Lost and Found: A Young Officer’s Notebook (1962)

The other day I ran across one of my notebooks from my early days in policing. I don’t know where any of the other notebooks are, but I found this one among my books.

For a bit of history, I have included my notes in today’s post.

In 1962, I had just recently joined the Minneapolis Police Department after spending two years in Edina, a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis. I joined the Edina Police Department in the spring of 1960 just after finishing four years of service in the Marines. I left the Marines in order to pursue a college education.

In January, 1962, I was hired by the Minneapolis. I was a 2-1/2 year police “veteran” when this notebook was written. Well over ½ century has passed since that time. Some things change… others stay the same.


What was happening in 1962?

We patrolled in two-man squad cars there were no uniformed women police officers; a few women, however, worked as plainclothes officers in our juvenile division. We had no portable radios or body armor. We carried 6-shot revolvers and a shotgun was mounted in each patrol car. After I was hired, I attended a 4-week police academy.

After the academy, I was assigned to the 1st precinct in downtown Minneapolis. During June, I worked the day shift and recorded activities in my trusty spiral notebook as the following notable events were happening in America:

  • June 6 – President John F. Kennedy, having now been president for over a year, gives the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The following year he was assassinated in Dallas.
  • June 11 – In the world of Corrections, Prisoners Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin escape from the Alcatraz Island prison; the men are never heard from again.
  • June 15 – The anti-war movement begins. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the United States complete the Port Huron Statement. Soon anti-war protests and demands for voting rights and public accommodations by African-Americans were to increase in number and intensity. These demands were met with violence from police in many of our nation’s urban areas.
  • June 25 — The times were a-changing. In Engel v. Vitale, the United States Supreme Court rules that mandatory prayers in public schools are unconstitutional and in MANual Enterprises v. Day, they rule that photographs of nude men are not obscene, thereby permitting the publishing of male pornographic magazines.
  • In June, the climate change argument begins as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring begins serialization in The New Yorker creating the environmental movement.
  • Later in the year, Algeria gains independence from France, Marilyn Monroe dies, NASA launches the Mariner space probe, Pres. Kennedy calls for a “man on the moon,” the Cuban Missile Crisis occurs, the U.N. condemns Apartheid in South Africa, and Mike Mansfield becomes the first U.S. Senator to question the war in Vietnam and its progress.

Six years later, during the nights of April 5-6, I stood in a line of police officers on Plymouth Avenue, shotguns at the ready, to quell disturbances from then “Negro” demonstrators. [You can read more about this in Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off…”

__________________

My Notebook: June, 1962

[I was assigned to squad #117 with Officer Stahl. Squad 117 was a downtown unit out of the 1st precinct. I recall I may have also walked the beat at Grant and Nicollet during this time.] 

Officer D. C. Couper, MPD, Badge #616, June, 1962

[Various departmental phone numbers written back of the front cove in including numbers for the Coroner’s Office and Driver’s License Bureau.]

June 3

1130 [hours]: Unsecured Business, 9 E. 16th St., secured.

1245:  “Cleo” with A.A., 212 Grant St. Carmen, 19 yrs. old, red hair, w/negroes.

1515: DK (drunk) at (White) Castle [corner of Grant and Nicollet].

June 4

0818: Larceny from barge (barge on south bank of Mississippi River, west of Great Northern trestle. Broke window, exited through rear hatch. Chain hoist and tools stolen.

1144: Indiana KA 1144, negroes, lt. turquoise, 62 Cad(illac) CV.

ZE 797 Cad, 61, CV, purple, negroes.

Burg. Business, 817 Portland, no loss as of yet, entry by rear window, most likely  juveniles, no attempt on Coke machine or safe.

Vandalism to Business, Auto-Miles Warehouse, 160 Glenwood, 5 windows broken in rear of building, third occurrence.

1315: Sick Call, 612 So. 8th St. James Clapp, apt 164, unable to care for himself, living in filth, urinated in pants.

1500: Wild Woman. Cassius Bar, 3rd St. Mrs. E. Brady, tried to cut bartender, advised and sent home.

1530: 4 DKs, 200 No, 1st St (rear) sleeping in shed. James Barnett, Ellsworth Larson, Charles Little, Art Durrant.

June 5

1110: DK, Jack Kerr, 420 No. 5th St. Witnesses stated he fell off a loading platform on No. 5th Ave. Staggered. Obviously DK.

