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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 1, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Aug. 1, 1921

LONG EXPECTED BLOW UP IN MEDFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT OCCURS, EXPOSURE THREATENED

The long expected has happened and Jack Hempstreet is no longer a member of the Medford police force, having been forced by Chief of Police Timothy early last evening before going on duty to sever his connection with the department. The chief gave Jack his choice of either resigning or being fired, and the night policeman absolutely refused to resign, saying that he preferred to be fired so that he would feel free to go before the people and make some charges in connection with the police department.

Thereupon the chief said: “You’re fired. Turn in your star. Tell the people anything you choose. I welcome any investigation. Come out in the open with whatever is eating you and tell the things you have been running around and secretly telling your friends for months.”

Hempstreet has been one of the best policemen in Medford’s history during the eight months he has worn the badge of authority. Even Chief Timothy gives him credit for this. The sole reason of forcing him to leave the department is assigned by the chief as “lack of harmony.”

“The reason I had to fire Jack, despite his excellent record,” explained the chief today, “is that he had long been telling stories about me around town to his friends and this situation, which I stood ever since the Bulgin revival, finally became intolerable. I had not other recourse to maintain my self-respect other than to force his resignation or to fire him.”

Ex-Patrolman Hempstreet, who has long expected to be fired and was therefore not surprised when the matter was brought to a head last evening, nevertheless is very indignant at his dismissal and threatens to demand a grand jury investigation into the police department affairs extending for over a year back.

Hempstreet says: “The same bootlegging and other influences that got Joe McMahon’s scalp as deputy sheriff are back of my being fired from the police force. They boasted they would get us both and they got us.”

The friction between Timothy and Hempstreet dates back to the time of the Bulgin revival when the evangelist made an attack on Sheriff Terrill and Chief Timothy. Both the sheriff and the chief charge that Deputy Sheriff McMahon and Patrolman Hempstreet, who were close friends, were loading Bulgin and other leaders in the revival with false stories as to the conduct of the sheriff’s office and the police department, in hopes of creating such a turmoil that McMahon would be appointed sheriff and Hempstreet chief of police.

Mayor Gates who returned Sunday afternoon from his vacation, has long been aware of the friction between the chief and patrolman. Two years ago, the mayor and city council gave Chief Timothy authority to hire and fire the members of the police department, and reiterated this authority about six months ago.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com