Served: 30 years
June 14, 1937 to August 6, 1967
Al was born March 5, 1916 to Albert L. and Frances (Ruilmann) Weller. He graduated from Roger Bacon High School in 1934.
Al joined the Cincinnati Police Division as a Police Recruit on June 15, 1937. On August 1, 1937 he was assigned to District 1 (1024 York Street) for training and promoted to Patrolman on September 13, 1937.
Patrolman Weller was inducted into the United Army on August 4, 1941 and granted a 1-year leave of absence from the City. He was first trained in artillery, but four months later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was reassigned to military police duty and assigned to a prisoner of war camp for the next three years. On March 18, 1944, while assigned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Sergeant Weller married Virginia Troutman in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Staff Sergeant Weller was honorably discharged on November 15, 1945 and returned to the Cincinnati Police Division.
On December 1, 1945, Ruth R. Weller, Patrolman Weller’s sister, joined the Cincinnati Police Division as one of the first four Policewomen in the department’s history.
On August 5, 1952 Patrolman Weller was promoted to Sergeant, issued Badge Number S-25, and assigned to District 7 (813 Beecher Street). On November 13, 1960 Sergeant Weller transferred to District 2 (314 Broadway).
On August 6, 1967 at 5:15 a.m., the general manager of the Jubilee party boat, Jim Parfitt, was having a problem with a disorderly party of 300 males and females aboard. He docked at the Public Landing and contacted Cincinnati Police Communication (Station X) via marine radio. Station X notified Sergeant Weller who directed all District Two cars to respond to the scene.
Upon arrival, police found occupants of the boat pushing others in order to get off more quickly and a few were jumping over the side into the water. Patrolman Michael Landor and Sergeant Weller boarded the boat and found the boat in shambles. The cash register had been broken into and emptied; tables, chairs, bottles, and other debris were strewn throughout; and Tommy Harvey Chandler (22) was breaking into a cigarette machine. Both officers arrested Chandler and he resisted. Near the end of the struggles and handcuffing, Boat Captain Parfitt saw something strike Sergeant Weller in the back. Patrolman Lander put Chandler into a chair as he saw Sergeant Weller fall to the deck. The life squad was called and “officer down” was broadcast on all channels.
Almost every available police unit in the city responded. Patrolman Charles Horstman, running a District 7 Scout Car, Call Number 715, arrived and found Sergeant Weller lying on the boat, unconscious, and unresponsive. With the riot still in progress, Horstman and two other officers carried Sergeant Weller off the boat to an awaiting Fire Department ambulance (Call Number 187). Fire EMS personnel administered oxygen and took Sergeant Weller to General Hospital.
Sergeant Weller was pronounced dead on arrival. It was later determined that Sergeant Weller had died from a massive coronary.
Sergeant Weller was survived by his wife of 23 years, Virginia (Troutman) Weller; children, Mrs. Doris Bartels, Mary Ellen Weller, Theresa Weller, John Weller, and David Weller; mother, Frances Weller; and siblings, George Weller, Esther Weller, Mildred Weller, and Policewoman Ruth R. Weller.
Chandler was arraigned in front of Judge Clarence Henning and defended by attorney Walter Houston on August 9, 1967 on charges of assault and battery of police and resisting arrest. On September 2nd the Hamilton County Grand Jury reported an indictment for Malicious Destruction of Property. On September 11th, Judge George S. Heitzler found him guilty of assault and battery and sentenced Chandler to one year in the Workhouse.
During 1995, several officers were requested to surrender badges that they had been issued that had been previously issued to an officer that died in the line of duty. Sergeant Michael Cureton voluntarily surrendered Sergeant Weller’s Badge Number S-25 and the Cincinnati Police Division retired the number.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was further researched and revised on July 29, 2018 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Archivist, with assistance from Cincinnati Police Sergeant Charles Horstman (Retired). All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.