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Speaking of History – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office History

Speaking of History – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office History


>>MY NAME IS LAURA WINNIE. I’M THE CURATOR OF EDUCATION
HERE AT HERITAGE VILLAGE. AND I’D LIKE TO THANK THE
PINELLAS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR HELPING TO SPONSOR
OUR “SPEAKING OF HISTORY” PROGRAM, AS WELL AS MANY OF OUR
EVENTS INCLUDING COUNTRY JUBILEE. LET’S GIVE THEM A LITTLE ROUND
OF APPLAUSE. [APPLAUSE]
THANK YOU. MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION IS ON THE
BACK TABLE FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN JOINING THIS WONDERFUL
ORGANIZATION. NOW, IF YOU CAN JOIN ME IN
WELCOMING PENNY COOKE, THE PCSO HISTORIAN.>>THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]
>>SHE’S GOING TO GIVE US A HISTORY OF THE PINELLAS COUNTY
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND THEN AT THE END, FOR ANYONE
WHO IS INTERESTED, YOU CAN GET A SNEAK PEEK AT THE EXHIBIT THAT
PENNY CONSULTED ON. SO IT’S JUST IN ITS INFANCY
RIGHT NOW. THE OFFICIAL OPENING WON’T BE
UNTIL MID NOVEMBER. BUT YOU’LL GET TO SEE ONE OF THE
FIRST LOOKS AT IT, OKAY? FOR NOW, I’M GOING TO TURN IT
OVER TO PENNY.>>THANK YOU, LAURA. I’M SO GLAD TO SEE EVERYBODY
HERE. JUST A FEW SHORT THINGS. MY FAMILY IS HERE WITH ME TODAY
AND THEY HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE. SO MY BROTHER AND MY SISTER AND
MY DAUGHTER AND MY HUSBAND ARE HERE. SO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING. I INTERNED WITH THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE IN 1977. I THINK THERE’S A FEW HERE THAT
PROBABLY WERE NOT EVEN BORN YET. AND I GOT HIRED IN 1978. I SPENT 27 YEARS THERE, RETIRING
AS LIEUTENANT, PATROL LIEUTENANT. AND I HAVE BEEN RETIRED NOW FOR
13 YEARS. AFTER I RETIRED, I GOT REAL
INTERESTED IN THE HISTORY OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND I STARTED
DOING A LOT OF IT ON MY OWN BY INTERVIEWING RETIREES AND
ACCUMULATING PICTURES AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE AT THAT
TIME ANY INFORMATION, I STARTED A FACEBOOK PAGE. AND IT’S A PRIVATE PAGE, BUT
ANYBODY CAN GO ON IT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A COP OR IN
LAW ENFORCEMENT. AS LONG AS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN
HISTORY, THERE’S ABOUT 2,000 PEOPLE ON THERE AND OVER 1,000
PICTURES. SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN
GETTING ON THAT, LET ME KNOW AND I’LL BE GLAD TO ADD YOU TO THAT. AND AS I GET THROUGH THIS,
THERE’S A COUPLE OF PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WHO ARE IN SOME OF
THESE PICTURES, SO I’LL POINT THEM OUT WHEN WE GET HERE. THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND
PINELLAS COUNTY STARTED THIS EXACT SAME DAY. WHEN I STARTED THIS, IT WAS WITH
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, BUT THEN IT BECAME PINELLAS COUNTY
HISTORY AND THEN McMULLEN FAMILY HISTORY AND I’LL SHOW YOU
HOW THAT ALL COINCIDES TOGETHER. YOU’LL GET A LITTLE BIT OF ALL
THREE TODAY. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, YOU
CAN ASK THEM DURING IT OR GET WITH ME AFTERWARDS AND I’LL BE
GLAD TO ANSWER ANYTHING. ARE WE READY? AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE FIRST
SLIDE, WE STARTED OUT AS A DEPARTMENT. PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF’S
DEPARTMENT. IT WASN’T UNTIL THE MID ’80s
THAT WE CHANGED TO AN OFFICE. WE HAVE HAD 14 SHERIFFS IN 106
YEARS. THE NORMAL PRESENTATION THAT I
DO FOR THE EMPLOYEES OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, I TEACH THE
FTO CLASSES AND NEW MEMBER CLASSES THERE AS THE HISTORIAN
AND WE USUALLY GO THROUGH ALL THE SHERIFFS. I DID A SPECIAL ONE TODAY FOR
HERITAGE VILLAGE AND WE ARE GOING TO STOP WITH GENUNG JUST
FOR TIME’S SAKE AND WE ADDED ANOTHER SECTION ON THE DISPLAY. I’LL TALK TO MOSTLY PEOPLE
THROUGH THE ORDER THEY CAME IN. BUT MARVEL WHITEHURST WAS OUR
FIRST SHERIFF IN 1912. HE SERVED TWO TERMS. HE WAS REMOVED BY THE GOVERNOR
FOR SOME SHADY DEALINGS WHICH WAS NOT UNCOMMON BACK IN THE
’20s AND THE ’30s. LORENZO SLOAT, ONCE MARVEL GOT
REMOVED FROM OFFICE, LORENZO WAS ONLY THERE FOR A YEAR. WE HAVE YET TO FIND A PICTURE OF
LORENZO SLOAT. HE APPARENTLY EXISTED, BUT HE
DIDN’T WANT TO BE SHERIFF SO HE LEFT. WILLIAM LINDSEY WAS A ST. PETE
COP, CAME UP HERE AND SERVED ONE TERM. ROY BOOTH OF THE FAMOUS
McMULLEN BOOTH FAMILY SERVED AS OUR SHERIFF. YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN
THE YEARS. THERE WAS A LITTLE BALLOT
DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN THE MIDDLE SECTIONS AND GLADSTONE
BEATTIE CAME IN AND SERVED THAT TERM UNTIL THE COURT DECIDED
THAT BOOTH REALLY DID EARN THE ELECTION. ERNEST CUNNINGHAM WAS NEXT. AND PROBABLY ERNEST CUNNINGHAM
AND EARLIER THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE REALLY ONLY HAD ABOUT 10
EMPLOYEES UP THROUGH CUNNINGHAM. THAT’S HARD TO BELIEVE WHEN YOU
LOOK AT HOW BIG WE ARE NOW. BUT BACK THEN, A LOT OF MEN WERE
BONDED AS DEPUTY SHERIFF’S, BUT ACTUALLY DIDN’T WORK FOR THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND I’LL EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT OF
THAT LATER. BUT CUNNINGHAM PROBABLY HAD 10
EMPLOYEES. TODD TUCKER STARTED REALLY
MODERNIZING THE AGENCY AND HIRING MORE PEOPLE. SID SAUNDERS WAS OUR ONLY
SHERIFF TO DIE WHILE IN OFFICE. THAT’S HOW DON GENUNG BECAME
SHERIFF, TAKING OVER FOR HIM. AND DON GENUNG WAS OUR LONGEST
SERVING SHERIFF. BILL ROBERTS WAS THE SHERIFF WHO
I WAS HIRED UNDER. AND WE HAVE HAD THE LAST FOUR UP
UNTIL NOW. THAT’S A PICTURE OF MARVEL. HE IS BURIED UP IN THE CURLEW
PINE AREA CEMETERY UP IN PALM HARBOR. OVER HERE ON THAT SIDE RIGHT
THERE IS ONE OF OUR EARLIEST BADGES. AND IT WASN’T — I HAVE BEEN
DOING THE RESEARCH THING FOR 13 YEARS. IT WASN’T UNTIL RECENTLY I
REALIZED THOSE WERE ACTUAL PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF’S
BADGES. YOU THINK NOW WE HAVE THE STARS
WE WEAR COMMONLY NOW BUT THOSE DIDN’T START UNTIL THE ’60s. BEFORE THAT WE HAD THE BADGES. AND THAT IS THE EARLIEST AND ONE
OF THE LATER ONES. IN THE MID ’60s WE CHANGED TO
THE STAR SHAPE WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH NOW. THAT PICTURE OF MARVEL WAS
PROBABLY TAKEN AFTER HIS TIME IN THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR. WE ONLY HAVE TWO OTHER PICTURES
OF MARVEL. HE WAS 45 WHEN HE WAS ELECTED
SHERIFF SO THAT PICTURE IS A LITTLE YOUNG FOR HIM TO BE
SHERIFF IN. BUT HE WAS A WAR HERO AND IS
BURIED THAT WAY UP IN CURLEW CEMETERY. MARVEL ALSO HAD A BROTHER WHO
WAS THE TOWN MARSHAL IN TARPON SPRINGS. AT THAT TIME FOR THE PINELLAS
COUNTY HISTORY PART, TARPON SPRINGS AND PINELLAS COUNTY WAS
PART OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY. WE DIDN’T BECOME PINELLAS COUNTY
INDEPENDENTLY UNTIL 1912. MARVEL’S BROTHER WAS THE TOWN
MARSHAL IN TARPON SPRINGS AND WAS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. HIS NAME IS ON A MEMORIAL PLAQUE
IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY NOT IN PINELLAS, JUST FOR A LITTLE FUN
FACT THERE. ANYBODY EXCEPT THE OBVIOUS
PEOPLE IN HERE KNOW WHO THESE GENTLEMEN ARE? PEOPLE ASK ME, IS THAT THE
EXECUTIVE STAFF? NO, THAT’S NOT THE EXECUTIVE
STAFF. THAT IS THE SEVEN McMULLEN
BROTHERS WHO FOUNDED PINELLAS COUNTY BASICALLY. THAT PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN THE
CIVIL WAR PERIOD. PRIMARILY, LIKE I SAID, I’M VERY
PRIVILEGED TO BE HERE AT HERITAGE VILLAGE BECAUSE THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND HERITAGE VILLAGE HAS SO MUCH IN COMMON
WITH PEOPLE AND HISTORY. A COUPLE OF THINGS HERE, THIS
HERE IS DANIEL McMULLEN. HIS HOUSE IS ON THIS PROPERTY. MAKE SURE YOU SEE IT BEFORE YOU
LEAVE TODAY. THAT’S J.P., CAPTAIN J.P.
McMULLEN. AND THIS ONE HERE IS JOHN. THOSE THREE STAYED IN PINELLAS
COUNTY MOSTLY. THE OTHER FOUR BROTHERS WENT TO
POLK COUNTY AND UP TO THE CHIEFLAND AREA. ASIDE FROM THESE SEVEN BROTHERS,
THERE WERE SIX SISTERS. THEY MADE FAMILIES BIG BACK
THEN. NO TV, NO INTERNET, YOU KNOW,
THAT KIND OF THING. BUT A LOT OF THESE PIONEER
FAMILIES HAD 12 OR 13 CHILDREN. JUST FOR REASONS YOU CAN THINK
OF YOURSELF. BUT THEY ALL CAME FROM QUITMAN,
GEORGIA. AND THE SEVEN SISTERS NEVER CAME
TO PINELLAS. ONLY THE SEVEN BROTHERS. I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE
McMULLENS TODAY AND GIVING YOU A REFERENCE TO DANIEL BECAUSE HE
WAS THE ANCESTOR WE ARE GOING TO REFER TO TODAY. IN THIS PROCESS OF THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE, THE McMULLENS COME UP A LOT AND YOU’LL SEE A LOT OF
THEIR PICTURES TODAY. THIS IS THE FIRST COUNTY
COURTHOUSE, PINELLAS COUNTY IN 1912, IT WAS TAKEN ON THAT DAY
IN 1912, JANUARY 1st. A COUPLE HERE I WANT TO POINT
OUT. AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT
THAT BUILDING HERE IN A MINUTE. THAT RIGHT THERE IS SOLOMON
COACHMAN. AND RIGHT THERE, RAISE YOUR
HAND, MIKE, IS HIS GRANDSON. OOH, MIKE COACHMAN. SO GET WITH MIKE LATER. MIKE SHOWS UP IN A PICTURE LATER
WITH A GORILLA. I’LL WAIT FOR YOU TO SEE THAT. BUT SOLOMON WAS MIKE’S
GRANDFATHER. HE WAS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE
COMMISSION AT THE TIME, RIGHT? RIGHT HERE IS ELI McMULLEN. IT WAS THE FIRST COUNTY TAX
COLLECTOR. YOU HAVE HIM TO BLAME FOR A LOT
OF THINGS. I HAVE SEEN THIS PICTURE OVER
THE YEARS ALPHABETICALLY WHICH DOESN’T HELP ANYBODY AT ALL. I HAVE SEEN IT DONE FRONT ROW,
BACK ROW WHICH HELPS ALMOST LESS. AND I HAVE SEEN IT DONE RECENTLY
IN THE LAST TWO YEARS BY WHAT THEY WERE WEARING WHICH KIND OF
HELPED US IDENTIFY PEOPLE. AND BASED ON THAT, WE ARE 99%
SURE RIGHT THERE THAT’S MARVEL WHITEHURST BASED ON WHAT HE’S
WEARING, BLACK COAT WHITE SHIRT KIND OF THING. AND THAT LADY I’LL TALK ABOUT ON
THE PORCH A LITTLE BIT LATER. THAT WAS THE FIRST PINELLAS
COUNTY COURTHOUSE THAT WAS BUILT. THERE WAS A BIG DISCUSSION
BETWEEN ST. PETE AND CLEARWATER
WHERE THE COUNTY SEAT WAS GOING TO BE. AT THAT TIME IN 1912 AND
BASICALLY AROUND THIS AREA, IT WAS BASED ON POPULATION WHO GOT
TO BE THE COUNTY SEAT. SO ST. PETE REALLY WANTED TO BE
THE COUNTY SEAT AND CLEARWATER WANTED TO BE THE COUNTY SEAT. SO IT WAS DECIDED WHOEVER BUILT
THE COURTHOUSE FIRST AND FASTEST COULD BE THE COUNTY SEAT. WELL, THAT TURNED INTO A
WHIRLWIND. THIS LITTLE SHACK WAS PUT UP IN
ABOUT 10 DAYS FOR THE COST OF ABOUT $3,700. AND THERE WAS SUCH A CONTESTED
ANGER BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES THAT IT WAS GUARDED 24 HOURS A
DAY WITH PEOPLE WITH TORCHES TO STOP ANYBODY FROM BURNING IT
DOWN. THERE WAS A COURT ORDER THAT THE
PERSON WHO WAS GOING TO BE SERVED UPON TO STOP CONSTRUCTION
