1960 – Keep Pace with City’s Rapid March of Progress

1960, January Tennessee Law Enforcement Journal

Murfreesboro’s 23-man police force is not only keeping pace with the city’s rapid march of progress, but in the same light finds time to express itself as a sincere civic minded organization.

The department headed by veteran Chief Claude Vance was instrumental in the formation of the Hendon-McClanahan Lodge No. 12, Fraternal Order of Police, which as one of its annual projects, sponsors a six-team baseball league which accommodates around 150 boys of the little league class. The FOP lodge was chartered after Lewis Hendon and Herbert McClanahan were both killed in the line of duty. The lodge has 35 active members with Sgt. Jimmy Lynch as president. Besides Murfreesboro Police, members come the from Tennessee Highway Patrol and salaried deputy sheriffs. Lt. John D. Sanford of the Highway Patrol is vice president of the lodge.

In the line of progress and expansion Murfreesboro has witnessed during the post World War II years, the police department has expanded its force one-third, established a system of records and identification and has moved into new headquarters in the ultra modern city hall.

Also being established in line with the system of records and identification is a mug file for the convenience of law enforcement officers.

The force is comprised of Chief Claude Vance, Capt. Bobby Lynch, four lieutenants, six sergeants and eleven patrolmen.

Experience on the Murfreesboro force ranges from Chief Vance’s 28 years years on down to the newest patrolman. Two members have availed themselves of special FBI training to further their careers in the field of law enforcement. They are Captain Lynch and Sgt. Robert Blanton.

Both Blanton and Lynch are schooled in fingerprinting. Blanton is also an accomplished photographer and is well on his way toward establishing a complete mug file.

Lieutenants on the force are William Chambliss, Ernest Carlton, Robert Goodwin and Ralph Vance. The sergeants are Jimmy Lynch, Hoyte Tolbert, Harry Pate, Houston Carlton, James Baskin and Robert Blanton.

All lieutenants and sergeants are men with years of experience capable of showing the ambitious young men the way toward a successful career as a member of the Murfreesboro Police Department.

Chief Vance, who was advanced to the highest position a short time ago, is one of Middle Tennessee’s most respected law enforcement officers, He is especially regarded for his knowledge of the criminals in Murfreesboro and how they operate.

Capt. Lynch is a young man in his thirties with an awful lot of experience in the position of leadership for a man his age.

So far as the plant is concerned, Murfreesboro’s Police Department is well equipped. As previously mentioned the headquarters is as fine as can be found in the state. In the new city hall are modern offices, detention room, lounge room, chief’s office, interrogation room, dark room, and a model radio room equipped with with the latest type equipment designed to cover a wide area. In recent years the station has jumped from a base station and two mobiles to a base and 23 mobiles. The station accommodates the Smyrna police, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the Fire Department, Civil Defense and Middle Tennessee State College Patrol.

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