PHOTO OF THE DAY: Titusville’s First Police Chief Used Model T As Patrol Car
By Titusville Police Department // August 6, 2015
A.J. Mefford is the first Chief of Police for the City of Titusville. He is wearing what appears to be a Marshal’s badge in the picture below so we are to assume he was a Marshal before becoming our first Chief of Police.
Titusville’s population was approximately 1,500 at this time and there were seven bars in town.
This was most likely the biggest contributing factor to the need for law enforcement and the challenges the Chief faced during this time.
Chief Mefford was our only source of law enforcement during these early years, and in 1929, the Chief’s salary was $125 per month.
Providing the Chief had Sunday’s off, that’s $4.81 a day. A full 12-hour day would yield him a salary of 40 cents per hour hour. That’s a 26 cents an hour increase over 28 years from what our first Marshal was paid.
Chief Mefford used his own vehicle, a Model-T Ford for patrol. We did not have a building to house our police department, so the Chief mainly drove around Titusville and helped when needed.
According to Mefford’s family, Chief Mefford served Titusville off and on for over 20 years. Chief Mefford appears in our City’s Council meeting minutes in 1941, when he once again is elected as Titusville’s Chief of Police.
Although not confirmed, the initials A.J. may have stood for Archie Jean.