TOOK A ROWBOAT OUT IN THE GULF OF MEXICO TO AVOID BEING SERVED. IT WAS NOT A GOOD THING. ANYWAY, THEY GOT THAT UP FIRST
AND GOT TO BE THE COUNTY SEAT. THAT BUILDING ONLY STOOD FOR TWO
OR THREE YEARS AND IT WAS ON THE SITE OF WHERE THE PEACE
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IS NOW IN CLEARWATER. THE OTHER THING I WANT TO TELL
YOU ABOUT THAT BUILDING IS THE WOOD TO CONSTRUCT IT CAME FROM
THE SITE OF THE BELLEVUE BILTMORE HOTEL WHEN OWNED BY THE
HENRY PLANT FAMILY AND HENRY PLANT HIMSELF. HENRY PLANT IS MORE KNOWN FOR
THE WORK OVER IN TAMPA. BUT HENRY PLANT HAD A SON NAMED
MORTON. AND THAT’S WHERE MORTON PLANT
HOSPITAL COMES FROM. AND DOWN HERE ON THE END IS
DIXIE HOLLINS. HE WAS THE FIRST SCHOOL
SUPERINTENDENT. AND THAT’S HOW DIXIE HOLLINS
HIGH SCHOOL GOT NAMED.>>WHICH ONE?>>RIGHT THERE. I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S HIM. WHEN I SAW HOW THEY WERE
IDENTIFIED, I TARGETED ON MARVEL. BUT I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S HIM. HE WAS THE TALLEST OF THE GROUP. I THINK THAT’S ALL. THE NEXT SLIDE, THEY PUT THIS UP
IN 10 DAYS AND APPARENTLY ONLY TOOK A MATTER OF HOURS FOR
SOMEBODY TO WALK IN THERE AND GO CAN I USE THE REST ROOM. [LAUGHTER]
AND THEY WENT UH-OH. SO ALL SUBSEQUENT PICTURES OF
THIS, YOU SEE THE FRONT PORCH BEING ENCLOSED BECAUSE THAT’S
WHERE THEY ENDED UP HAVING TO PUT THE REST ROOM. AND THE BUILDING OBVIOUSLY WAS
ON STILTS. APPARENTLY DIDN’T LAST TOO LONG. THE CURRENT HOUSE, THE
HISTORICAL COURTHOUSE IN CLEARWATER NOW WAS BUILT IN
1917. THIS WAS IN 1912 SO IT TOOK
PROBABLY LESS THAN FIVE YEARS. AND LIKE I SAID BEFORE, IT
BECAME THE OUTHOUSE — THE IN-OUTHOUSE, YOU KNOW WHAT I
MEAN. [LAUGHTER]
SO THERE YOU HAVE THAT. THE COUNTY PATROL, THE COUNTY
PATROL STARTED FROM THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. BACK IN THOSE DAYS PINELLAS
COUNTY’S PRIMARY INCOME WAS FROM CATTLE AND CITRUS. THERE WAS A LOT OF CITRUS GOING
ON. WHEN PEOPLE STOLE PEOPLE’S
ORANGES AND LEMONS THERE WAS A FINANCIAL IMPACT TO THE COUNTY. THERE WERE FIVE COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS AND THEY DECIDED TO START A COUNTY PATROL TO
GUARD THE FRUIT GROVES TO STOP PEOPLE FROM STEALING. SO THERE WERE FIVE COMMISSIONERS
SO THEY EACH APPOINTED FIVE MEN FROM THEIR DISTRICTS. PINELLAS COUNTY WAS DIVIDED INTO
DISTRICTS AT THAT TIME, FIVE SEPARATE DISTRICTS. THEY ALL APPOINTED ONE MAN TO GO
ON PATROL AND TO GUARD THE GROVES. FOR THE YEAR BETWEEN ’37 AND ’38
IT WAS CALLED THE FRUIT PATROL. FOR SOME REASON THAT NAME NEVER
TOOK OFF. IN 1938 THEY RENAMED IT THE
COUNTY PATROL. IT’S BEEN ALSO CALLED THE
TRAFFIC PATROL, THE PINELLAS COUNTY POLICE, THE COUNTY
PATROL. IT’S HAD A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT
NAMES. BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY RAN BY THE
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THEY HAD THEIR OWN CHIEF,
THREE OR FOUR DURING THE YEARS THAT THEY OPERATED. AND IT WAS A TOTAL SEPARATE
ENTITY FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNTIL 1960. SO WE HAVE SOME PICTURES OF THE
COUNTY PATROL. THIS IS J.R. McMULLEN. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DANIEL’S
GRANDSON. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DANIEL’S
GRANDSON. THIS PICTURE HERE SHOWS HIM WHEN
HE RAN FOR SHERIFF. HE LOST TO CUNNINGHAM. AND THAT PICTURE THERE IS WHEN
HE WAS THE POLICE CHIEF IN CLEARWATER IN 1925ISH. WHEN HE WAS A POLICE CHIEF IN
CLEARWATER, THERE WERE SEVEN MEN ON THE AGENCY AND TWO OF THEM
WERE McMULLENS. THEY WERE PREVALENT IN THIS
COUNTY, I CAN TELL YOU THAT. I NEVER MET J.R.
HE HAD ALSO 12 CHILDREN, CARL WAS ONE OF THEM. I’LL TALK A LOT ABOUT CARL. AND BETTY JEAN, HIS YOUNGEST
DAUGHTER IS THE ONLY ONE STILL ALIVE IN THAT FAMILY. BUT LIKE I SAID, WITH 12 SONS
AND DAUGHTERS, IF YOU KNOW A McMULLEN IN PINELLAS COUNTY,
THEY ARE RELATED TO THOSE SEVEN MEN’S PICTURES I SHOWED YOU
EARLIER. AFTER J.R. LOST TO BE SHERIFF,
HE JOINED THE COUNTY PATROL WHERE HE STAYED FOR 30 YEARS. HERE IS A PICTURE OF J.R. AS A
COUNTY PATROLMAN. NOW, YOU CAN SEE HERE BACK THEN
THEY HAD — THEY CALLED THOSE SAND BROWN BETH THAT WENT ACROSS
YOUR BODY. THIS IS PRE-AIR CONDITIONING,
PEOPLE. [LAUGHTER]
SO THEY HAD A SHIRT, A JACKET. ON ANOTHER PICTURE YOU WILL SEE
THEY HAD BOOTS ON. NO AIR CONDITIONING IN YOUR CAR
WHICH IS USUALLY YOUR PRIVATE CAR.
AND A HAT. SO YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW HOT IT
WAS. THIS IS FROM BETTY JEAN’S
COLLECTION. AND I’M NOT HOPING FOR THE DAY
THAT I GET IT. BUT I HAVE BEEN PROMISED WE CAN
HAVE THAT FOR THE MUSEUM. BUT SHE STILL HAS HER DAD’S HAT
AND HOLLISTER AND BELT BUCKLE. SO I WAS ABLE TO TAKE A PICTURE
OF IT, JUST NOT TOUCH IT YET. BUT BETTY JEAN IS STILL ALIVE
AND WELL. AND I THINK THESE 86 OR 87 NOW. BUT SHE HAS GIVEN ME A LOT OF
PICTURES OVER THE YEARS AND VALUABLE INFORMATION. THIS SHOWS YOU AN EXAMPLE OF HOW
PREVALENT THE McMULLENS WERE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT. I FORGOT TO TELL YOU OF THOSE
THREE MEN I POINTED OUT, THEIR HISTORY WITH THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE IS SO MUCH, IN PINELLAS COUNTY, THERE PROBABLY WAS NO
LESS THAN 60 OF THEIR DESCENDENTS WHO WERE IN LAW AND
LAW ENFORCEMENT, WHETHER COUNTY PATROL, THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE,
ST. PETE POLICE DEPARTMENT,
CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT, SOME BECAME SENATOR, SOME BECAME
LAWYERS. BUT THEY WERE VERY, VERY
PREVALENT. AND THIS PICTURE SHOWS YOU HOW. THERE’S JOHNNY McMULLEN. HE WAS A CLEARWATER POLICEMAN. HE WAS A COUSIN OF CARL’S. THERE’S J.R. A LITTLE OLDER. THERE IS CARL McMULLEN WHEN HE
WAS WITH THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND THERE IS CHESTER McMULLEN
AND HE WAS THE STATE ATTORNEY, LIKE BERNIE McCABE NOW IS THE
STATE ATTORNEY IN PINELLAS COUNTY. SO CHESTER WAS THE STATE
ATTORNEY. SO WHEN THESE MEN FROM
CLEARWATER, THE COUNTY PATROL AND THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE SHOWED
UP IN COURT INEVITABLY SOMEBODY WOULD SAY ARE YOU RELATED TO
SOMEBODY IN THIS ROOM. THEY WOULD SAY YES AND THERE
WOULD BE SOME OBJECTION AND ALL THAT GOING ON.
AND I HAVEN’T FOUND THE ORIGINAL OF THIS YET.
AND SOME OF THESE DO COME FROM THE NEWSPAPER. BUT IT JUST SHOWS YOU THEY WERE
EVERYWHERE. BETTY JEAN USED TO SAY
McMULLENS ARE LIKE ANTS, YOU ARE BOUND TO STEP ON ONE SOONER
OR LATER. [LAUGHTER]
THIS IS THE PICTURE OF THE COUNTY PATROL. AND FOR A WHILE IT WAS THOUGHT
IT WAS THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNTIL WE STARTED INVESTIGATING
BECAUSE RIGHT THERE IS JOHNNY, J.R.
HIS LAND — IN FACT, I’LL TELL YOU A STORY ON SEMINOLE
BOULEVARD ABOUT WHERE THE FIREPLACE RESTAURANT USED TO BE
ABOUT 126th AVENUE, IT’S THE ENTRANCE TO THE MOBILE HOME PARK
THERE CALLED POINT WEST, AND THERE’S A TREE THERE. THE TREE IS STILL THERE. THAT WAS THE ENTRANCE TO J.R.’S
PROPERTY. AND HE GAVE ALL OF HIS SONS
PROPERTY ON LAKE SEMINOLE ALL THE WAY DOWN FROM 126th AVENUE
TO ABOUT 115th. THERE IS ONE PLOT OF LAND STILL
THERE THAT BETTY JEAN OWNS THAT IS ON THE LAKE. WE HAVE IDENTIFIED FORTUNATELY
EVERYBODY IN THIS PICTURE. BUT YOU CAN SEE THERE ON THE
DOOR IT SAYS PINELLAS COUNTY POLICE. THAT’S ONE OF THE FORMS THAT THE
COUNTY PATROL CAME OVER THE YEARS. AND IT WASN’T UNTIL LAST YEAR
THAT I WAS READING SOMETHING THAT INDICATES THAT PROBABLY IT
WAS TAKEN AT ONE OF THEIR OFFICES THAT WAS OFF BAY PINES
AND 100th WAY. YOU CAN SEE ALL THE PINE TREES
IN THE BACK. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT PINELLAS
WAS NAMED FOR? THE NAME. CALLED LAND OF THE PINES, RIGHT. AND THERE’S ANOTHER PICTURE OF
THE COUNTY PATROL IN LATER YEARS AND DOWNTOWN CLEARWATER. THIS MAN HERE IS STILL ALIVE. HIS NAME IS WALT JAKES. HIS SON AND GRANDSON WORKED FOR
US. THAT WAS TAKEN DOWN AT
CLEARWATER. YOU CAN SEE THE FORT HARRISON IN
THE BACKGROUND. THEY WERE THE FIRST PEOPLE IN
PINELLAS COUNTY WHO HAVE ACTUAL PATROL CAR AND CRUISERS. THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE — AND I’LL
EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT OF THAT LATER. BUT THEY WERE REALLY THE COUNTY
TRAFFIC CONTROL OF THE COUNTY. THEY WERE ALSO BONDED AS
DEPUTIES SO THEY COULD MAKE ARRESTS, BUT THEY DIDN’T WORK
FOR THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. BUT WALT IS STILL ALIVE AND HAS
GIVEN ME A LOT OF COUNTY PATROL PICTURES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE
COUNTY PATROL’S BILLBOARDS. AND THIS WAS A WORKING TRAFFIC
LIGHT. THIS WAS ALL DONE MANUALLY. CAN YOU IMAGINE TODAY? PEOPLE HAVE TO GO OUT THERE AND
DO THAT MANUALLY. BESIDES THAT, AS MANY FATALITIES
AND ACCIDENTS THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTY, WE’D BE UP IN THE
BILLIONS. IT WOULD BE A LOTTO NUMBER BY
NOW. AND ANOTHER THING ABOUT THIS
PICTURE, THIS IS HARMON STEVENSON. WHEN WE MERGED — WHEN THE
COUNTY PATROL MERGED, HE CAME OVER AND WORKED WITH US. THIS IS ONE OF THEIR CHIEFS. OVER HERE IT SAYS MISTER. THE REASON THAT OCCURRED IS BACK
IN THOSE DAYS WOMEN DIDN’T DRIVE THAT OFTEN. AND USUALLY WHEN YOU READ
ACCIDENTS OR STORIES FROM BACK THEN, THEY WERE IDENTIFIED BY
THEIR HUSBAND’S NAME. MRS. JOHN SMITH OR MRS. HAROLD
SMITH BECAUSE WOMEN JUST DIDN’T DRIVE AND DIDN’T IDENTIFY WITH
THEIR OWN NAMES BACK THEN. THAT’S WHY IT’S TITLED TO A
MISTER. OKAY? THIS IS GEORGE McNALLEY. AT THIS TIME, HE WAS ON THE
COUNTY PATROL. GEORGE IS STILL WITH US. HE’S ABOUT 95 NOW. HE GAVE ME THIS PICTURE. AND ACTUALLY HE WAS MY FIRST
INTERVIEW FROM 13 YEARS AGO. AND I WAS REALLY EXCITED BECAUSE
WHEN HE GAVE ME THIS PICTURE, THAT’S THE FIRST TIME I HAD SEEN
A COUNTY PATROL CAR IN COLOR, THE SMALL JOY OF A HISTORIAN’S
LIFE. THAT WAS THE ACTUAL COUNTY
PATROL CAR IN COLOR AND THAT WAS HIS AS A COUNTY PATROLMAN. HE WAS OUR FIRST HELICOPTER
PILOT. YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? THAT’S A SIREN, A BIG OLD SIREN. I WISH WE HAD ONE OF THOSE IN
THE ARCHIVES. THAT WAS YOUR TYPICAL BARNEY
FIFE, ANDY MAYBERRY SIREN. BECAUSE IT HAD A CRANK INSIDE
THE CAR AND YOU CRANKED IT UP. GOD FORBID YOUR CAR WAS FURTHER
THAN THE SIREN WOULD LAST AND YOU’D HAVE TO CRANK IT UP AGAIN
AND IT WOULD WIND DOWN. GOD, I WISH I HAD ONE OF THOSE. BUT GEORGE — THERE’S QUITE A
FEW RETIREES OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE HERE WHO KNEW GEORGE. AND HE IS A CHARACTER. SHERIFF TODD TUCKER WAS ONE WHO
REALLY STARTED THE BEGINNING OF THE MODERNIZATION OF THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. TODD TUCKER ALSO CAME FROM ST. PETE. CARL McMULLEN KNEW HIM PRETTY
WELL. HE WAS THE ONE THAT HIRED CARL
AT THE TIME. AND TODD TUCKER, HIS REAL BIG
