Police Specialist Clarence M. Spencer  PS-1 (1938-2019)


The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”



Police Specialist Clarence M. Spencer  PS-1

Spence was born May 25, 1938.  He attended Robert A. Taft High School and graduated in September 1957.

Three months prior to graduating from high school, Spence joined the United States Marine Corps during the buildup of hostilities in Vietnam.  He completed boot camp in San Diego.  After three months of Naval Security at the Indian Island Ammo Depot in Port Townsand, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division (Reinforced) FMF Company C, 3rd Recon Battalion.  Based out of Camp Schwab in Okinawa, he was deployed to various locations in the Western Pacific for the next 14 months.  Corporal (E-4) Spencer was honorably discharged on June 7, 1960.

Spence took a job during January 1961 as an orderly at Cincinnati General Hospital.  During February 1964, he transferred to Veterans Hospital as a Nursing Assistant.

Spence joined the Cincinnati Police Division as a Police Recruit on March 22, 1965.  He was promoted to Patrolman on June 28, 1965, issued Badge 759, and assigned to District 4 (7017 Vine Street).  He was rotated to District 2 (314 Broadway) on July 3, 1966.  He transferred back to District 4 on November 24, 1968.  On July 12, 1970, Patrolman Spencer transferred to the Tactical Patrol Section which had customarily been reserved to Police Specialists.  Two months later, he transferred to the Intelligence Section.  On May 16, 1976, he was promoted to Police Specialist and was issued Badge PS-1.  He transferred to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue) on May 13, 1984.  While on routine patrol on April 4, 1985, he captured a Cincinnati Workhouse escapee who had stolen a car and then abducted a 17-year-old girl.  On October 27, 1985, Specialist Spencer returned to the Intelligence Section.  Almost four years later, he transferred to the Police Academy.  After 3½ years in the Academy and Recruiting Unit, Specialist Spencer retired on January 2, 1993, with 36 years’ service to his country and community and 28 letters of appreciation and/or commendation and the unmitigated, genuine respect of anyone who ever worked with him.

On February 21, 2008, Specialist Spencer, along with Sergeant Marvin Johnson, Sergeant McKinley Brown, and Deputy Earl Price were honored for their service in law enforcement by the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.

Specialist Spencer passed away today, May 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. attended by his wife – two days after his 81st birthday.

He was predeceased by his son, LAPD Police Officer Clarence M. Spencer, Jr. (1991).  Specialist Spencer is survived by his wife of 32½ years, Carol (Kirkland) Spencer; children, Dorene Dillard, Clarise Spencer, Lamont (Mary) Spencer, Libby Felton, Anthony (sic), Angela (Isaac) Dangerfield, LeAnne Palmore, and Daniel (Gabrielle) Palmore; grandchildren, Ivory, Cayla (Chris), Marshalla (Sophen), Chantal, Ciara, Marshall, Joe’l, Nyla, Zachary, Zephaniah, Devin, Douglas, Nehemiah, and Helena; great-grandchildren, Demetrius, Malachi, and Francis; and siblings, Dorothy Spencer and John Smith.

Visitation will be held 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the Greater New Light Baptist Church in Avondale.  A FOP service will be held at 11:45 a.m.  A funeral service will immediately follow.  Interment is  at Vine Street Hill Cemetery.


© 2019 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum





2 thoughts on “Police Specialist Clarence M. Spencer  PS-1 (1938-2019)

  1. Remember (Spence) as one of the best recruits I had the pleasure of putting through the academy. Always a smile. A police officer I am proud to be able to say I was a small part of. Bless him and his family as they can be proud. Sgt. Tessendorf – friend always

  2. My deepest sympathies to the Spencer family. I met Mr Spencer shortly after his son, my partner Clarence Jr. Passed. It was at the memorial ceremony at the LAPD academy. As I approached him, he looked over at me and smiled, “Tony?” He stated, he hugged me, I cried, he comforted me. Clarence Jr. Was a great man. A reflection of his father and his family. Mr Spencer, RIP. You and Jr. Are together now for eternity. God bless you and your family.

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