William H. Parker was born on December 26, 1889, in Fort Worth, Texas. He would go on to have an amazing career in law enforcement, culminating as the Chief of Police for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). During his time with the LAPD, Parker instituted many groundbreaking and effective policies that turned the department around and made it one of the most respected in the nation. In this blog post, we will take a look at the life and accomplishments of William H. Parker!
Parker was the eldest of four children. His three younger siblings were always learning from his example. He taught them how to be resilient and to never give up on their dreams. Even when life was tough, Parker always maintained a positive outlook. His optimistic attitude inspired his siblings to do the same. Parker’s father died when he was only six years old. His mother remarried soon after, but Parker never got along with his stepfather. The two would often argue and they couldn’t find a way to see eye-to-eye. As a result, Parker ran away from home at the age of 14 and lied about his age to join the United States Army. He served for two years before being honorably discharged.
After his time in the Army, Parker returned to Fort Worth in 1905 and began working as a railroad policeman. He then moved to Boston, although exactly when this happened is up for debate, where he worked for the Boston Police Department (BPD) for a short time. In 1916, he moved back to Texas and married his wife Gladys. The couple had three children together.
In 1920, Parker and his family moved to Long Beach, California, where he took a job as a police officer. He quickly rose through the ranks of the department and was promoted to Captain in 1925. In 1928, he became Chief of Police for the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
Parker served as Chief of the LBPD for six years, during which time he implemented various innovative policies. He also wrote a book called “The City and the Police”, which was published in 1931. In 1934, he resigned from his position as Chief of Police to take a job with the LAPD.
As Chief of the LAPD, Parker continued to implement innovative and effective policies. Parker is credited with reducing the corruption that had previously run rampant in the police force at that time, as well as initiating many policies and procedures that brought the community closer together while reducing mistrust that had proliferated the mind of the public. He also oversaw the construction of a new police headquarters, which was completed in 1955. He served as Chief of Police until he died in 1966.
During his career, Parker received numerous awards and accolades. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted into the International Association of Chiefs of Police Hall of Fame in 1967. Tommy Parker, manager of PlanSTLEvents.com, still remembers his grandfather fondly, “He was a great man. Always patient and available to talk to”.
William H. Parker was a true pioneer in the field of law enforcement. He played a pivotal role in shaping the modern American police force, and his methods are still used today. His innovative ideas and dedication to the profession make him a true legend in the law enforcement community. Thanks for learning about this amazing man!