Captain George B. Dooley | Cincinnati Police Division

Captain George Dooley as a Lieutenant
Captain George Dooley as a Lieutenant

Age: 52
Served: Almost 30 years
December 1, 1913 to August 21, 1943

 

BACKGROUND

George Dooley was born August 1, 1891 to electrician, William P., and Clara (Heltman) Dooley and grew up in Northside. George worked as a machinist before joining the Cincinnati Police Department on December 1, 1913 as a Substitute Patrolman. He was promoted to Patrolman on March 14, 1914.

He left the Department during July 1918 to join the United States Army. By September he was in Battery F of the 12th Field Artillery fighting in the Battle of Argonne Forrest almost to the end of the war. He was honorably discharged August 14, 1919 and returned to the Police Department.

Patrolman Dooley was promoted to Sergeant on May 1, 1925 and Sergeant of Detectives one year later.

During May 1927, Detective Sergeant Dooley and Detective Schwach investigated and successfully prosecuted the murder of Patrolman Olin Wilson. He was shot once in an arrest of bootleggers.

He was promoted again to Lieutenant on March 1, 1928, and to Captain on December 16, 1941, at which time he was assigned as Superintendent of District Four and became one of Chief Weatherly’s most proficient administrators.

By 1943, he, his wife, and his daughter were living at 1101 McLaughlin Place in Mt. Lookout. But, in June 1943, Helen’s heart failed and she died.

 

INCIDENT

Jesse Anderson (40) was mentally ill and had been committed to Longview Hospital during 1937, discharged in 1939 and recommitted in 1941. On June 10, 1943, Anna Belle O’Conner, his sister checked him out of Longview Hospital on a 7-day pass. She did not return him on June 16 as agreed. With only one social worker and 2888 patients, the hospital lost track of Anderson.

Two months later, on Saturday, August 21, 1943, O’Conner called police for assistance with her brother at her medical store at 519 W. 5th Street. She reported that Anderson had taken a pistol from her cash register and threatened to kill her and/or commit suicide.

Patrolmen Walter Sands and William Newbert were also dispatched, but Captain Dooley knew Anderson and thought he could help diffuse the situation. He decided to respond with Patrolman Leroy Brown. On the way, Sands and Newbert’s patrol car was struck by another vehicle and overturned at Central Parkway and Race Street. They may not have known it, but Captain Dooley and Patrolman Brown arrived without backup.

As they started through a passageway toward the rear yard, Anderson was at the other end and fired two quick shots from the rear yard. Both officers fell.

As reinforcements arrived on the scene, Anderson barricaded himself in an outhouse. Detective Sergeant George Ebbers fired a gas bomb into the privy. Anderson exited with a Spanish-made revolver in his hand and fired at Sergeant Harry Singleton and Patrolman Frank Magin. He was met with a fusillade of police bullets; six of which found their marks in the head and chest. In all, he had fired all six shots from the revolver.

Patrolman Brown had been shot through the right side of the neck, between the windpipe and jugular vein. He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital then transferred to General Hospital in serious condition.
Captain Dooley had been shot through the heart and killed instantly.

 

FUNERAL

Captain Dooley was predeceased by his wife, Helen (Green) Dooley and youngest brother, James E. Dooley. He was survived by his parents; daughter, Rosemary Dooley (13); and four siblings, William Dooley, Jr., Mrs. Clara Vonderheide, Mrs. Cecilia Wolf, and Joseph Dooley.

Captain Dooley was laid out at Charles A. Miller Sons Funeral Home at 4138 Hamilton Avenue on August 24, 1943. On Wednesday, August 25, 1943, at 10 a.m. funeral services were held at the Church of Our Lord Christ the King on Linwood Avenue. His pall bearers were Captains Walter Martin, George Pearcy, Willard Elbert, Mack Hall, and Walter Fricke and Lieutenant George Ertel (Captain Dooley’s successor). Honorary pallbearers included Captain Patrick Hayes, Lieutenants John Oman and Harry Tobertge, and Detectives Albert Schwach, Adolph Mezger, and John Tebbe. He was buried at St. Joseph New Cemetery on August 25, 1943 exactly two months after his wife.

 

EPILOGUE

An abundance of flowers were distributed to area hospitals, some of which found their way in Patrolman Brown’s room as he recuperated in General Hospital.

Patrolman Brown survived his wound, but his voice was affected the rest of his life. He returned to his career and was later promoted to Detective then to Sergeant and retired twenty years after being shot, in 1963.

Captain Dooley was the highest ranking Cincinnati officer to have died in the line of duty.

If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati incinnati Police Museum at Director@police-museum.org.

This narrative was revised on June 19, 2014 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer, Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.