1210: DK, 706 So. 9th St. Olaf Volstad. Fell over wheelbarrow, smelled of liquor, incoherent, Description: 55 yrs, grey hair, 135#, green trousers, blue jacket, blue baseball hat. Comp. of landlady, Mrs. Hansen.

1415: 2 DKs, Willard Johnson, St. James Hotel, passed out against building, obviously drunk. Harold “Smoky” Wake, front of Union City Mission.

1445: 2 DKs, Harvey Brown, Jim Austin.

1530: DK, John Gaspeder, Tower Bar; Jerry, witness. Belligerent, odor, staggered, antagonistic. Stated he had teeth out – that’s why he was drunk. Supposedly took swing at bartender who hit him. Had cut above eye – blood on shirt.

June 6

1230: Cassanova, Nicollet and 4th St., Mpls Housing and Redevelopment, nuisance – open areas, DK hangout, called dispatcher.

1400: Red light out, 6th and Marquette, called in.

[Ed. Note: There’s an entry about contacting Minnesota Skydivers, phone numbers, meeting info, etc. This would not become a reality until years later in 2001 when I took up parachuting again after my military experience.]

June 11

0845: David Warren, 8 yrs, [lost boy?] 916 Newton No., Child Protection, Miss Paine, reunited with mother.

1300: DOA. Body found by Myrtle Feldman at 1245, 1430 Spruce, Kenesaw Hotel. E,L. Zimmerman, room 410. Seen yesterday, glasses not broke.

[Sketch of body position in room.]

Homicide assisted, Det. Krueger. Case #45396.

June 12

0800: Break In. Hansord Pontiac., undet. Loss, broke in cigarette machine, entry on west side thru lot. Exit south side through window. Reported by Don Welch, 15 W. 17th St., service manager. C#45637

0810: Medical. Nancy Herzberg, 21 yrs 2314 2nd St. N.E. 3 foot north of light pole – bus stop. Front of 1116 Hennepin, hole in sidewalk, wearing high heels. Gibson 943, Bus 1159, right ankle, employed at 41 No. 12th St. C# 45628.

1155: Speeding, 40 in a 30. Richard Leo Welch, 10601 Cedar Lake Rd. On Willow, Grant to Harmon, children present.

1420: Fischer Shell, 1127 Henn. Ave., James Aramada, 2910 Zenith No. State credit card from Shell [number]. Wellington Shay, 799 Cedar, St. Paul, 808 5th Ave. SE, Rochester. 6’, 160, lt. short sleeve shirt “Alfa Creamery,” dk. Lt. grey pants, 28-30, lt. blond.

6-25859 (’62 Florida). Det. Johnson, Burglary.

June 13

1030: Suspicious man (party belonged), 1219 Irving. Paul Edward Johnson, 916 5th St. S.E., in house. Alice Simmons, Pillsbury, rooms here. Joyce? Rooms with Alice. Ted Simmons, Jasper, Minn. House belongs to Allen Tate, 2019 Irving. Reported by – Charles H. Foster, 2216 Newton.

1305: DK. Steven Wenker. Sleeping in Pioneer Park. Obviously DK, unsteady.

June 15

0803: Burglary business. Kanter’s Grocery, 1628 Laurel, undet. amount of cigarettes and food goods. Charles Kanter, 3230 Parkview. 6/14 7:25 pm – 6/15 7:40 am. Thru rear door, breaking out section of door panel and crawling thru 10”x24”. Canned goods, meats, cheese, etc, scattered inside and outside. C# 46655. Erikson stamps found outside store in porch. Burglar started fire. Impossible for beat man or squad to check building as rear door is inaccessible by foot or squad. A 5 ½ foot fence surrounds rear area.

0905: Attempt suicide mental. C# 46663. Lawrence Coulter, 38, 1706 10th Ave. Mrs. Arnold Amundson, sister. Cut ear – left, w/pocket knife. Heard noise wanted them to stop. Treatment at General [Hospital]. Sister stated that prior to the incident he was very withdrawn and wouldn’t speak to anyone. Dr. Brandt.

1100: Medical. Kathleen Dwyer, 10 yrs., Mrs. Franklin Doles, mother. 101 Spruce Place. Fell in lady’s room in Loring Park while having a seizure. Reported – Mary McNight, supervisor, rec. director., 3829 Pillsbury.

1230: Felony warrant. James Alhoff, Rt. 4, Box 614, Mound; Downtown Plymouth, 1515 Hennepin. Anoka Cty. Sheriff, abandonment.

