisher: Panama Canal Museum
Place of Publication: Seminole, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Subjects
Subject: Canal Zone
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098884
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CANAL ZONE POLICE

President Theodore Roosevelt personally selected Captain George R. Shanton to head the Zone Police Force, which was organized
by the Isthmian Canal Commission on June 2, 1904. Shanton, a former Army officer who commanded a troop of "Rough Riders" during the
Spanish-American War, conceived the idea of an American-operated Isthmian police force.
The prosperity of the rapidly-growing Canal Zone community attracted a large criminal element to the Isthmus during the early
construction years. However, the Zone Police were able to meet the challenge of maintaining necessary law and order. Through its efforts, the
Zone Police were able to create and sustain a favorable living environment for the work force, which was to help guide the Canal project to
completion.
The history of the Canal Zone Police, as the organization came to be known prior to World War II, has paralleled the changing nature of
the Panama Canal's development. Prior to improvements in the means of transportation and communication on the Isthmus, the Police Division
was divided into as many as five police districts. It also operated scores of substations in the construction-era townsites that followed the route
of the Canal. During the periods when the police and fire responsibilities of the Canal Zone Government were combined, the Chief of the Police
Division became the head of both departments.
Between 1904 and 1917, five military officers were selected by the President of the United States to head the Zone Police. Those who
honorably served were George Shanton (1904-1909), Grosvener A. Porter (1909-1910), James P. Fyffe (1910-1912), Charles W. Barber
(1912-1915) and Harry D. Mitchell (1915-1917). The civilians who served as Chiefs of Police thereafter were: Guy Johannes (1917-1943), A.
0. Meyer (1943-1950), George Herman (1950-1955), R. W. Griffith (1955-1957), Benjamin Darden (1957-1961), Eugene S. Shipley (1961-
1968), Gaddis Wall (1968-1972), Charles S. Smith (1972-1973) and William F. Kessler (1973-1982).
In later years, the organizational structure of the Division consisted of two main police districts: one located in Cristobal on the Atlantic
side of the Isthmus and the other in Balboa on the Pacific side. A small number of police officers and correctional personnel were assigned to
administer the Canal Zone Penitentiary, located on the outskirts of Gamboa.
Each Police District maintained a patrol force, a traffic section, a detective section, and a jungle and interior water patrol force. All police
activities were coordinated through Police Headquarters, which consisted of the Division Chief and his staff.
Unlike police agencies within the United States, the duties of the Chief of the Police Division encompassed other than purely law
enforcement responsibilities. The Chief served as the administrative head of the Penitentiary at Gamboa; the only federal penitentiary located
outside the continental United States, and held the position of Coroner for the Canal Zone.
The Canal Zone Police were responsible for the investigation of a wide range of incidents and crimes, which occurred on board vessels
transiting the Canal. This included all crimes on the "high seas" aboard U. S. flag vessels when the first port of call was the Canal Zone. On
many occasions, the investigation, taking of statements and arrest had to be accomplished within the eight-hour period needed for a ship to
complete its transit of the waterway. The Canal Zone Police came into more contact with a wider variety of law enforcement matters involving
people of different nationalities on a daily basis than any other police agency in the world.
On October 1, 1979, the Canal Zone Police Division was again reorganized and the name changed to the Canal Commission Police.
This was in response to the new relationship created between the United States and the Republic of Panama by the Panama Canal Treaties of
1977. The police functions in the Canal Area were carried out by citizens of the United States and Panama employed by the Federal
Government in cooperation with Panama's National Guard and National Department of Investigation until the Canal Commission Police ceased
to exist on March 31, 1982.







NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
h LJ^" .









NATIONAL POLICE WEEK WAS A TIME TO RECOGNIZE THE
CANAL ZONE'S FINEST, AND FOR THEM TO TEACH BY
EXAMPLE FOR THE SCHOOL CHILDREN


NATIONAL POLICE WEEK


k j U or.,PTAGE W LAW AND ORDER


P.h^^Tli fig Eium Iis &djmcated to thasr Cnam[
' 1904-1979 zone Polimi Ofir who hve :o anithfuLly .
r alW rg Lis geat e072
a. . .. . . 2.


THANKS


NATIONAL POLICE WEEK IN THE CANAL ZONE


* U






NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
h LJ^" .









CANAL ZONE'S FINEST, AND FOR THEM TO
TEACH THE SCHOOL CHILDREN BY EXAMPLE


NATIONAL POLICE WEEK


' k j U or.,PTAGE W LAW AND ORDER

_ PTlii. fiml iFue Iis &dbcatd to thasr C .am
' 1904-1979 zone Polimi Ofir who hve :o anithfuLly .
W0 2ar g Lis geat ea. 7


THANKS


NATIONAL POLICE WEEK IN THE CANAL ZONE


* U





































POLICE IN THEIR COMMUNITY


I Il




U U


1904-1909
1909-1910
1910-1912
1912 1915
1915- 1917
1917-1943
1943-1950
1950-1955
1955-1957
1957-1961
1961 -1968
1968-1972
1972-1973
1973-1982


George R. Shanton
Grosvenor A. Porter
James P. Fyffe
Charles W. Barber
Harry D. Mitchell
Guy Johannes
A. 0. Meyer
George Herman
R. W. Griffith
Benjamin A. Darden
Eugene S. Shipley
Gaddis Wall
Charles S. Smith
William F. Kessler


DISTRICT POLICE COMMANDERS
BALBOA DISTRICT


1910-1914
1914-1922
1922-1940
1940-1945
1945-1950
1950-1957
1957-1968
1968-1970
1970-1972
1972-1973
1973-1977
1977-1978
1978-1982


Arthur W Kennedy
Jack W. Phillips
Maurenus Peterson
John M. Davis
Carl P. Wanke
Benjamin A. Darden
Gaddis Wall
Howard C. Richards
Charles C. Fears
William F. Kessler
Michael P. Gordon
Robert Mills
Franklin E. Flud


DISTRICT POLICE COMMANDERS
CRISTOBAL DISTRICT


1911 -1912
1912- 1917
1917- 1941
1941 -1943
1943 1950
1950 1956
1956- 1961
1961 -1966
1966 1970
1970 1972
1972 1980
1980 1982


J. H. Vanderpool
Guy Johannes
Lawrence W Callaway
George Herman
R. W. Griffith
J. M. Fahnestock
Eugene S. Shipley
Donald V. Howerth
Fred E. Perra
Charles W. Smith
Ralph C. Stone
Edward V. Amason, Jr.


IN MEMORIAL


In the 78-year history of the Canal Zone Police Division, three officers gave their lives in the line of duty.

Arthur Smart
Died on duty February 5, 1941

Samuel Violin
Died on duty August 22, 1945

George Nadeau
Died on duty October 31, 1957


CHIEFS OF POLICE
Canal Zone Police Division







CL4 CWidtim 5:. 5& dr

OUWcan oj tw 90 94A JAn

49&a4 tLe Ianour Af" oAr ptfene

Pofie Dz6Lgmm
an W e"&aa "w -f" Ma&
,Ta 0Aedclaa, tLt i-feAt LK itPntcd9adcK
at &ur pat 'aSoO
Sta4i of til Gdminiatation LuidUna gBusinM Sait a
3Bao ioa SJR, SReput 4F Sanama 4iaja eia







AlA-


THE EARLY AND THE LAST ROLE CALL


I I




U U


MOUNTED CANAL ZONE POLICE, Ca. 1920s


POLICE ON PATROL THROUGH THE YEARS


JUN


I I










1904 1982




U


i HISTORICAL PENITENTIARIES AND STOCKADES I







U




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs