MONDAY, MAY 29, 2017


By James Johnson

originally printed in the Woodstock Independent
April 27, 2005

Recently, Don Peasley wrote in his column about the upcoming retirement of Police Chief Joe Marvin. Devoting 27 years to the citizens of Woodstock, Marvin began as a patrol officer and worked up through the ranks to lead the department. His tenure has brought modernization in procedures, communications, computerization and community outreach. He has helped tremendously in furthering one of Chester Gould ‘s favorite youth education activities, the Crimestoppers Youth Program. Members of the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum’s Board of Directors wish him the very best as he moves on to new challenges.

Many Woodstock Independent readers remember or were personally acquainted with former Chief Emery “Tiny” Hansman. A museum visitor told of a personal remembrance. She and her brother had missed a ride home and were stranded at a local church when Hansman drove by. They flagged him down, and he took them home. In 1947, Hansman and Gould brought the first Crimestoppers classes to Woodstock. The classes were well attended. They served as the fore-runners of a well-crafted series of youth education subjects in crime avoidance, forensics, personal safety, criminal identification and all-around good citizenship. Hansman was once shown in a 1948 strip by Gould as a character named “Tiny Hunzman.”

Police chiefs have an enduring impact on the communities in which they serve. Chief Randall Walters of Huntley recently retired. During his watch, the village’s population jumped from 2,000 to more that 12,000, with a resulting expansion of department staffing, calls and activity. Chief Sam Johns directed the Crystal Lake department for many years. Irv Floress of Lake in the Hills, Gunnar Jensen of Tower Lake, Jack Donahue of Oakwood Hills and Pete Swistowicz of South Barrington all served ably during the 1970′s. Art Tyrell, a friend of Chester Gould, was McHenry County Sheriff. John Zito of Cary was a U. S. Marshal.

Readers may not have heard of two chiefs who served in the Northwest suburbs in the 1960′s. Kline Weatherford was special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Chicago office in the early 1950′s. Upon retirement, track owner Ben Lindheimer hired him as director of security for the Arlington Park and Washington Park Jockey Club. This was the organization that ran two of the area’s thoroughbred racetracks. It was a demanding job, with responsibility for the vast flow of cash through the betting windows, as well as the security of the fans, track personnel and horses. Kline was a tall, tough and urbane man and handled the job well. After Kline left, he was replaced by Frank Pape, a retired captain of the Chicago Police Department. Pape had a tough reputation earned while working the streets of Chicago. A racetrack is somewhat like a small city while it is at full operation. The experience these men had gained helped them to adjust to corporate security.

Follow-up note: A real-life “Dick Tracy,” Captain Richard Tracy of the Chicago Police Department, was an old friend of Chester Gould and his family. Now retired from the CPD and living in Arizona, Captain Tracy has attended many Dick Tracy Days parades and sponsored the annual Crimestoppers Breakfast for area children. Joe Marvin is currently serving on the McHenry County Sheriff’s marine unit, patrolling the Fox River and Chain of Lakes.

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