STANCE WAS AGAINST GAMBLING IN PINELLAS COUNTY. NOT LEGAL, NO LEGAL GAMBLING AT
ALL. TODD WAS SO AGAINST GAMBLING
THAT HE HAD GUMBALL MACHINES THAT GAVE PRIZES TAKEN DOWN
BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT STOLE PENNIES FROM CHILDREN. [LAUGHTER]
THAT’S A STRICT STAND ON GAMBLING. [LAUGHTER]
TODD TUCKER, THAT’S A PICTURE OF TODD TUCKER AND HIS WIFE. JUST AS A LITTLE SIDE NOTE, IF
ANYBODY IS INTERESTED IN HISTORY, ALWAYS CHECK eBAY FOR
PICTURES. I GOT THIS PICTURE FROM eBAY. YOU’D BE SURPRISED. THERE IS PHOTOGRAPHY SHOPS ON
THERE THAT IF PICTURES SHOWED UP IN A NEWSPAPER, THEY WERE PUT
ON eBAY NOW FROM A.P. OWNS THEM OR U.P. OWNS THEM. AND YOU CAN BUY THEM THERE. I BOUGHT A LOT OF THEM THAT WERE
IN MY COLLECTION AND NOW THAT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND I HAVE
MERGED TOGETHER, I HAVE ADDED THEM TO THEIR COLLECTION. BUT ALWAYS CHECK THERE. AND THE BENEFIT OF GETTING A
PICTURE OFF eBAY, ON THE BASKET OF IT IS USUALLY THE
ARTICLE ALONG WITH THE PICTURE IN THE NEWSPAPER. I LOVE PEOPLE TO GO OOH. THIS WAS TAKEN PEARL HARBOR DAY
IN ’42. THAT’S TODD AND HIS WIFE. AGAIN, THIS PICTURE WAS IN THE
NEWSPAPER. THAT’S A PICTURE OF THEIR SON. HE WAS ON THE USS MARYLAND. AND AT THE TIME THIS PICTURE WAS
TAKEN, THEY DID NOT KNOW WHETHER HE WAS DEAD OR ALIVE AFTER PEARL
HARBOR. HE DID LIVE AND HIS SON LIVED TO
BE 90 YEARS OLD IN PINELLAS COUNTY. THERE IS TODD TUCKER THERE. AND OTHER THAN THE RETIREES IN
THE ROOM, DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT THESE ARE DOWN HERE? THOSE ARE CALLED BOLITA TICKETS. AND BOLITA BASICALLY IS LOTTO. SIMILAR TO BINGO AND SIMILAR TO
WHAT WE’VE GOT TODAY. BUT BACK THEN BOLITA WAS VERY
LEGAL IN THE COUNTY. YOU CALLED YOUR BOOKIE. YOU PICKED YOUR NUMBERS. WHEN YOU WON, YOU CALLED YOUR
BOOKIE AND GOT YOUR MONEY BACK. TODAY YOU CAN WALK INTO PUBLIX
AND NOW BUY A WHOLE LOT OF THEM. BUT WE HAD BOLITA INVESTIGATORS
WHO THAT WAS THEIR SOLE JOB WAS TO INVESTIGATE BOLITA BOOKING
UNDERGROUND SITES. AND THAT’S TODD TUCKER AND ANDY
RAND. THERE’S TODD TUCKER AGAIN. AGAIN, AN eBAY PICTURE THAT
WAS NOTABLE TO US BECAUSE IN 1942 — WE ALL ASSUMED THAT THE
JUNIOR DEPUTY PROGRAM STARTED WITH DON GENUNG WHO WAS FAMOUS
FOR IT. AND TODD FOUND THIS PICTURE ON
EBAY AND THAT’S TODD TUCKER HANDING OUT JUNIOR DEPUTY CARDS
IN 1945. SO IT STARTED A LOT EARLIER THAN
WE HAD PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. THAT’S OUR FIRST PICTURE THAT WE
HAVE OF CARL McMULLEN. CARL WAS STILL ALIVE WHEN I
FOUND THAT PICTURE AND HE WAS REAL GLAD TO SEE IT BECAUSE I
HAD HIS STORY AND I HAD THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, BUT WE NEVER
HAD A PICTURE. WE WERE ABLE TO PUT IT ALL
TOGETHER. THERE’S CARL RIGHT THERE. CARL WORKED FOR US THREE
DIFFERENT TIMES. HE GOT HIRED 1945 BY TODD
TUCKER. CARL WAS A BONDED DEPUTY ON ST. PETE BEACH BEFORE ST. PETE BEACH
HAD A POLICE DEPARTMENT. BUT TODD TUCKER KNEW CARL’S DAD
J.R. AND MET HIM IN FRONT OF THE BEACH THEATER AND ASKED CARL TO
JOIN THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, AT WHICH TIME HE DID. THIS WAS THE J.P., JUSTICE OF
THE PEACE. BACK IN THOSE DAYS AND UP UNTIL
THE EARLY ’70s, WE HAD JUSTICE OF THE PEACE IN PINELLAS COUNTY
ALONG WITH CONSTABLES. AND IN THE COURT SYSTEM WE HAD
JUDGES, TOO, BUT THE J.P.’S AND THE CONSTABLES REALLY RAN THE
COURTHOUSE. THE J.P.’S WERE ELECTED EVERY
FOUR YEARS AND THE CONSTABLES WERE ELECTED ON THE OFF FOUR
YEARS FOR THE FIVE DISTRICTS OF PINELLAS COUNTY. THIS MAN HERE BECAUSE OF CARL’S
STORY AND THE ARTICLE THAT WAS ATTACHED, JUST GOT OUT OF THE
SERVICE. HE WENT TO A BAR AND HAD TOO
MUCH LIQUOR AND GOT INTO A FIGHT. BACK THEN, THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
— WE HAD NO UNIFORMS. WE HAD NO CRUISERS. THESE MEN, LIKE CARL, WENT OUT
WITH A BADGE AND A GUN AND A BOND CARD AND ENFORCED THE LAW
IN PINELLAS COUNTY. THEY WERE TRUE HEROES BACK THEN. WE STILL RIDE SINGLE MAN, SINGLE
PERSON CARS IN PINELLAS COUNTY. BUT BACK THEN THEY DIDN’T EVEN
HAVE IN-CAR RADIOS. SOMETIMES THEY CALLED YOU AT
HOME, SENT YOU OUT FOR THE CALL. NOBODY KNEW WHETHER YOU GOT
THERE, WHAT HAPPENED, IF YOU NEEDED HELP. IT WAS AN UNBELIEVABLE TIME. SO CARL STARTED IN ’45. HE STAYED FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS
AND THEN LEFT TO BE A HIGHWAY PATROLMAN AND THEN DON GENUNG
ASKED HIM TO COME BACK. AND THEN HE STAYED WITH US
DURING THE ’60S AND WAS INVOLVED IN MOST EVERY ASPECT. THEN HE LEFT AND WENT TO PASCO,
RAN FOR SHERIFF, LOST TO JOHN SHORT AND CAME BACK A THIRD TIME
TO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE IN THE EARLY ’70s. THIS MAN HERE AFTER HE GOT
IMBIBED, CARL PUT ONE HANDCUFF ON HIM AND HE STARTED SWINGING
HIS ARM AROUND AND CLOCKED CARL IN THE HEAD UP THERE IN THE HEAD
WITH ONE OF THE LOOSE HANDCUFFS. NEEDLESS TO SAY, IF YOU KNEW
CARL LIKE MIKE COACHMAN DID, CARL DIDN’T LOSE ANY FIGHTS. AND THAT’S PER CHANCE WHY THE
GUY HAS HIS HEAD BANDAGED. [LAUGHTER]
CARL SUSTAINED A LITTLE SCRATCH AND THAT GUY DID. IF I WASN’T ON CAMERA, I’LL TELL
YOU WHAT CARL’S SAYING WAS. GET WITH ME LATER AND I’LL TELL
YOU. BUT I DIDN’T MEET CARL UNTIL HE
WAS 82 YEARS OLD AND I PROBABLY LEARNED 80% OF MY SHERIFF’S
OFFICE KNOWLEDGE FROM CARL. HE USED TO CALL MY EVERY SUNDAY
IN HIS 80s AND TELL ME SOME STORIES THAT I HEARD BEFORE THAT
HE TOLD ME. AND SOMETIMES THEY WERE NEW
STORIES. BUT I MISS HIM TREMENDOUSLY. AGAIN, SID SAUNDERS, OUR ONLY
SHERIFF TO DIE IN OFFICE. HE DIED OF AN ATTACK OF THE FLU,
SO EVERYBODY GET THEIR FLU SHOT. THERE’S A PICTURE OF SID WHEN HE
WAS A DEPUTY. AGAIN, AN eBAY PICTURE. SID SAUNDERS WAS VERY INVOLVED,
ONE OF THE FIRST GUYS TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE SHERIFFS BOYS
RANCH AND YOUTH RANCH. THE ACTUAL VILLA, ACTUALLY THE
FIRST BOYS CABIN AT THE YOUTH RANCH IS NAMED IN HIS HONOR. HIS DAUGHTER SALLY IS ALIVE IN
PINELLAS COUNTY AND HAS HELPED ME A LOT. BUT THAT PICTURE OF HIM AS A
DEPUTY, ALL THESE PEOPLE SAY THESE GUYS LOOKED LIKE MOBSTERS. NUMBER ONE, BACK IN THE ’20s
AND ’30s AND ’40s, THAT’S HOW THE DRESS WAS. BUT EQUALLY A LOT, A LOT OF
THESE GUYS BEFORE THEY BECAME SHERIFF WERE CONSTABLES OR
J.P.’S OR IN SOME KIND OF LAW IN PINELLAS COUNTY. BUT HE REALLY LOOKS LIKE A
MOBSTER THERE. ANOTHER PICTURE — AND THERE’S
TODD TUCKER IN THIS ONE. TODD WAS ALSO KNOWN FOR HIS BOW
TIES. AND BECAUSE OF THE ARTICLE, WE
KNOW THAT WAS AN ATTORNEY. THAT WAS A GUY WANTED FOR
MURDER. THERE’S TODD AND THERE’S A
PICTURE KIND OF LIKE HUMPHREY BOGART IN THE BACKGROUND. THAT’S SID SAUNDERS WITH A
CIGARETTE KIND OF LOOKING LIKE HUMPHREY BOGART. AGAIN, SID SAUNDERS BONDED
DEPUTY CARD SIGNED BY CUNNINGHAM WHICH WAS PRETTY RARE BACK THEN
IN 1933. THAT CAME FROM THE SAUNDERS
SCRAPBOOK THEY HAVE GIVEN US. THERE’S ANOTHER PICTURE OF
SAUNDERS WITH TODD TUCKER. AND PEOPLE THINK THAT IT’S ONLY
LIKE THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. BUT TRADITIONALLY, THE NEXT
SHERIFF IS THE CURRENT UNDERSHERIFF OR THE CURRENT
CHIEF DEPUTY. EITHER THEY LEAVE OFFICE EARLY
OR THEY ARE A NEW TERM AND GET APPOINTED TO BE SHERIFF. THAT’S NOT INDICATIVE OF JUST
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE IN PINELLAS. IT HAPPENS IN SHERIFF’S OFFICES
EVERYWHERE. THIS HAD TODD TUCKER, HE WAS THE
SHERIFF, AND SID SAUNDERS THE CHIEF DEPUTY. THAT WAS A VERY EARLY POLYGRAPH
MACHINE. NOW THEY DO THEM ON LAPTOPS,
BASICALLY. AGAIN, A VERY EARLY VERSION OF A
CELL PHONE. [LAUGHTER]
THAT WAS SID SAUNDERS. AND THIS WAS A PINELLAS COUNTY
CIVIL AIR PATROL. THEY HAD THE BADGES AT THAT
TIME. ALSO A VERY EARLY PICTURE
TALKING ABOUT MUNITIONS, THERE’S SID AND SID’S CHIEF DEPUTY WAS
DON GENUNG. A VERY YOUNG DON GENUNG. DON CAME FROM CLEARWATER POLICE
DEPARTMENT. AGAIN, IT WAS OUR LONGEST
SERVING SHERIFF AFTER SID PASSED AWAY. A BIG HEAD LINE IN THE “EVENING
INDEPENDENT” FOR THOSE OF YOU OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THE
“EVENING INDEPENDENT” IF THE SUN DIDN’T SHINE, THE PAPER WAS FOR
FREE. EVERYBODY WAS VERY STARTLED WHEN
SID DIED, HE WAS ONLY 54 YEARS OLD, HAD A WIFE AND TWO
CHILDREN, TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. HIS FUNERAL THROUGH CENTRAL
PLAZA. THAT’S AN FHP CRUISER THERE IN
THE FRONT BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE CRUISERS. THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE DIDN’T HAVE
CRUISERS UNTIL ’60. ALL THESE ARE COUNTY PATROL
CARS. HE’S BURIED AT THE CEMETERY AT
58th AND 1st AVENUE SOUTH. STILLS, CAN YOU BELIEVE WE HAD
STILLS IN PINELLAS COUNTY AND THERE WAS ACTUALLY ENOUGH OF A
WILDERNESS TO HAVE STILLS. BUT IT’S TRUE, WE DID. THERE’S A VERY EARLY ONE. A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE — I HAVEN’T
FOUND THE ORIGINAL ONE YET. THIS IS REAL INTERESTING BECAUSE
CUNNINGHAM’S NAME IS ON THE DOOR AS THE SHERIFF. SID SAUNDERS WAS A DEPUTY IN
THIS PICTURE, BUT THAT’S TODD TUCKER BUT HE WAS A CONSTABLE IN
THIS PICTURE. YOU BASICALLY HAD THREE SHERIFFS
IN THE SAME PICTURE WHICH WAS, LIKE I SAID, INTERESTING TO AN
HISTORIAN. BUT TODD WAS THE CONSTABLE
BEFORE HE BECAME SHERIFF. THIS WAS A STILL IN SAFETY
HARBOR. THIS GUY HERE IS SID SAUNDERS. AND THIS RIGHT HERE IS A VERY
YOUNG BILL ROBERTS. AND I ACTUALLY HAD TO CHECK WITH
SOMEONE BECAUSE I HAD NEVER SEEN BILL ROBERTS WHO HIRED ME, BY
THE WAY, THAT YOUNG. BUT THAT WAS BILL ROBERTS. NOW, FOR THE COPS IN THE ROOM —
I’M NOT GIVING AWAY BIG SECRETS BECAUSE THEY WRITE IT IN THE
NEWSPAPER. BUT A LOT OF TIPS WHEN WE HAVE
GROW HOUSES TO GROW MARIJUANA, IT TAKES A LOT OF ELECTRICITY TO
GROW MARIJUANA. AND THAT’S USUALLY WHERE THE
TIPS COME FROM ABOUT WHERE THIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITY MAY BE
HAPPENING. DOWN HERE IN THOSE DAYS, TO MAKE
MOONSHINE, IT TOOK A WHOLE LOT OF SUGAR. SO IF SOMEBODY WAS DOING AN
ILLEGAL STILL SOMEWHERE IN PINELLAS COUNTY AND THEY WALKED
INTO A GROCER AND ASKED FOR 50, 60 PLUS POUNDS OF SUGAR, IF YOU
WERE NOT A BAKER MAKING CUPCAKES, SOMEBODY MADE A CALL
TO THE POLICE SO SAY THAT THERE’S A STILL GOING ON
SOMEWHERE. SO THE POLICE WOULD SET UP —
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE WOULD SET UP SURVEILLANCE ON THE GROCERY
STORE, FOLLOW THE SUGAR BUYER TO THE STILL SITE. AND THAT’S WHERE THEY’D HAVE THE
BUST. AND LIKE I SAID, THE STILLS WERE
BURIED BACK IN THE WOODS. UNLESS YOU KNEW WHERE THEY WERE,
YOU HAD TO HAVE AN INFORMANT OR A BAKER TO TELL YOU HOW TO GET
THERE. FOR THOSE OF YOU NASCAR FANS,
NASCAR REALLY STARTED FROM BOOTLEGGING BECAUSE THE
MOONSHINERS WOULD JACK UP THEIR CARS TO OUTRUN THE POLICE. AND A LOT OF THE EARLY NASCARS
WERE BOOTLEGGERS THEMSELVES. THAT’S HOW NASCAR STARTED. IF YOU ARE INTO NASCAR, LOOK IN
TO SEE HOW THAT WAS ALL STARTED BY THEM. AGAIN, ANOTHER STILL WITH SID.
AND THAT GUY THERE WAS THE STATE BEVERAGE INSPECTOR NAMED PERCY
VASBINDER. [LAUGHTER]
TRUE STORY. PERCY IS IN A LOT OF THESE STILL
PICTURES. AND IF HE WASN’T THE STATE
BEVERAGE, I’D BE VERY CURIOUS HOW HE ENDED UP AT ALL THESE
STILLS. I ACTUALLY KNOW SOMEBODY WHO
KNEW HIM PERSONALLY AND SAID HE WAS A REAL TRIP. I’M SURE HE WOULD BE A GREAT GUY
TO GO HAVE A BEER WITH. NO PUN INTENDED. PERCY VASBINDER, COULDN’T MAKE
THAT UP. THIS IS AL ALFORD, I’M NOT REAL
SURE THE THOUGHTNESS HAVING A CIGARETTE, WHETHER LIT OR UNLIT
AROUND THE MOONSHINE. THERE WAS NO EXPLOSION, SO WE
WILL HOPE THAT ENDED UP OKAY. AGAIN THAT WAS THE SAME SAFETY
HARBOR WE LOOKED AT BEFORE. THERE’S SID WITH HIS WING-TIPPED
SHOES. THERE’S PERCY VASBINDER AGAIN
AND THERE’S BILL ROBERTS. ANOTHER STILL, NOW A LOT OF
CARL’S — LIKE I SAID, CARL HAD 12 BROTHERS AND SISTERS. CARL WAS THE ONLY ONE OF THE 12
THAT WAS ACTUALLY EMPLOYED BY THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. BUT HIS BROTHERS LESTER, WEBSTER
AND THERE’S ANOTHER ONE WORKED IN OUR POSSES IN THE ’60s
PRIMARILY. CARL’S OLDER BROTHER ROBERT WAS
92 YEARS OLD WHEN HE GAVE ME THIS PICTURE AND POINTED AT
EVERYBODY IN THE PICTURE TO ME. HE HAS SINCE PASSED ON. BUT A LEGACY I’M SO GLAD THAT WE
HAVE. THAT’S TODD TUCKER, THE SHERIFF
IN THE BACKGROUND THERE. THE GUY WITH THAT BIG HAT THERE
IS FINDLEY McMULLEN. HE WAS BONDED AS A DEPUTY BUT
DIDN’T WORK FOR THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. THIS IS J.R. STRICKLAND, JACK
STRICKLAND. HE WAS OUR FIRST CHIEF DEPUTY AT
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND HE WAS MARRIED TO A McMULLEN. THAT’S J.R. McMULLEN THERE. AND I DON’T KNOW THE STATE OF
PHOTOGRAPHY BACK IN THOSE DAYS, THIS OBVIOUSLY WASN’T A
POLAROID. SO PROBABLY THE RAID HAPPENED
AND THEY WENT BACK AT A LATER TIME AND TOOK A PICTURE. I HAVEN’T STUDIED PHOTOGRAPHY
FROM THAT AREA YET. DON GENUNG, PROBABLY THE MOST
COMMUNITY ORIENTED PUBLIC-MINDED SHERIFF WE EVER HAD. VERY BELOVED TO THIS DAY. GRANTED THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE WAS
A LOT SMALLER IN THOSE DAYS. BUT DON GENUNG AND A LOT OF THE
RETIREES IN HERE KNEW HIM, KNEW HIS WIFE’S NAME, YOUR KIDS’
NAMES, WHERE THEY WENT TO SCHOOL, WOULD ALWAYS SPEAK TO
YOU. HE WAS NOTORIOUS FOR GIVING A
$50 BONUS AT CHRISTMASTIME. HE WAS JUST A NICE, KIND,
GENTLEMAN. BUT KNOWN FOR GOING OUT TO
SHERIFF’S OFFICE CONFERENCES AND COMING BACK AND SAYING GUESS
WHAT, WE NEED THIS, GUESS WHAT, WE NEED THAT. THAT’S HOW WE GOT OUR FIRST
HELICOPTER. HE WENT TO A CONFERENCE UP IN
CALIFORNIA AND CAME BACK AND SAID WE NEED A HELICOPTER,
SO WE GOT A HELICOPTER. LIKE I SAID, MY REGRET AS BEING
THE HISTORIAN NOW IS THAT ALL THESE MEN I KNEW — I DIDN’T
KNOW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW. I WISH I COULD GO BACK AND
INTERVIEW THEM WITH ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LEARNED AND ASK
THEM QUESTIONS. MAMA USED TO SAY TOO SOON OLD,
TOO LATE SMART. THERE’S A PICTURE — AND I’M
SURE SOME PEOPLE IN HERE RECOGNIZE THIS MAN HERE. BABE RUTH. THIS WAS DON GENUNG, THE
CLEARWATER POLICEMAN. THAT’S ERNEST WILLIAMS FOR
HISTORICAL SAKE. THAT’S OUR FIRST UNIFORMED
DIVISION OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. IN 1960, THE BOARD OF COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS ASKED THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND DON GENUNG
TO TAKE OVER THE COUNTY PATROL. THERE WAS SOME PROBLEMS WITHIN
THE COUNTY PATROL. THEY HAD GONE THROUGH TWO OR
THREE CHIEFS. THERE WAS THE PRESENT CHIEF
UNDER QUESTIONABLE CIRCUMSTANCES. SO THEY CAME TO SHERIFF GENUNG
AND SAID WILL YOU TAKE OVER THE COUNTY PATROL. HE SAID SURE. AT THAT TIME, THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE ONLY OPERATED THE JAIL IN DOWNTOWN CLEARWATER AND WE
OPERATED — WE DID SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS AND WE DID
SUBPOENA CIVIL PROCESS SERVING. AND IF YOU NEEDED A JURY, THEY’D
SEND THE DEPUTIES OUT TO ROUND UP A JURY KIND OF THING. BUT WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY PATROL
FUNCTION UNTIL 1960 WHEN WE GOT THE COUNTY PATROL. AND THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE WAS IN
THE BASEMENT OR AT THE CLEARWATER JAIL AT COURT STREET
AND FORT HARRISON. SO WHEN WE ACQUIRED THE PATROL
DIVISION WE NEEDED MORE LAND. SO WE MOVED OUT TO OUR SECOND
OFFICE WHICH WE CALLED THE APO, THE AIRPORT OFFICE WHICH WAS ON
THE GROUNDS OF THE ST. PETE
CLEARWATER AIRPORT. WE STAYED THERE UNTIL 1975 WHEN
WE MOVED TO WHERE THE CURRENT OFFICE IS AT ULMERTON AND
SEMINOLE. AND THERE IS A BUILDING THERE
BEFORE THE ONE THAT IS THERE NOW CALLED SAB. A FEW PEOPLE IN THIS PICTURE I
WANT TO POINT OUT. THERE WAS THAT GUY WHO WAS ON
THE BILLBOARD, HARMON STEVENSON. THERE’S CARL. GENUNG, OBVIOUSLY. THERE’S CLYDE LANIER. HIS FAMILY IS FAMOUS UP IN
TARPON SPRINGS. CLYDE’S DAUGHTER, SON-IN-LAW,
GRANDCHILDREN ALL RETIRED FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. THAT’S DON ANDERSON, HE WAS ONE
OF OUR BLOOD HOUND HANDLERS. DON WAS A CHARACTER IN HIMSELF. BUT ALL FIVE OF DON’S SONS ARE
ALL COPS NOW IN NORTH FLORIDA. THIS WAS OSCAR UNDERWOOD, HE
CAME FROM PINELLAS PARK PD. AND THIS IS TOMMY JOHNSON. THEY CALLED HIM CATFISH. YOU’LL SEE A PICTURE OF CATFISH
LATER. AND THAT WAS OUR FIRST 10 MEN. NOW, THIS WASN’T DAY SHIFT,
EVENING SHIFT, MIDNIGHT SHIFT. THIS WAS ALL THE SHIFTS IN THE
COUNTY. AND THAT WAS OUR FIRST PATROL
UNIFORM. IT’S SIMILAR TO WHAT WE WEAR NOW
WITH THE DARK GREENS. THERE’S OUR FIRST FLEET. AND THAT WAS AT THE ST. PETE
CLEARWATER AIRPORT. YOU CAN SEE CARL STANDING RIGHT
THERE. HE STOOD IN A PROMINENT SPOT. YOU COULD ALWAYS TELL BY THE WAY
HE STOOD. OUR FIRST CRUISERS, THEY WERE
LIKE THAT WHEN MIKE STARTED. AND MIKE ACTUALLY WAS AT THE ST. PETE AIRPORT OFFICE STATIONED. GARY, WERE YOU OUT THERE, TOO? LIKE SAID, WE MOVED TO THE SAB
IN ’75. SO THAT WAS THE WHOLE FLEET BACK
AT THAT TIME. THIS WAS ANOTHER eBAY PICTURE. AND IT OBVIOUSLY WAS WHIMSICAL
TO SEE WHICH WAS FASTER, THE BULLET OR THE ARROWS. [LAUGHTER]
BUT BECAUSE OF THE ARTICLE, WE KNOW IT WAS TAKEN AT KEYSTONE
ARCHERY CLUB OFF BELCHER ROAD. COULD YOU IMAGINE BELCHER ROAD
LOOKING LIKE THAT WITH ALL THAT LAND BACK THERE? YEAH, THERE’S A LOT OF WILD
GOING ON THERE. AGAIN, IN THE OLD DAYS, WE WORE
CROSS-DRAW HOLSTERS PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF SAFETY. NUMBER ONE, WE DIDN’T HAVE
CRUISERS. NUMBER TWO, THERE WEREN’T
CRUISERS THAT HAD CAGES IN THEM IF WE HAD THEM. SO THE PRISONER USUALLY SAT IN
THE FRONT SEAT WITH YOU. AND THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSS
DRAW WAS TO KEEP YOUR GUN AWAY FROM YOUR PRISONER SITTING IN
YOUR FRONT SEAT. I’M SURE THERE’S OTHER REASONS,
BUT THAT WAS THE MOST PRACTICAL SAFETY REASON. SO THEY DECIDED IN THE ’60s
UNDER GENUNG DECIDED IF THE CROSS DRAW WAS STILL A GOOD
THING SINCE NOW WE HAD CRUISERS AND NOW WE HAD CAGES, THAT WE
KEPT THAT. SO THEY SENT JOHN CLOUD OUT
ALONG WITH CARL PETERSON, BOTH NOW GONE, TO TEST TO SEE IF THE
SIDE DRAW OR THE CROSS DRAW WAS FASTER. THEY DECIDED AT THE TIME THE
SIDE DRAW WAS FASTER AND THAT’S WHAT WE STARTED USING. GOT RID OF ALL THE CROSS DRAW
HOLSTERS. THERE’S A GREAT PICTURE OF THE
MUNITIONS. THESE HATS, I PUT THESE IN HERE
BECAUSE OF THE HATS. A BRIEF TIME THE COMMANDERS WORE
THOSE HATS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS BUS DRIVER HATS. I HAVE ONLY SEEN CARL WEAR ONE
IN COLOR ONCE IN OUR FIRST CONTRACT CITY WHICH IS THE CITY
OF SEMINOLE IN 1970. HE’S WEARING ONE. THE COMMANDERS HATED THEM. THEY DIDN’T LAST VERY LONG. IT WAS A BRIEF EXPERIMENT. THERE’S GENUNG, THERE’S CARL AND
THERE’S BOBBY SUMMERS. HE PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR, BUT
ALL THREE OF SONS WORK AT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. WE HAVE A LOT OF GENERATIONAL
PEOPLE THERE. THIS WAS AN EXAMPLE OF WHEN WE
WENT FROM OUR STETSON HATS TO OUR HELMETS. GENUNG — THIS IS DARRYL MAY. HE WORKED FOR US FOR A WHILE AND
THEN HE WENT TO BECOME AN ENTERTAINER ON CLEARWATER BEACH. DID SOME NASHVILLE RECORDING
ALBUMS. SOMEBODY IS NODDING THEY KNOW
HIM. HE’S STILL AROUND. ACTUALLY HE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND THE SHOOTING HE HAD ON DUTY CALLED
“CHASING SHADOWS.” IT’S A GOOD BOOK. IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE, IT HAS GOT A LOT OF COMMON NAMES IN IT. THIS ARTICLE WAS DONE IN ’65
WHEN WE CHANGED FROM OUR STETSON HATS WHICH WERE THE FIRST
UNIFORM HATS TO OUR HELMETS. THE STETSONS HAD A WINTER
VERSION WHICH WAS FELT AND A SUMMER VERSION WHICH WAS STRAW. WE HAVE A SET OF THEM FROM WALT
JAKES THAT’S IN OUR DISPLAY AT THE SAB NOW. WE ONLY HAVE ONE SET OF THOSE SO
IN CASE MIKE COACHMAN IS HOLDING OFF ON ANOTHER SET —
[LAUGHTER] THEY ARE KIND OF HARD TO FIND. TWO HELMETS. THEN WE’RE TO THE HELMETS. NOW, THE HELMETS CAME ALONG
PRIMARILY BECAUSE IN THE ’60s, ’65 AND ’65 NOT ONLY WAS
PINELLAS COUNTY BUT THE UNITED STATES INVOLVED IN A LOT OF
CIVIL UNREST. THERE WERE NOT ONLY RACIAL
RIOTS, BUT THE LINEMEN WOULD RIOT AND THE TEACHERS RIOT AND
THE GARBAGE COLLECTORS WOULD RIOT, EVERYBODY WOULD RIOT. SO DON GENUNG BEING THE
COMMUNITY MINDED PERSON HE WAS DIDN’T WANT THE DEPUTIES — HE
WANTED THE DEPUTIES, FIRST OF ALL, TO BE PROTECTED IN THAT
SITUATION. BUT HE ALSO WANTED THEM NOT TO
JUST WEAR THEIR HELMETS IN THOSE SITUATIONS, THE RIOTOUS
