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Anaheim Police Department History: 1940

1940's

December 7, 1941, is a day that will forever be remembered by all Americans. A surprise attack by Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor forced the United States into World War II. As military forces sprang into action, so did the entire population of the United States.

Chief Bouldin wanted to make sure that his department was ready for any and all emergencies, civil or otherwise. With the threat of war to the California coast, Chief Bouldin sent some of his officers to a special F. B. I. training class in June of 1941 to prepare for civil defense. Through this training, the Anaheim officers were prepared to assume the wartime duties of combating sabotage and espionage, along with handling subversive activities in general throughout the city. The department formed a specialized unit of citizens under the auspices of the Civil Defense. Two hundred twenty-five of Anaheim's male citizens were called upon to become members of the new Auxiliary Police Force. Auxiliary policemen were trained to protect their community in time of immediate war. Outfitted with special armbands, whistles and nightsticks, the auxiliary police met regularly with full time officers to receive training and instruction.

On November 4, 1942, a regular meeting of the Anaheim City Council was being held, with all department heads submitting their monthly reports. When it came time for the Police Chief to give his report to the council, Bouldin informed the council that he was resigning as Police Chief to take effect immediately. Council members, the press and citizens alike were stunned by the news. It was later reported that the resignation came as great a surprise as the recent bombing of Pearl Harbor. Faced with the loss, the Council acted quickly to name a new Chief.

1942 - 1946 - TEED LEON WILDER

The City Council immediately appointed Sergeant Teed Leon Wilder as the new Chief of the Anaheim Police Department. Chief Wilder accepted the appointment and duties, which would earn him an annual salary of $2,289.18. Hired by the Anaheim Police Department on November 15,1925, Teed L. Wilder progressed steadily to the top position of the department. Teed initially served as a patrolman and was later elevated to the rank of Sergeant. While under the command of Chief James Bouldin, Sergeant Wilder served as his acting Assistant Chief for some time. Criminal activity throughout the city remained relatively low. Major problems encountered by the department in 1942 centered on the activities of gangs of ruffians and hoodlums, then referred to as "pachucos." In order to curb their activities, Peace Officers throughout Orange County started a drive to rid all cities of the pachucos. On November 24, 1942, the Orange Daily News reported that in Anaheim "the boys who wear badges" arrested five Stanton men for disturbing the peace. When the officers stopped the men, they found a blackjack in the car. Since no one claimed the weapon, all five men received a 30-day sentence. Monday April 12, 1942 began the first official training session for Anaheim Police Officers. City Attorney Leo Friis began holding meetings with officers twice a month, explaining laws of arrest, law violations and many other topics which he felt would help them in understanding their duties better. The activities and training of the Auxiliary Police Force continued in full stride. In April of 1942, Chief Wilder expanded the volunteer unit by recruiting women into action. Fearing that the majority of the male members would be working during daytime hours, therefore unable to spring into action, Wilder appointed 38 local women into the Auxiliary unit. Training and equipment issuance began immediately. Fearing for their safety, the department instructed female members that they would be activated during the daytime hours only. Shortly after a city council election on April 9, 1946, the new council met and made important changes in the administration of the Police Department. Without notice, they declared the office of Police Chief to be vacant, thus removing Teed Wilder from his office and terminating his employment. They named Mark A. Stephenson as the temporary replacement.

Publicly, no official reason for the change was ever made, but those within the department, and throughout the city, indicated that Chief Wilder "dabbled in
politics," supporting a certain unsuccessful faction for election to the city council.
Chief Wilder moved to Long Beach and entered private business. Teed Leon Wilder passed away in 1953 in the City of Long Beach.

11946 - 1969 - MARK ANSEL STEPHENSON

A native of Iowa, Mark Stephenson came to California in 1924. His brother-in-law was employed by the Anaheim Police Department as a motor officer under
Chief John S. Martin.

On July 6,1927, Mark Stephenson joined the fourteen member Department as a relief patrolman at a salary of $150 a month. On October 1, 1928, Chief James Bouldin hired Mark Stephenson as a full-time officer. By 1938, Stephenson was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, but in 1942, he left the department to serve in the Navy. In 1944, Mark Stephenson completed his tour in the Navy and expressed a desire to return to his former job as a Sergeant with the Anaheim Police Department. Because of a disagreement with Chief Wilder, the position of Sergeant was no longer available. On the orders of the City Council, Chief Wilder reinstated Stephenson as an employee of the Anaheim Police Department, placing him a newly created position of Assistant Chief. On the evening of April 9, 1946, at about 10:00 p.m, Mark Stephenson received a telephone call from the City Council informing him that Teed Wilder was no longer the Chief of the Anaheim Police Department.

Stephenson was further informed that he was selected to assume the position of temporary Chief until a replacement could be found. This date marked the last time that Mark Stephenson wore the traditional uniform of the Anaheim Police Department as he chose to wear non-uniform suits. After a brief period in this temporary position, the City Council chose Mark Stephenson to fill the permanent position of Chief. By now, the Anaheim Police Department had grown to employ nineteen police officers. Sometime around 1947, Chief Stephenson changed the style and colors of the uniforms. Previously dressed in navy blue uniforms, officers now donned khaki colored uniforms.

Along with changing the color of the uniforms, distinctive shoulder patches were added to identify officers as members of the Anaheim Police Department. In reflecting back to these times, Chief Stephenson recalls that the uniforms were changed because the traditional blue uniforms were found to be too warm and uncomfortable for the typical Southern California weather.