1515: Petit larceny. Found by Delores Johnson, 4641 2 ½ St. N.E. 4 Toshiba leakproof, 5v batteries – $1.00, attempt to steal Am-FM 10 trans. Radio, “Penneys” brand. Earphone and jacks – $3.00. In custody of Earl Ewing, 2453 Lyndale So. who apprehended. Clarence Richards, 24, 1418 11th Ave. No. w/Reynold. C# 46765, misd. Booking.

June 19

1100: Mental. Lois Leaks, to psychiatric at General [Hospital] via squad 116. Walking barefoot around Nicollet Avenue. Found at Snake Pit [Bar], irrational, word has that she is being taken advantage of (second time), 40 E. 22nd St. (??).

1525: No plates. Frank Stanley Malinowski, 10/21/44 or 43, Rt. 1, Box 248, Thorp, Wisc. ’53 Ford, green. Wisc DL 1359276, 406.010, no plates.

June 22

1325 DK, Eddie Anderson, 121 Hennepin. Negro, drunk on street, bothering citizens.

June 23

0837: Stolen car. JU 242, ’51 Merc, 4d, black. 2 youths, 18-21, med. height. Walked south on Fremont. No key in ignition. 1 Bulova watch in glove compartment. 1 jacket (Penney’s) Misc. parts in glove compt. No fresh damage. Reported by Don Hansen, 1825 Fremont, 2304 Pillsbury. 3F 2758. Found by 603.

1140: DK. Hastings Park, 12th & Hawthorne. Bert Adams, 68 yrs. Urinated on ground. Children present. Lying on park bench. Obviously drunk.

1240: PI, H&R [Personal Injury Accident, Hit and Run]. Red VW, 50’s grey hair, eye glasses, tall. Michael Kozial, 3-1/2 yrs. Apt 206, injured leg, Mrs. Patti Kozial, caretaker. Arlyn Jensen, apt, 101, called police.

Wanted. Irvin Duby, 60 yrs., deaf-mute.

1520: Larceny. Concord Motel, 65 So. 11th St., Lou Hahn, owner. 317 W. 5th St. Robert Davis, 5F 9341, 252 Superior St. Jerry Patterson, Mike Miller (same address). Virgil Schmidt, registered above. Time: Bet. 6:25 pm, 6/22 and 9 am, 6/23. Serial numbers will be called in.

Admiral 17”, portable TV, white plastic case. 2 others stolen on 6/2. Room 11 and 16, $27.00. Spot radio and TV. 2403 Nicollet.

June 24

4F 8261, ’54 Ford, brown, TV thief from motels.

June 26

Escapee: Moose Lake State Hosp. Robert Wayne Lamieande, 21, 6’, 138, blue eyes, brown hair.

Wanted FBI: Unlawful flight. Milen McNeal, W, M, 25, 5-9, 160. Mike Andry, W, M, 23, 5-11, 160. Jack Taylor and wife. ’62 Valiant, white, Texas UD 398, Kentucky unk, Ind. NA 1615.

Burglary and parole, Sisseton, S.D.

From Washington: Roger Dalton, 28, 6-2, 180. Frank Seiner, 28, 6, 160. Neb. 70-4505,  white/green, ’57 Buick.

Glen Lake escapee: Dennis Keck, 14, 5-2, 120, blond hair

Deserter: Melvin Pewash, Clifford Pewash. Donald L. Wright, 1326 No. Lyndale.

June 27

0310: Burglary biz. Woody Peterson’s Standard Station, 54th & Chicago. $400 cash, ready to load up tires, heard noise, called squads 552, 333. Report by 552. Supp. Report. Mrs. Clark, 5409 Columbus, 0200-0300, 2 youths. Light t-shirts and dk. pants. On bicycles. Fled south on alley. One youth burglarized while other was lookout. Possibly someone is hiring kids to break-in and set up tires, oil, etc. for later removal by car. [Note: What was I doing up at 3 a.m? This was a few blocks away from my home on 44th and 15th Ave.]

Escapee Shakopee. 3 women, ’60 Chev, 4D 5454, 2t brown. Federal probation. Lawrence Elliot O’Brien, aka Vince O’Brien, MT 5808 (stolen) lt. green ’55 Ford.

June 28

1115: DK. Hawthorne Vessey, 42. Drinking wine, rear of Snake Pit [Bar], obviously drunk, lives North Mpls.

Alert: Authority Chief of Police, St. Paul. Bank alert, Sibley Manor, Highland Park, South Mpls – Franklin – LaSalle, 7 Corners.