SITUATIONS. HE DIDN’T WANT THE COMMUNITY OR
THE PUBLIC, IN GENERAL, TO BE UPSET WHEN THEY SHOWED UP AND
PUT THE HELMETS ON JUST FOR THEM. SO BECAUSE OF THAT, YOU WORE A
HELMET EIGHT HOURS ON YOUR SHIFT. YOU COULD TAKE IT OFF WHEN YOU
ATE DINNER FOR HALF AN HOUR. BUT YOU HAD TO WEAR IT IN THE
CAR AND OUT OF THE CAR. AIR CONDITIONING, AS MIKE
COACHMAN WILL TELL YOU, WAS NOT THAT PREVALENT BACK THEN. AND MIKE STILL HAS TWO HELMETS. WE HAVE ABOUT SIX THAT HAVE BEEN
TURNED IN TO OUR ARCHIVE OFFICE. THERE ARE SOME THAT HAVE A FLAT
DECAL ON THEM AND SOME THAT ACTUALLY HAVE THE BADGE ON THEM. I MISSED THE HELMETS BY ABOUT
THREE YEARS. I’M SURE THEY WERE NOT GOOD FOR
HAIR, HAT HAIR AS THEY WOULD SAY. BUT IT WAS DONE FOR THEIR
PROTECTION AND ALSO DONE BECAUSE THE SHERIFF GENUNG DIDN’T WANT
TO MAKE ANYBODY UPSET. THERE’S A PICTURE OF CARL ON THE
COVER OF THE POLICE TIMES MAGAZINE DEMONSTRATING OUR NEW
UNIFORMS. WE WENT FROM THE DARK UNIFORMS
THAT STARTED WITH THE 10 MEN TO THE WHITE SHIRTS WHICH WE KEPT
UNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO. BY THAT TIME, WE HAD ALSO GONE
TO THE STAR AND THE HELMETS. AND ON THIS ONE HE’S WEARING HIS
SIDE HELMET — I MEAN SIDE HOLSTER. THIS IS A GREAT PICTURE. BACK IN 1962, I BELIEVE IT WAS,
THIS WAS A BOY NAMED STEVE BANNON. HE WAS A SCHOOL CROSSING GUARD
IN PINELLAS PARK AND HAD PUSHED TWO LITTLE GIRLS OUT OF THE WAY
OF A SPEEDING CAR. SO HE WON AN AWARD FOR THAT. AND HIM AND HIS MOTHER — I
HAVEN’T FOUND STEVE YET, BUT MY LIFE IS NOT OVER SO I MAY STILL
FIND HIM. THAT’S HIS MOTHER BACK THERE. THAT’S GEORGE SMATHERS. HE WAS A SENATOR FROM PINELLAS
COUNTY. THAT’S DON GENUNG AND THAT’S
OBVIOUSLY JFK. YOU CAN SEE HIM HANDING THE
MEDAL TO STEVE BANNON. THEY RODE UP THERE ON THE TRAIN
TO WASHINGTON, D.C. WHERE HE GOT THAT AWARD. A CLASSIC PICTURE OF ONE OF MY
FAVORITES OF ALL TIME IS THIS PICTURE OF A MOTORCADE. IT CAME FROM THE — I HEARD
ABOUT THE PICTURE AND SOMEBODY HAD A COPY OF IT. THIS ACTUAL PICTURE CAME OFF THE
WALL OF THE SECRET SERVICE IN D.C. ONE OF OUR RETIREES, ONE OF OUR
FORMER MEMBERS WENT TO THE SECRET SERVICE AND SENT IT TO
ME. THIS IS CLAUDE KIRK, HE WAS THE
GOVERNOR AT THE TIME. ALL THESE GUYS WITH THEIR DARK
SUNGLASSES ARE SECRET SERVICE. THEY STILL LOOK LIKE THAT. THIS WAS THE MAN WITH THE
BRIEFCASE. YOU KNOW THAT MAN WITH THE
BRIEFCASE. THIS IS THE ST. PETE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE, DEPUTY BOWLES. THIS IS THE ST. PETE COP WHO I
JUST IDENTIFIED NOT TOO LONG AGO.
AND THIS WAS G.Z. SMITH. HE’S STILL ALIVE AND LIVES UP
NEAR MIKE IN BROOKSVILLE. AND I HAVE SENT THIS PICTURE IN
ENLARGED POSTER FORM TO G.Z. BUT IT WAS GREAT TO HAVE G.Z. TELL IT AND LOOK AT THE PICTURE,
TOO. THIS IS ST. PETE
HARLEY-DAVIDSON. ST. PETE HAD MOTORMEN THEY
CALLED THEM BACK THEN ON HARLEYS. THIS WAS A MOTORCADE AND THERE’S
A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT. SO THE MOTORCYCLE FELL DOWN. THE OFFICER’S NAME ON IT WAS
LEDBETTER AND HE FELL AND IS LAYING DOWN THERE ON THE GROUND. THEY ARE TENDING TO HIM. G.Z. SAYS THAT THEY WERE
CHECKING HIM TO MAKE SURE HE WAS OKAY. AND G.Z. GOT KIND OF A SIXTH
SENSE THAT SOMEBODY WAS STANDING OVER HIS SHOULDER. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW G.Z.’S
DEMEANOR, HE TURNED AROUND AND G.Z. WAS THE SHIFT COMMANDER
WHEN I STARTED. G.Z. WOULD TURN AROUND AND GO,
WHAT THE HELL. HE TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED INTO
THE FACE OF RICHARD NIXON. [LAUGHTER]
WHO IS RIGHT THERE. FORTUNATELY, HE STOPPED HIMSELF
BEFORE HE SAID ANYTHING MORE. BUT I HAVE GONE OUT AND DONE
THESE TALKS FOR HISTORICAL SOCIETIES AND ROTARIES AND THE
COURTHOUSE AND THINGS. AND LEDBETTER’S PARTNER’S SON
WAS IN ONE OF MY CLASSES AND SAID NOT ONLY THAT, HE STOPPED
AND CALLED LEDBETTER WHEN HE GOT TO THE HOSPITAL. RICHARD NIXON CALLED HIM TO MAKE
SURE HE WAS OKAY AFTER THAT ACCIDENT. BUT LEDBETTER WAS OKAY. I THINK HE WENT ON TO RETIRE NOT
TOO LONG AFTER THAT. THAT’S A GREAT PICTURE FOR MANY
REASONS. ONE OF OUR FIRST CLASSIC
CRUISERS, THAT’S CLYDE LANIER THERE WITH THE PLYMOUTH —
OLDSMOBILE, THANK YOU. I HAVE BRAIN LAPSES NOW AND
THEN. THIS WAS A GREAT PICTURE OF CARL
McMULLEN. AT ONE TIME I WAS GOING TO RIGHT
A BOOK. I STILL MAY. THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE COVER
OF IT. NOW THAT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
AND I HAVE COLLABORATED TOGETHER, THEY MAY HELP ME WITH
IT FINANCIALLY. BUT THIS WAS A GREAT PICTURE OF
CARL. I JUST THINK IT’S A GREAT
PICTURE OF A CLASSIC DEPUTY SHERIFF PICTURE. CARL AND BOBBY SUMMERS AND I
WERE AT CRABBY BILL’S ONE TIME. AND CARL WAS PROBABLY 85 AT THE
TIME. I HAD THIS PICTURE ON THE TABLE
AT CRABBY’S. AND THE WAITER CAME BY AND GOES
THAT’S A GREAT PICTURE OF A COP. HE SAYS THAT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE
CLINT EASTWOOD. I WENT YEAH, I CAN SEE CLINT
EASTWOOD IN THERE. I SAID BESIDES THAT, THAT’S THE
SAME MAN SITTING RIGHT HERE WITH ME.
AND THE WAITER GOES NO, THAT WAS YOU? AND CARL SAYS YEAH, THAT WAS ME.
AND CARL, HIS DRY WIT SAID, WELL, IT WAS TAKEN A FEW DAYS
AGO. [LAUGHTER]
AND IT WAS ABOUT 60 YEAR DAYS AGO. THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE AT THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE NOW IN COMMAND WHO HAVE THAT PICTURE ON THEIR
WALL JUST BECAUSE IT’S A GREAT PICTURE OF A GREAT MAN. THIS WAS THE RIOT TRAINING AT
THE APO OFFICE. WHEN I FIRST STARTED DOING THIS
FOR THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND BECAME THE HISTORIAN, I SHOWED
THIS PREPARATION WITH A FEW AUTHORIZATIONS TO THE COMMAND
STAFF. AND THERE WAS AN AUDIBLE GASP
WHEN THEY SAW THIS PICTURE BECAUSE THOSE ARE BAYONETS. YEAH, WOW. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THE STAFF
SAID, TOO. IT WAS A DIFFERENT TIME IN
PINELLAS COUNTY AND THE UNITED STATES. WE DON’T USE THEM NOW.
AND FROM THOSE MEN WHO HAVE USED THEM, THEY WERE NOT USED TO STAB
ANYBODY. THEY WERE JUST USED TO MOVE
PEOPLE ALONG. [LAUGHTER]
THEIR QUOTE, NOT MY QUOTE.>>YEAH.>>YEAH. SO THAT’S THE ARTICLE THAT WENT
ALONG WITH IT AND THAT’S THE ACTUAL PICTURE. AND HE WAS ONE OF OUR SERGEANTS. HE WAS A GREAT GUY, TOO. THERE’S A PICTURE OF — WE HAD
JUNIOR DEPUTIES BACK THEN. TWO OF THESE BOYS WERE DURRETT
BOYS. THEIR DAD WAS A CAPTAIN AND TWO
OF THE BOYS BELONGED TO LESTER McMULLEN, SO THEY WOULD HAVE
BEEN CARL’S NEPHEWS. AND SPRING TRAINING CAME DOWN
HERE A LOT. ANYBODY KNOW WHO THAT IS? YOU’RE GOING TO GIVE ME A BREAK
HERE. I’LL THINK OF HIS NAME IN A
MINUTE. [INAUDIBLE]
STAN MUSIEL. I FORGOT THAT STORY, TOO. I BROKE MY ANKLE ABOUT TWO
MONTHS AGO. SO THE REGULAR STORIES THAT I
GIVE TO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE I HAVEN’T GIVEN FOR ABOUT TWO
MONTHS. SO SOME OF THESE NAMES ARE
POPPING BACK INTO MY HEAD. THAT’S WHY I’M ON A WALKER,
YEAH. BUT ANYWAY, BACK TO THAT. THAT’S STAN MUSIEL. SO THIS IS BILL DURRETT AND THIS
IS JIM DURRETT. HE WENT ON TO BE ONE OF OUR K-9
OFFICERS AND RETIRED FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND THERE’S LESTER AND JOHNNY
McMULLEN. THEY WERE CARL’S NEPHEWS. AND IT WAS BIG BACK IN THE
’60s TO HAVE YOUR CHILDREN DRESS UP AS DEPUTIES. THAT WAS CARL’S SON BUSTER AND
HIS FRIEND. REMEMBER THAT PICTURE I SHOWED
YOU OF CLYDE LANIER. CLYDE LANIER WAS IN THAT PICTURE
WITH THE 10 MEN AND ALSO IN THE PICTURE WITH THAT BEAUTIFUL
OLDSMOBILE ’88 CAR. THAT’S HIS DAUGHTERS — HIS
GRANDDAUGHTERS, THANK YOU. HIS GRANDDAUGHTERS, BECKY AND
DEBRA. SO CLYDE HAD A SON NAMED BILL. BILL WORKED FOR THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE. BILL’S DAUGHTERS WERE THESE. AND THEN THEY POSED FOR THAT
PICTURE. AND THEN WHEN THEY GOT A LITTLE
OLDER, THEY WERE IN THAT PICTURE. BECKY WORKED OUT OF THE JAIL
WITH US FOR A LONG TIME. SHE ALSO RETIRED FROM THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. THIS IS A PICTURE OF GENUNG WITH
DUNEDIN POLICE CHIEF SHEETS. AFTER SID SAUNDERS’ SUDDEN
PASSING, THEY NAMED THIS ESCAPE BOOT IN HIS HONOR. IT WEIGHED ABOUT 9, 10 POUNDS
AND THEY PUT IT ON PRISONERS SO THEY WOULDN’T WANT TO RUN AWAY
OR NOT RUN AWAY AS FAST, LET ME PUT IT THAT WAY. WE WERE FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE
PICTURE AND THE ARTICLE THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT.
AND ALSO WE HAVE THE ESCAPE BOOT IN OUR DISPLAY AT THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE. THERE’S OUR FOUR POSSE BADGES. DON GENUNG REALLY INTRODUCED THE
POSSE SYSTEM. THEY WERE ALL VOLUNTEERS. WE HAD A MOUNTED POSSE, A WATER
POSSE, COMMUNICATIONS POSSE, ETC., ETC. THEY WERE ALL VOLUNTEERS, AS I
SAID. IF YOU REMEMBER OF THE MOUNTED
POSSE, YOU HAD TO HAVE YOUR OWN HORSE, YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT, YOUR
OWN TACT, YOUR OWN WAY TO GET THERE. WATER, YOUR OWN BOAT, ALL THAT
KIND OF STUFF. MIND YOU, BACK IN THE ’60s,
THIS KIND OF LOOKS A LOT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT IT LOOKS
LIKE NOW. THIS IS A PICTURE OF THE MOBILE
POSSE. KIND OF LIKE OUR RESERVE UNITS
THAT WE HAVE NOW. OUR MOUNTED POSSE, DON GENUNG IS
THERE IN THE MIDDLE ON HIS WHITE HORSE. CARL IS ON THIS SIDE, HIS
BROTHER LESTER OVER HERE. ON THIS WHITE HORSE TOO IS JIMMY
JOHNSON. HE’S MARRIED TO BETTY JEAN, THE
LAST OF J.R.’S CHILDREN. AND BECAUSE OF ROBERT, THE OLDER
BROTHER, WE IDENTIFIED EVERYBODY IN THAT PICTURE, TOO.
