It has long been a tradition with the Sylvania Police Division that the most senior officer be given the honor of wearing Badge #1. Therefore, out of this tradition, badge #1 has been issued to our most senior officer, Officer Gallup. This history section is dedicated to Badge #1.
Officer Gallup has been employed with the Sylvania Police Division since 1991 and is currently assigned to Community Affairs as a School Resource Officer.
Police Department History
In 1867, the Village of Sylvania was established and at that time, the village council created the position of Village Marshall. This position was filled by G.W. Probert for a term of one year. Prior to this, all law enforcement was by elected constables and justice-of-the-peace officers. When Sylvania became a village, the population was 450 people.
On February 5, 1930, crime in the Village of Sylvania took on a serious nature when Pretty Boy Floyd came to Sylvania and robbed the bank. Below is the story as written by local historian Gaye E. Gindy, a former member of the Sylvania Police Division:
The Farmers and Merchant Bank located on the northeast corner of Main and Monroe Street was robbed by Charles Arthur Floyd (famously known as Pretty Boy Floyd), Frank Mitchell and Jack Arnold – “the Oklahoma Outlaws.” They escaped with $1,720 in cash. It would have been much more, but the head cashier, John Iffland, saw the gangster head toward the bank safe and he shut it, turned the wheel and locked it. The safe now could not be opened. This made Pretty Boy Floyd mad, and in a fit of temper, he struck and kicked Mr. Iffland.
Workers across the street at the filling station saw bank employees lined up along the big window, realized that the bank was being robbed and called the telephone operator, who at that time activated the fire siren. Pretty Boy Floyd, armed with a sawed-off shotgun, and the rest of the gang, armed with handguns, ran from the bank and jumped into a waiting car parked in front, where the fourth member of the gang was waiting to drive them away.
Ralph VanGlahn, constable and fireman, chased the getaway car with Sylvania’s fire truck and was joined by Harry Ries, Sylvania’s assistant fire chief. They pursued the gangsters down Monroe Street to Corey Road, and then over to Sylvania Avenue, but lost them on the way to Toledo.
The Village Marshall position remained in place until February 1948 when Delbert W. Schunight was appointed as Chief of Police. The Police Department consisted of three members, the Chief, a night shift policeman and a relief policeman.
On January 4, 1961, the Village of Sylvania officially became the City of Sylvania with a population of 5,131. Chief Arthur Cole, who had been appointed Chief of Police in 1958, became the first Chief of Police for the city.
On April 1, 1964, City Council and all city offices moved out of the building at the northwest corner of Main and Monroe and moved to their new municipal building located at 6635 Maplewood Avenue. The Sylvania Police Division and City Council are still currently located at this building.
As of 2014, the Sylvania Police Division consists of 33 sworn personnel, seven civilian employees, and 13 citizen volunteers. According to the 2012 U.S. Census report, the City of Sylvania has a current population of 18,892.