June 29

Wanted: Capt. Englund, Larceny Division, 1723 Russell, 43, 5-6, 170, curly hair, Roman nose.

1145: Breaking & Entering. Miss Bergefeldt, apt A1, 2000 Stevens, 1st floor offense happened. Last night, advised to see City Attny. Landlord will take her downtown. James Collins, 2nd floor, advised.

1310: Chronic drunks. Harper + Arndt in room 4a – advised caretaker.

1345: Overdose. Attempt Suicide. C# 51819. Mary Meeker, 26 yrs., wife. James Meeker, reported husband. 1827 Kenwood Pwky, 2nd floor. “Placadyl” sleeping pills – taken from mother-in-law. Patient at Glenwood Hills, Dr. Gross. General Hospital, Dr. Bandt.

1430: Shoplifter. Held for Larceny Division. David Perkins, 25, 97 Spruce Pl. Sweigerts ring, silver. $.74 price. Seen at checkout stand with goods in shirt. Del Bauers (owner) caught suspect on tip from delivery man. Taken to jail. C# 51831. W/[Off.] Eck. Def. stated he was hungry & took the meat. Offense report and show-up made.

June 30

1055: Attempt suicide. Reported by Lucille Josephson, apt 3, 317 Groveland. C# 52254. Offense at 0300. Victim: Lee Thompson, 23, apt. 1, Hotel Hastings. Dr. Wagner, Medical Arts Building. Took a bottle of “Placadyl,” took about 60 tablets from Lucille.

1130: Sick call. Harry Schmidt, 62, 1607 Clinton, apt. 11. Fell, possibly slight stroke. Robert Nima will assist.

1340: Larceny from yard. On line overnight (1700, 6/29 to 0900, 6/30). 6 beach towels, $10.00. Mrs. Gerald Snyder, 2111 Humboldt, 24th & Hennepin Red Owl. C# 52304.

1500: Drunken woman. Danti’s Bar, Pete Ryan, bouncer. Profane language, obviously drunk. Had to be dragged out of bar after placed under arrest. Near riot. Arrested Virginia Gertig, 63, 1717 LaSalle. Assisted by 605. To jail by wagon.

[Shift change from days to nights: 0000-0800]

0345: Arlin Jensen, Y25-253. Mrs. Huisbay, apt. 7, 2109 Aldrich. Advised. Cross stories. Parking problem. W/[Odd.] Hanninen.

July 2

0145: Medical assist. Melburn Townsend. Grand Rapids. Jeffrey Crow, 2 days. 8N 3680.

0155: DK. Bandbox [Restaurant], Franklin and Lyndale. Norman Hanson, 24, 1927 Hennepin. Drinking beer in restaurant, said he wasn’t. One can of Grain Belt spilled on counter and over his person. Would not clean beer up.

[The month’s activity was recorded on the last page]

Felony: 1 (warrant).

Misd: 19

Traffic:

Moving: 11

Parking: 22

Booked: 0

Open doors: 1 (+ 1 burglary)

Autos [recovered]: 9U 1242, ’51 Merc, $300.


On reflection: A lot of my time was spent rounding up and arresting public drunks – men and women. Working a downtown beat, I was surprised to find that I had only contacted one black person during the month. I was surprised that most of the persons both contacted and arrested are Scandinavian — Swedes and Norwegians. By the late 60s, that was not the case since I worked the Northside which had a large African-American population as Minneapolis experienced the “white flight” of many citizens to the suburbs during this era which resulted in a large loss of population and a greatly reduced tax base.

Feminist identity had not occurred as most of the married women I contacted identified themselves as “Mrs. John Jones” and not her given name.

Three suicide attempts on a day shift seemed high (drug of choice: Placadyl).

Many of the misdemeanor arrests, eleven of them, were not listed in my notebook except for the drunks. The first C# [case number] I received for the month was #45637 and the last was #52304 indicating 6667 case numbers were issued through during the time I worked.

The 1960 population of Minneapolis was 480,000 residents and the police department was staffed by 400-500 sworn officers. In 1961, a special election was held to increase the number of police by 100 officers. I came on with those new recruits during the first months of 1962.

On June 27th, it looks like I interrupted a burglary at 3 a.m. when it seemed I was working the day shift. The circumstance eludes me!

I am looking for more notebooks among my old papers. I am especially interested my years on the tactical squad working the night shift in 1968-69. I recall those years as quite tumultuous and challenging.

Stay tuned!