AND, YOU KNOW, BEFORE — WE REALLY DIDN’T KEEP A LOT OF
ARCHIVES WITH THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNTIL WE GOT TOGETHER AND
MERGED ALL THIS STUFF TOGETHER. I’M REALLY GLAD NOW THAT WE HAVE
ALL THIS STUFF. AND BEFORE I DIE, I’VE GOT TO
GET EVERYBODY’S NAME ON PAPER BECAUSE NOBODY WILL KNOW BESIDES
ME. THIS IS SOME OF OUR MOUNTED
POSSE MEMBERS. THAT WAS LESTER McMULLEN. HIS KIDS WERE IN THAT PICTURE
WITH STAN MUSIEL. THERE IS ROBERT WHO IDENTIFIED
ALL THE PEOPLE IN THAT STILL PICTURE FOR ME. THERE’S JIMMY JOHNSON. AND THERE’S THE OTHER — ONE OF
THE OTHER McMULLEN BROTHERS, THAT’S WEBSTER. THERE’S CARL AND ONE OF THE
HORSES THAT WERE DONATED. THAT WAS TAKEN ABOUT 122nd
AVENUE AND SEMINOLE BOULEVARD, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. [LAUGHTER]
YOU CAN SEE THE LAKE BACK THERE IN THE BACKGROUND. I KNOW, I KNOW. WE HAD BLOOD HOUNDS AND PROBABLY
THE BLOOD HOUND STORY IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES AND A LOT OF
PEOPLE’S FAVORITES. WE HAD BLOOD HOUNDS. AREN’T THEY CUTE? ON THIS SIDE IS KID AND THIS IS
SPOTLIGHT. AND HOW THEY GOT TO PINELLAS
COUNTY IS A STORY UNTO THEMSELVES. SPOTLIGHT HAD A BROTHER, A K-9
BROTHER NAMED BLACKJACK. THEY WERE OUR PRIMARY TRACKERS. SPOTLIGHT AND BLACKJACK. KID JUST CAME ALONG FOR THE
RIDE. BUT THEY GOT TO PINELLAS COUNTY
BECAUSE SPOTLIGHT AND BLACKJACK’S FATHER, K-9 FATHER
WAS NAMED BIMBO. I DON’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. [LAUGHTER]
HE WAS A TRACKING DOG, CHAMPION TRACKING DOG FROM A PRISON UP IN
NORTH FLORIDA. THERE WAS TWO ESCAPEES FROM THIS
PRISON IN NORTH FLORIDA. AND THEY FIGURED IN THEIR INMATE
CONVICT ESCAPEE MIND THAT THE QUICKEST WAY NOT TO GET FOUND
WAS TO TAKE THE PERSON OR THE DOG THAT WOULD FIND THEM WITH
THEM. SO WHEN THEY BROKE OUT OF
PRISON, THEY TOOK BIMBO WITH THEM. THEY FOUND A STOLEN CAR. SO THE TWO ESCAPEES AND BIMBO
CAME TO PINELLAS COUNTY. I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT
HAPPENED TO THE ESCAPEES. BUT THEY ABANDONED THE STOLEN
CAR AND THEREBY ALSO ABANDONED BIMBO. AWWW. CARL HAD A RANCH OFF WHITNEY
ROAD. HE WAS ALSO — ASIDE FROM THE
AWESOME MAN THAT HE WAS, HE WAS A PARATROOPER IN THE SERVICE, HE
WAS A RODEO STAR. HE JUST HAD A LOT OF SIDE ISSUES
AND JOBS THAT HE TOOK CARE OF. HE ALSO HAD BLOOD HOUNDS. SO WHEN THEY CAME ACROSS BIMBO
IN THE STOLEN CAR IN PINELLAS COUNTY, THE DEPUTIES CALLED CARL
AND CARL SAID BRING HIM ON OVER, HE CAN JOIN THE BLOOD HOUNDS
I’VE GOT. SO BIMBO WENT TO LIVE AT CARL’S
RANCH. BIMBO FELL IN LOVE WITH MAGGIE
HIS OTHER BLOOD HOUND AND THEREBY BLACKJACK AND SPOTLIGHT
WERE CONCEIVED. SO EVERY McMULLEN CHILD AND
COUSIN IN THE COUNTY WERE USED AS BAIT TO GO OUT ON THE
WEEKENDS AND CLIMB TREES AND HIDE IN THE WOODS AND TRAIN
THESE BLOOD HOUNDS TO DO TRACKING. NOW, ALSO IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE
THAT IN PINELLAS COUNTY BACK IN THOSE DAYS THERE WAS ENOUGH LAND
TO ACTUALLY TRACK ANYONE, BUT THERE WAS.
AND THEY WERE ALSO VOLUNTEERS AND THEY DIDN’T GO DRIVE AROUND
IN THE CARS LIKE OUR K-9’S DO NOW. IF YOU NEEDED A BLOOD HOUND, YOU
DROVE YOUR CRUISER OUT TO CARL’S RANCH, YOU LOADED UP THE BLOOD
HOUND IN THE BACK OF THE CAR. YOU DROVE IT TO WHERE IT NEEDED
TO GO AND IN REVERSE. SO THEY ARE NOT LIKE OUR
TRACKING DOGS ARE TODAY. THEY DON’T BITE. THEY WEREN’T AGGRESSIVE. BASICALLY CARL SAID THEY COULD
LICK YOU TO DEATH. THAT’S ABOUT AS MUCH DAMAGE AS
THEY COULD DO. BUT EVERYBODY HAD EXPERIENCE
WITH GOING OUT TO CARL’S RANCH AND PICKING UP USUALLY
SPOTLIGHT. SPOTLIGHT WAS QUITE A STAR. HERE HE IS BEING INTERVIEWED BY
WTAN RADIO IN CLEARWATER. THE CLEVER LITTLE PHRASE HERE HE
KNOWS ALL, WON’T TELL. [LAUGHTER]
I COULD DO A WHOLE PRESENTATION ON SPOTLIGHT AND THE BLOOD
HOUNDS. BUT HE DEFINITELY WAS A STAR. HE WAS ON THE COVER OF “THE
FLORIDIAN” MAGAZINE. THEY GAVE A NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
FOR HIM. I HAVE A PICTURE WITH A NEW
YEAR’S EVE HAT ON. AND HE GOT THE LASSIE GOLD
AWARD. [LAUGHTER]
WHEN I TALK TO THE ROOKIES AT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, I HAVE TO
EXPLAIN WHO LASSIE IS. [LAUGHTER]
LASSIE ACTUALLY DID EXIST FOR THOSE OF US OLDER IN THE ROOM. THERE’S A PICTURE OF CARL AND
THIS IS GARY STEVENSON WHO ACTUALLY I TALKED TO THE OTHER
DAY BECAUSE NAOMI AND LAURA AND I WERE TRYING TO NARROW DOWN
WHEN THE BLOOD HOUNDS GOT HERE. HE SAID ABOUT ’62 IS WHEN WE
STARTED USING THE BLOOD HOUNDS. IF YOU LOOK REAL CLOSE, THERE’S
CARL HIDING UP THERE IN THAT TREE. AND THAT ALSO WAS TAKEN OFF LAKE
SEMINOLE. AND THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE
PRACTICING THEIR TRACKING THERE. THERE’S CARL AND DON ANDERSON
THERE. AND THAT’S BLACKJACK THERE AND
SPOTLIGHT. AND THE ORIGINAL PICTURE OF
SPOTLIGHT, YOU CAN SEE HE HAS A NAME ON HIS HARNESS. AND ONE OF OUR DEPUTIES WENT OUT
THERE ONE TIME AND COULDN’T FIND THE LEAD ROPE OUT AT CARL’S
RANCH. SO HE GRABBED A HORSE HARNESS TO
GET SPOTLIGHT IN THE BACK OF THE CRUISER. WHEN CARL SAW THAT HE THOUGHT
THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA FOR A HARNESS. SO HE HAD ALL THE BLOOD HOUNDS
NAME PUT ON THEIR HARNESSES SO YOU COULD IDENTIFY THEM ALL. THERE’S CARL IN HIS LATER YEARS. ACTUALLY THAT WAS SPOTLIGHT JR.
AND CARL LIKE I SAID WENT ON TO WORK AT PASCO FOR A WHILE. THIS IS ONE OF OUR RARE PICTURES
THAT WE ACTUALLY HAD A DOG AT THE SCENE OF A CRIME. THIS IS THE B-21 LIQUOR STORE IN
TARPON SPRINGS WHICH STILL STANDS TO THIS DAY. THESE FOUR MEN CAME TO ROB THE
B-21 LIQUOR STORE. THEY WENT IN. ON THEIR WAY OUT THEY FAILED TO
NOTICE THE OWNER HAD A SHOTGUN ABOVE THE DOOR AS THEY LEFT. SO THE BAG GUYS GOT IN THE CAR. THE OWNER PICKED UP THE SHOTGUN,
SHOT THE CAR, KILLED TWO ON THE SCENE AND TWO RAN AWAY. THAT WAS GARY STEVENSON AND
THERE’S SPOTLIGHT. AND HE FOUND THE OTHER TWO.
AND THAT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU DON’T GO ROBBING STORES. OKAY. THIS IS A SECTION I HAD PUT IN. IN THE ORIGINAL PRESENTATION I
GAVE TO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, WE GO THROUGH THE OTHER SHERIFFS. BUT BECAUSE OF HERITAGE VILLAGE,
THEY WANTED A FEW EXTRA STORIES THAT I HAD TOLD THEM ADDED, WE
THREW THIS IN. THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE SEEN THIS
PRESENTATION, HE HAVEN’T SEEN THIS PART YET. WE HAVE DARTH VADER TO
ALLIGATORS. IN THE EARLY ’80s, THE FIRST
TIME DARTH VADER WENT AROUND WE DID A PROMOTION. THIS IS A DEPUTY IN UNIFORM. THAT’S LAWN TERRICUZIO AND SKIP
CUTTING THERE IN THE BACKGROUND AND THERE’S DARTH VADER. IT WAS A GUY BY THE NAME OF AL
DEJORTI, HE WAS ONE OF THE CRIME PREVENTION GUYS. THEY MADE UP THAT UNIFORM. THEY WENT AROUND TO SCHOOLS TO
TALK SAFETY. HE USUALLY TRAVELED IN THE BACK
SEAT OF A CRUISER OR BY THE HELICOPTER THAT GEORGE
McNALLEY FLEW. WE ALSO HAVE AN ORIGINAL LETTER
FROM THE LUCAS FILMS THAT AUTHORIZED US PERMISSION TO USE
THE DARTH LIKENESS. BUT IT GAVE US CERTAIN
LIMITATIONS ON WHAT WE COULD DO AND NOT DO WITH DARTH. HE HAD TO HAVE A HANDLER BECAUSE
WE DIDN’T WANT DARTH TO DO UN-DARTH-LIKE THINGS LIKE
FALLING DOWNSTAIRS OR WALKING INTO WALLS. [LAUGHTER]
AND THE GUYS THAT MADE THE UNIFORM, DARTH COULDN’T SEE VERY
WELL OUT OF IT SO HE HAD A HANDLER. AND HE COULDN’T SPEAK BECAUSE
THE VOICE OF DARTH WAS COPYRIGHTED SO THEY COULDN’T DO
THAT. THAT LASTED, LIKE I SAID, THE
ORIGINAL “STAR WARS” CYCLE IN THE ’80s DURING BILL ROBERTS’
TERM. IT WAS REAL POPULAR. THERE’S ANOTHER DARTH PICTURE
GETTING READY TO GO IN. THAT’S WHAT THE CRUISERS LOOKED
LIKE WHEN I STARTED. WE HAD A SINGLE BUBBLE LIGHT ON
CARS WE CALLED THEM. AND THERE’S BILL ROBERTS THERE
IN THE TAN SUIT. THIS WAS A FOOTBALL TEAM. FOR THREE YEARS WE HAD A
FOOTBALL TEAM. AND ACTUALLY WE HAVE A MEMBER
HERE, NUMBER 20, IN THE FRONT ROW. GARY BROWN, RAISE YOUR HAND. [LAUGHTER]
[APPLAUSE] THAT’S HIM RIGHT THERE. THERE’S G.Z. WHO WAS IN THAT
PICTURE WITH NIXON. IF YOU WERE ALL PAST MEMBERS,
I’D POINT OUT SOME PEOPLE. BUT THERE’S NO NEED. FOR THREE YEARS, WE HAD A
FOOTBALL TEAM. IT WAS CHARITY FOOTBALL. THEY SOLD TICKETS. THEY FOUGHT AGAINST THE —
FOUGHT AGAINST. THEY PLAYED AGAINST THE FIRE
DEPARTMENT AND THE PARAMEDICS AND THAT KIND OF THING. IT WENT REALLY GOOD ABOUT THREE
YEARS. ONE YEAR THEY WERE WHITE SHIRTS,
ONE YEAR THEY WERE BLUE SHIRTS AND ONE YEAR THEY WERE SOME
OTHER COLOR. BUT I THINK THEY DISMANTLED
MOSTLY BECAUSE, AS THE SHIFT COMMANDER, SOMEBODY WOULD END UP
CALLING IN SICK, I BROKE MY FINGER, I HURT MY KNEE, I BROKE
MY FOOT, INCLUDING GARY. THEY DECIDED THAT THE OFF-DUTY
ACTIVITIES WERE GOING INTO THE REAL-DUTY ACTIVITIES AND THEY
KIND OF PUT A STOP TO IT. WHETHER IT WAS A MUTUAL DECISION
OR A HANDED DOWN DECISION, THEY HAD A LOT OF FUN. SOME MORE THAN OTHERS. ALSO SOME OF THESE PEOPLE IN
THIS ROOM WERE AT THIS CASE. IT WAS UNDER COLEMAN’S. THE SILAKIS’ CASE UP IN TARPON
SPRINGS. IN FACT, NICOLE PROHASKA IS
WORKING ON A DISPLAY NOW THAT INVOLVES THESE BOARDS. THEY WERE TAKEN DURING A DRUG
RAID AND COCAINE WAS HIDDEN IN THE CEDAR BOARDS TO TRY TO GET
THE DOG SCENT OFF THE COCAINE ON TO THE CEDAR. DIDN’T WORK. I REMEMBER WORKING OFF-DUTY ON
THIS JOB BECAUSE IT HAD TO BE GUARDED 24 HOURS A DAY AT THE
TIME. AND RIGHT THERE IS GEORGE
STEFFAN, HE’S ONE OF OUR CHIEF DEPUTIES RIGHT NOW. SO THAT WAS A GREAT CASE. AND NICOLE IS IN CHARGE OF
MAKING A DISPLAY FOR OUR ARCHIVES TO REENACT IT WITHOUT
COCAINE. THERE’S A PICTURE OF EVERETT
RICE WHO WAS ONE OF OUR DETECTIVES AND BECAME SHERIFF
WITH HIS LONG SIDEBURNS. FOR THOSE YOUNGSTERS IN THE
ROOM, TVs ACTUALLY WERE THAT BIG AT ONE TIME WITH ACTUAL
CONTROLS ON THEM. [LAUGHTER]
HARD TO BELIEVE. I THREW THIS PICTURE IN HERE
THAT I DON’T NORMALLY HAVE. I TALK TO HISTORICAL SOCIETIES
AND I TALK TO ROTARIES AND KIWANIS. AND A MEMBER OF CERTAIN AGES
ALWAYS ASK ABOUT RASTIS RUSSELL SO I THREW THIS PICTURE IN JUST
FOR HERITAGE VILLAGE. THAT’S RASTIS IN THE BACK SEAT
OF THIS CAR. THAT’S DEPUTY FULLER IN THE
FRONT. HE WAS A MURDERER. HE KILLED THREE PEOPLE UP IN
PALM HARBOR IN 1949. THEY MADE PLANS TO IDENTIFY WHO
IT WAS. HE WAS OUT SCALPING AND SHERIFF
TUCKER WAS OUT ON POSSE LOOKING FOR HIM. ARRESTED HIM AND TOOK HIM TO
JAIL. AND A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER
RASTIS ASKED FOR AN ASPIRIN. THE NEW JAILER WHICH THEY BLAMED
IT ON TOOK THE ASPIRIN TO RASTIS. I’M NOT SURE WHAT THE SETUP WAS,
WHY HE DIDN’T HAND IT THROUGH THE BARS. THEY SAID HE WAS IN THE BULLPEN
HANDING THROUGH THE GATE THAT’S IN THE BULLPEN. FOR SOME REASON THE JAILER
OPENED THE DOOR, BAD MOVE. RASTIS WAS IN THERE WITH A METAL
PIPE WRAPPED UP IN CLOTH. BEAT THE JAILER AND ESCAPED. SO RASTIS WENT ON THE RUN.
AND THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE STATED IT WAS THE LARGEST MANHUNT IN
PINELLAS COUNTY AT THE TIME. OVER 1,000 PEOPLE WHICH IN 1949
WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE, LOOKING FOR RASTIS. I TALKED TO A MAN WHO SAID HE
WAS 13, GOT ON HIS BICYCLE AND ROAD FROM MADEIRA BEACH TO
CLEARWATER TO JOIN THE POSSE. SHERIFF TUCKER GAVE A SHOOT ON
SIGHT ORDER, TO KILL HIM ON SITE. AND THEY DID FIND HIM IN
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY. AND THEY DID SHOOT HIM. I THINK THEY HAD A LITTLE
CONVERSATION FIRST BUT HE REACHED FOR SOMETHING AND THEN
THEY SHOT HIM. AND APPARENTLY RASTIS’ LAST
WORDS WERE YOU DONE KILLED ME AND I’M GLAD YOU DID. SO THERE YOU HAVE THE TALE OF
RASTIS RUSSELL. AND ACTUALLY IF YOU GOOGLE HIS
NAME, YOU CAN COME UP WITH A SONG THAT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT
RASTIS RUSSELL. HIS ACTUAL NAME WAS JOHN CALVIN
RUSSELL, BY THE WAY. AND BUT JUST GOOGLE RASTIS AND
YOU CAN HEAR THE SONG THAT WAS WRITTEN BY HIM. THAT’S DENNIS HALE. I PUT IT IN THERE TO SHOW YOU
OUR CRUISERS AND WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE IN THE BEGINNING
WITH THE WHITE DOORS. THAT’S SHERIFF JIM COATS. I THINK AT THIS TIME HE WAS THE
CHIEF DEPUTY ALONG WITH THE FOOTBALL TEAMS THAT WE HAD, WE
HAD A BRIEF SERIES, PROBABLY THREE YEARS OF TOP COP RACES. TOP COP RACES WERE DONE AT
SUNSHINE SPEEDWAY AND A FEW OTHER COUNTY SURROUNDING WHERE
THE SHERIFF AND THE CHIEF DEPUTY EXECUTIVE STAFF — THE DEPUTIES,
ANYBODY WHO COULD GET A SPONSOR GOT A RACE CAR.
AND THEY RACED AROUND FOR CHARITY. AGAIN, SIMILAR TO THE LIABILITY
AND PEOPLE GETTING HURT A LOT WITH THE FOOTBALL TEAM, ABOUT
THREE YEARS IT TOOK THEM TO SEE THAT WAS KIND OF A SILLY THING
TO DO WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF EXECUTIVE STAFF AND SHERIFFS, TO
HAVE THEM RACING AROUND IN A CIRCLE AND GETTING IN ACCIDENTS. SO THAT WAS ALSO DECEASED AND
PUT TO DEATH. THAT’S NOT A PUN BECAUSE
APPARENTLY ONE SHERIFF ACTUALLY DID DIE DURING A TOP COP RACE
WHICH PUT AN END TO THE WHOLE THING. THAT IS CHIEF DEPUTY COATS WHO
BECAME SHERIFF. I HAVE PERMISSION TO USE THIS
PICTURE IF ANYBODY ASKS. THAT’S OUR CURRENT SHERIFF BOB
GUALTIERI. [LAUGHTER]
OH MY GOD, I GET A LOT OF THAT TOO.
AND MOST PEOPLE SAY HE HAD HAIR THEN. YES, HE DID HAVE HAIR THEN. THAT’S ONE OF OUR CHIEF
DEPUTIES, GEORGE STEFFAN, AND THIS IS OBVIOUSLY WHEN THEY WERE
IN NARCOTICS. AND THAT’S GARY SWANHART. BACK IN MY DAY AS THEY SAY, WHEN
I WENT TO THE ACADEMY IN 1978, THEY TAUGHT US HOW TO CAPTURE
ALLIGATORS. APPARENTLY, I HAVE TALKED TO
MICHELLE AND DANNY ZITTO IN THE BACK WHOSE DAUGHTER IS A NEW
DEPUTY. THEY DON’T DO THAT ANY MORE,
PROBABLY FOR LIABILITY SAKE. I’M NOT SURE WHY. THAT WAS ALWAYS A STANDOUT WHEN
WE WENT TO THE ACADEMY. MY HUSBAND PAUL IS A RETIRED ST. PETE COP, SHERIFF’S OFFICE. HE LEARNED HOW TO CATCH
ALLIGATORS, TOO. THIS WAS BEVERLY NORCOM DURING
ACADEMY CLASS LEARNING HOW TO CATCH THEM. I PROBABLY DID ABOUT 15 OR 20
CAPTURES IN MY TIME. IT WAS A RARE EXPERIENCE, I’LL
TELL YOU. THIS HERE IS DAVE STERMAN. HE’S STILL WITH US, MIKE, ISN’T
HE? MIKE AND HIM ARE GOOD FRIENDS. HE WAS A WILDLIFE OFFICER AND
CAME OUT TO THE ACADEMIES AND TAUGHT US HOW TO DO IT
CORRECTLY. THERE WAS A CORRECT METHOD. WE ALL CARRIED DUCK TAPE. ALLIGATORS DON’T HAVE ANY POWER
TO OPEN THEIR JAWS. THEY ONLY HAVE POWER TO SHUT. YOU CAN HOLD THEIR MOUTHS SHUT
WITH YOUR BARE HANDS AND YOU CAN TAPE THEIR MOUTH SHUT WITH DUCK
TAPE WHICH IS VERY EFFECTIVE. IF THEY ARE SMALL ENOUGH
ALLIGATORS, YOU COULD HANDCUFF THEIR FRONT LEGS TOGETHER AND
ROPE THEIR BACK LEGS TOGETHER, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE. AND BASICALLY WHEN I DID IT AND
MANY PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM DID IT, WE THREW IT IN THE BACK SEAT OF
OUR CRUISERS AND DROVE THEM OUT TO 49th STREET. THERE WAS A WELLS BROTHER FOR
THOSE WHO HAVE LIVED IN PINELLAS COUNTY LONG ENOUGH. WELLS BROTHER GARBAGE WAS OUT
THERE ON 49th STREET AND HAD A BIG LAKE. WE’D DRAG THE POOR LITTLE GATOR
OUT THERE. AND ALL US DEPUTIES WOULD GET
AROUND AND LAUGH ABOUT WHO WAS GOING TO LET WHAT PART GO FIRST,
YOU KNOW. [LAUGHTER]
AND WE’D TRY TO TIME IT, ONE, TWO, THREE RUN KIND OF THING. SO I DID MORE THAN ONE.
AND WE LET THE GUY GO. AND WE ALL RAN BACK AND JUMPED
ON THE HOOD OF MY CAR. AND THE GATOR KIND OF STOOD
THERE AND WENT “WHAT,” YOU KNOW. AND HE SAUNTERED OFF INTO THE
LAKE. THAT WAS A REAL CLASSIC
EXPERIENCE IN MY LIFETIME. I’M SAD WE DON’T DO IT ANY MORE. AT THIS TIME, THERE WAS ONLY ONE
WILDLIFE OFFICER IN PINELLAS COUNTY, SO THAT’S WHY YOU ENDED
UP DOING IT. APPARENTLY THERE’S MORE THAN
ONE, WITH TRAFFIC YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO IT YOURSELF. BUT I HAVE SEEN THEM CLIMB SIX
FOOT CHAIN-LINK FENCES. I HAVE SEEN THEM CLIMB FOUR FOOT
STONE FENCES. THEY BALANCE ON THEIR BACK TAIL. DON’T GET AROUND THEM. AND THEY CAN OUTRUN A HORSE FOR
A SHORT DISTANCE. SO KEEP THAT IN MIND NEXT TIME
YOU WANT TO GO TALK TO ONE. [LAUGHTER]
THIS IS CATFISH JOHNSON. SAW HIS PICTURE IN THE GROUP OF
10 AT THE AIRPORT. ON THE BACK OF SEEMINGLY LIVE
ALLIGATOR. ANOTHER ALLIGATOR CAPTURE WITH
DUCK TAPE AND THE HANDCUFFS. WE DIDN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. EVERYBODY DID IT. WE ALL KNEW HOW TO DO IT. [LAUGHTER]
THIS WAS A CAPTURE THAT ONE OF OUR FEMALE DEPUTIES MADE NAMED
DEBBIE JUSTIN. SHE PUT THE GATOR WITH HELP IN
THE BACK SEAT OF HER CAR. APPARENTLY HE WAS DISCONCERTED
IN THE BACK SEAT AND DECIDED TO GO UNDER THE FRONT SEAT AND COME
UP INTO HER FRONT SEAT WHILE SHE WAS DRIVING. [LAUGHTER]
YOU CAN SEE OUR COMPUTER IS THERE WE HAD IN THE CARS AT THE
TIME. ABOUT THE TIME HE GOT THERE, SHE
GOT OUT. [LAUGHTER]
BUT HE WAS PROBABLY ONLY ABOUT A 4 FOOTER. AND THEY CAN KIND OF WEDGE THEIR
WAY UNDERNEATH THE SEAT. SHE WAS SURPRISED WHEN HE JOINED
HER IN THE FRONT SEAT. WE HAVE THREE SERIES OF THIS
PICTURE OF THIS ALLIGATOR. THIS IS AL, BIG AL, AL E. GATOR
THAT CAME OUT OF CONRAD MOBILE HOME PARK IN SEMINOLE. HE WAS A LARGE ONE. HE WAS PROBABLY 850 PLUS POUNDS. THERE’S DAVE STERMAN AGAIN, A
LOT OF OUR DEPUTIES. AND THERE IS A MOBILE HOME BACK
THERE. THEY LOVED AL E. GATOR, ALSO
KNOWN AS BIG AL. APPARENTLY BACK IN THOSE DAYS —
AND WE HAVE LEARNED BETTER NOW. YOU DON’T FEED ALLIGATORS WHITE
MARSHMALLOWS BECAUSE THEY MISTAKE DOGS WHO LOOK LIKE
MARSHMALLOWS FOR MARSHMALLOWS. APPARENTLY SOMEBODY CALLED IN
AFTER HE ATTACKED A DOG. SO CALLED US OUT THERE. AS YOU CAN SEE US ALL STANDING
IN THE BACKGROUND. TO GET RID OF AL E. GATOR. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE OWNER OF
CONRAD MOBILE HOME PARK, MR. CONRAD WAS NONE TOO HAPPY WE
WERE OUT THERE REMOVING HIS PRIZE TOURIST ATTRACTION FROM
THE LAKE. MY CAPTION IS WHEN YOU NEED A
TOW TRUCK TO LIFT THE GATOR UP, HE WON’T FIT IN THE BACK SEAT OF
YOUR CAR. THIS GATOR WAS RELATIVELY
FRIENDLY BY DAVE STERMAN STANDARDS. HE WAS LOADED IN THE BACK OF A
PICKUP TRUCK AND DRIVEN TO BUSCH GARDENS WHERE HE LIVED THE REST
OF HIS DAYS IN RELATIVE BIG AL PARADISE. THAT’S BIG AL IN THE BACK OF THE
PICKUP TRUCK. AND THERE’S UNHAPPY MR. CONRAD
SAYING GOOD-BYE TO BIG AL. [LAUGHTER]
OKAY. THIS PICTURE, IT TAKES A LOT OF
EXPLANATION, TOO. [LAUGHTER]
THIS WAS AT THE CHIP FARM THAT’S ON 19 UP IN TARPON, STILL THERE. AT ONE TIME IT WAS A LOT BIGGER
THAN IT IS NOW. AND THAT IS A GORILLA NAMED
TOMMY WITH CLYDE LANIER’S SHIRT ON, CLYDE LANIER’S SHIRT ON.
AND THAT’S THE OWNER, MR. NOEL. HE RAN A CHIMP FARM. AND ACTUALLY HIS GREAT
GRANDDAUGHTER NOW RUNS THE TREASURE ISLAND FUN CENTER ON
SEMINOLE BOULEVARD. SEE ALL THESE TIDBITS YOU ARE
LEARNING TODAY THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU’D FIND OUT? SO I HAVE TAKEN THIS PICTURE TO
HIS GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER AND SHE HAS IT NOW. BUT THIS NEXT PICTURE SHOWS A
PERSONAL CONTEXT BECAUSE THERE’S MIKE COACHMAN, OUR FRIEND THERE
IN THE FRONT ROW BLUE SHIRT, WITH TOMMY. NOW, IF YOU GET WITH MIKE LATER,
HE CAN SHARE YOU SOME FASCINATING TOMMY STORIES. ONE OF WHICH INCLUDES WHEN TOMMY
GOT OUT AND THEY SENT OUT A CALL BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT TOMMY WAS
LOOSE IN THE AREA — AND HE WAS. HE WAS SITTING ON SOME BENCH OUT
IN FRONT OF A BUSINESS IN TARPON SPRINGS. [LAUGHTER]
BUT THE HAND PLACEMENT ON MIKE’S THIGH IS A LITTLE QUESTIONABLE. AS YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THERE. BOTH MIKE COACHMAN AND G.Z. SMITH WENT OUT. WE HAVE PICTURES OF MIKE AND
G.Z. SMITH WITH TOMMY IN A
UNIFORM SHIRT AT THE CHIMP FARM. OKAY, THIS SECTION, WE’RE ABOUT
TO PUT IN EXTRA. THIS SECTION IS THE LAST PART I
HAVE. A LOT OF FIRSTS WE HAVE AT THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. REMEMBER THAT LADY THAT STOOD ON
THE BENCH AT THE COURTHOUSE? THAT WAS HIS WIFE. THAT WAS ONE OF OUR FIRST
DEPUTIES. CARL ALWAYS TOLD ME HIS NAME WAS
HENRY, H-E-N-R-Y. WITH MY FACEBOOK PAGE I BELONG
TO A LOT OF THOSE IF YOU GREW UP IN OLD CLEARWATER PAGES. I GOT ON THERE ONE DAY — I
THINK IT WAS THE OLD CLEARWATER PAGE — AND LOOKING FOR TODD
TUCKER’S RELATIVES BECAUSE I HADN’T BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANY. THIS LADY GOT ON AND SAID MY DAD
USED TO BE ONE OF THE ORIGINAL DEPUTIES. I GOT WITH HER. SHE’S 86, LIVES OUT IN DES
MOINES, IOWA. HER DAD HIS ACTUAL NAME WAS
HENDRY. SO I GOT WITH DORA, THAT’S HER
NAME. SHE SENT ME PICTURES OF HER DAD. THAT’S HER DAD. AGAIN, WE DIDN’T HAVE UNIFORMS
UNTIL 1960. HE CAME FROM SHERIFF
WHITEHURST’S NEIGHBORHOOD, BACK THEN IT WAS CALLED WALL SPRINGS,
PALM HARBOR. SO IT MADE SENSE THAT WHITEHURST
WOULD HIRE SOMEBODY OF HIS NEIGHBORS TO WORK FOR HIM. SO HE HIRED LEONARD HENDRY AS
ONE OF HIS DEPUTIES. LEONARD ONLY STAYED THERE ABOUT
A YEAR WHEN HIS WIFE SAID SHE DIDN’T LIKE HIM BEING A DEPUTY
AND HE WENT TO WORK FOR THE POST OFFICE. NOT SURE IF THAT WAS SAFER OR
NOT. BUT LEONARD HENDRY WAS THERE. SO BECAUSE OF TALKING TO HER AND
GETTING THE PICTURES FROM HER, I WENT OUT TO OUR ARCHIVES AND WE
HAVE A LOT OF LEDGER BOOKS. I WAS ABLE TO FIND WHERE LEONARD
HENDRY MADE AN ARREST JANUARY 17th, 1912. MY SISTER’S BIRTHDAY —
NOT 1912, BUT JANUARY 17th. [LAUGHTER]
SO I SENT THAT TO HER SO SHE COULD FILL OUT HER SCRAPBOOK
WITH THAT INFORMATION, SO THAT WAS A GOOD THING. THAT WAS OUR FIRST JAIL. THAT WAS OUR MORE MODERN JAIL
THAT STILL STANDS TODAY. THAT WAS WHERE THE ORIGINAL
SHERIFF’S OFFICE WAS. THE SHERIFF HAD HIS OFFICE
THERE. THAT WAS THE REC ROOM THERE ON
TOP. WE HAD OUR FIRST JAIL RIOT, OUR
ONLY JAIL RIOT IN 1980 RIGHT THERE. SENT EVERY UNIFORMED CAR OFF THE
ROAD TO THAT RIOT. ONE OF THE LOCAL ATTORNEYS JOSIE
ARSELINO WAS TAKEN HOSTAGE. THEY THREATENED TO CUT A FINGER
OFF FOR EVERY DEMAND THAT WASN’T MET. JOE IS STILL ALIVE AND ON MY
HISTORY PAGE AND HE HAS ALL 10 FINGERS. SO WE STORMED THE FLOOR. I DIDN’T GET TO GO BECAUSE I WAS
THE NEW GIRL. BUT THE GUYS WHO WERE ON THE
FLOOR, LET’S SAY, MADE HIM SORRY THAT THEY HAD STARTED A RIOT. BUT THAT’S THE FIRST AND ONLY
ONE WE HAD. A LOT OF THE EARLY ACADEMY
PICTURES WE HAD WERE TAKEN ON THE STEPS RIGHT HERE. YOU’LL SEE THEM IN A SECOND. THE BUILDING STILL STANDS THERE. IT’S NOT THE JAIL ANY MORE. IT HOUSES LEGISLATIVE COUNTY
OFFICES AND BUILDINGS NOW. BUT THE BUILDING IS STILL THERE. THAT’S DON GENUNG WITH OUR FIRST
RECORDS AND I.D. GUY. THAT’S FOREST PEACOCK. BEFORE THAT, THE DEPUTIES HAD TO
CARRY THEIR OWN PRINT POWDER AROUND AND THEIR OWN CAMERAS AND
DO ALL THAT STUFF. THEY WERE REALLY GLAD WHEN
FOREST PEACOCK CAME ALONG TO TAKE OVER THAT JOB. THIS IS OUR FIRST ACADEMY CLASS
BACK IN ’65. MIKE WAS IN NUMBER TWO. THIS WAS NUMBER ONE. THERE IS G.Z. SMITH IN THE
BACKGROUND. THIS IS ON THE JAILHOUSE STEPS. TRADITIONALLY THERE WAS TWO
TAKEN, ONE ON THE STEPS AND ONE IN THE CHAPEL. THERE’S CARL AS THE CAPTAIN,
ROBERTS, GENUNG. AND I THINK EVERYBODY BUT THREE
PEOPLE HAVE ALL GONE IN THIS PICTURE. OUR FIRST HELICOPTER ARRIVING AT
THE AIRPORT OFFICE. GEORGE McNALLEY, OUR FIRST
PILOT. THERE’S OUR FIRST COMPUTER PUT
IN THE CAR IN 1976. THAT’S WHAT THEY FIRST LOOKED
LIKE. NOW WE DO THEM ON LAPTOPS. I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY BEING IN A
CRUISER WITH THAT MACHINE. AND PEOPLE WOULD LEAN IN THE
WINDOW AND WE’D GIVE THEM DEMONSTRATIONS HOW THE COMPUTER
WOULD WORK BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T BELIEVE WE COULD RUN WARRANTS ON
THEM OR WE COULD TALK TO THE CARS AND TO EACH OTHER ON THEM. WE COULD TALK TO THE DISPATCHERS
ON THEM. THEY WERE AMAZED THAT TECHNOLOGY
EXISTED. AND WE WERE ONES OF THE FIRST IN
THE STATE OR IN THE COUNTRY TO HAVE THOSE COMPUTERS. AND NOW YOU CAN DO ALL THAT ON
YOUR CELL PHONE. BUT AT THAT TIME, IT WAS A BIG
TO-DO THAT WE HAD THOSE. ON THE LEFT SIDE IS CONNIE
JOHNSON. SHE WAS OUR FIRST FEMALE DEPUTY. SHE WAS HIRED AS AN INVESTIGATOR
BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T ALLOW FEMALES TO BE A ROAD DEPUTY AT
THE TIME. CONNIE WAS HIRED AS AN AUTO
THEFT INVESTIGATOR AND SHE WORKED OUT OF THE AIRPORT
OFFICE. AND CONNIE, IT TOOK ME A LONG
TIME TO TRACK CONNIE DOWN. CONNIE LEFT ABOUT TWO YEARS
BEFORE I STARTED, BUT ALWAYS COMPARED TO AND TALKED ABOUT
CONNIE JOHNSON. TOOK ME UP UNTIL ABOUT FOUR
YEARS AGO TO FIND HER. SHE LIVES IN PARISH NOW. CONNIE LEFT US AFTER ABOUT THREE
YEARS AND BECAME A MINNESOTA STATE TROOPER. AND THEN WENT ON TO BE AN M.P. IN THE ARMY AND THE NAVY. CONNIE ON THE WAY TO WORK AT THE
AIRPORT OFFICE ONE NIGHT STOPPED A DUI BY HERSELF, WHICH WAS
UNHEARD OF BACK THEN BEING A FEMALE. SHE MADE AN ARREST AND REMOVED
THE GUY FROM HIS CAR WITHOUT OPENING THE DOOR. [LAUGHTER]
LET’S SAY HE WAS MOVED THROUGH THE WINDOW. AND IN DON GENUNG’S MIND —
FOR ONE, SHE GOT YELLED AT FOR DOING IT. EVERYBODY SAID, WELL, IF YOU CAN
DO THAT, YOU KNOW — AND THEN CONNIE WENT TO JEFF
GENUNG AND SAID, WELL, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY IS HIRING
FEMALE DEPUTIES, SO IF YOU DON’T HIRE A FEMALE ON THE ROAD, I’M
GOING TO GO. HE SAYS OKAY. IN HIS MIND, SHE WORKED
PREVIOUSLY AS A SHOW GIRL IN A CIRCUS AND SHE ALSO WORKED AS A
BARTENDER. SO GENUNG SAYS YOU’VE BEEN
AROUND MEN IN BAR SITUATIONS SO YOU KNOW HOW THEY TALK. YOU APPARENTLY CAN TAKE CARE OF
YOURSELF SO HE HIRED HER TO BE OUR FIRST FEMALE ROAD DEPUTY. ON THE OTHER SIDE I HAVE TALKED
ABOUT AUDIBLE GASPS COMING FROM ROOMS THAT I HAVE TALKED TO. THAT WAS ME. YEAH, I KNOW! LET’S JUST SAY IN CARL’S WORDS
THAT WAS TAKEN A FEW DAYS AGO. [LAUGHTER]
THAT WAS ME 40 YEARS AGO, 4-0 YEARS AGO WITH OUR FIRST
COMPUTERS. AND I THINK MY SISTER MAY HAVE
TAKEN THAT PICTURE. [LAUGHTER]
SHE WAS DOING A RIDE-ALONG WITH ME THAT NIGHT AND WAS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT PICTURE. BUT YEAH, THAT’S ME. LEARNED A LOT SINCE THEN. JOHN CLAUDE WAS OUR FIRST
AFRICAN-AMERICAN DEPUTY HIRED BY GENUNG IN ’62. I CAN TELL YOU AS A FEMALE, I
WAS THE FIFTH FEMALE HIRED ON THE ROAD. IT WAS HARD FOR US BACK IN THE
EARLY ’70s. AS A BLACK MAN IN PINELLAS
COUNTY IN 1962, HE HAD A HARD TIME. HE RECENTLY PASSED AWAY ABOUT
TWO YEARS AGO. BUT FORTUNATELY, THE SHERIFF’S
OFFICE RECOGNIZED HIM AND TOOK HIM OUT TO THE NEW OFFICE AND
GAVE HIM A PLAQUE AND DEDICATED SERVICE THAT HE HAD BACK THEN. BUT I INTERVIEWED JOHN A COUPLE
OF TIMES. HE AT FIRST ONLY PATROLLED IN
HIS COMMUNITY. THEY’D CALL HIM WHEN THERE WAS A
CALL AND HE WOULD LEAVE HIS HOUSE AND GO TAKE CARE OF THE
CALL. UP UNTIL ’66 HE BASICALLY WASN’T
ALLOWED TO ARREST A WHITE PERSON BECAUSE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. SO TALKING TO JOHN CLOUD, HE
REMEMBERS ALL THOSE INSTANCES. AND IN FACT, WROTE ME A
HANDWRITTEN LETTER ABOUT THE THREE OR FOUR MEN THAT MEANT A
LOT TO HIM AND STOOD UP FOR HIM IN THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND I MADE A COPY AND GAVE THAT
TO EACH OF THOSE MEN SO THEY KNEW WHAT JOHN THOUGHT OF THEM. THIS WAS OUR FIRST K-9 SERGEANT. THAT WAS SPOTLIGHT THERE WITH
CARL AND GENUNG. WE ARE NOT SURE WHY THE CHEVRONS
WERE UPSIDE DOWN, BUT HE WAS OUR FIRST K-9 SERGEANT. OUR FIRST FEMALE K-9 DEPUTY,
THAT’S JOAN HALVE. A LOT OF THE ORIGINAL FEMALES
AND I GOT TOGETHER AND WE DID A SERIES OF VIDEOS FOR THE
SHERIFF’S OFFICE. AND JOAN CAME BACK IN TOWN TO DO
ONE FOR US. AND IN FACT, SHE STILL IS A K-9
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI. TO THIS DAY, SHE RUNS A BOMB
DOG. THIS IS OUR FIRST FEMALE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN DEPUTY. THAT WAS DARLENE ALLEN. SHE RETIRED ABOUT FIVE OR SIX
YEARS AGO. WHEN CONNIE LEFT, THERE WAS ONLY
FOUR OF US ON THE STREET AT THE TIME. OUR FIRST DIVE TEAM. OUR FIRST GYM. IT’S CHANGED A LOT FROM THOSE OF
YOU WHO GO TO THE GYM NOW AT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. THIS WAS IN THE BASEMENT OF OUR
SAB BUILDING. THESE LAST COUPLE OF SLIDES, IF
YOU GO INTO THE SAB NOW, YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A SPECIAL
PASS TO GET IN. THERE’S A DISPLAY IN THE LOBBY
NOW THAT WE PUT TOGETHER. THE STETSON HATS ARE THERE. THE HELMETS ARE THERE. THIS IS AN OLD MOBILE POSSE
UNIFORM THAT I GOT. I COULD SPEND ANOTHER HOUR OF
STORIES, BUT I WON’T. SO THIS IS THE LAST SLIDE. [APPLAUSE]

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