1957, Winter Boots, Debbie Montgomery PDF Print E-mail
Stories - William Francis Skally

Your Grandfather was a true example of what community policing is about. Back in the mid-1950's, I was a young school girl and patrol officer for James J. Hill Elementary School which was located at Oxford and Selby Ave. My patrol duties were located at Marshall and Oxford.

During the winter of 1957, while I was doing school patrol your Grandfather came by during his tour of duty. He was checking in on the school patrols and saw me standing in the deep snow (back when we really had snowy winters) without any boots on my feet. He walked up and asked where my boots were and I told him that I didn't have any. He asked what size shoes I wore and I told him. Later that afternoon he came back to my corner at Marshall and Oxford and handed me a new pair of boots. He told me that he didn't want to see me out without my boots on anymore. That was my first impression of your Grandfather.

I could tell you numerous other stories about your Grandfather from my experiences with him in the Rondo community. The best tribute I can give is to highlight the respect he had in the Black community for his tough love yet caring nature he shared with everyone he dealt with. If Skally came to a house in the Rondo community everyone knew that he had given someone 3 chances, and now it was time to take them downtown.

When he retired, the Rondo community held a community celebration for him to honor his service to our community and it's residents. He will always be remembered as the "first true community police officer". I had the pleasure of knowing and truly respecting the work that he did. Many other community members would second my feelings and have stories to share of his service and commitment to the residents and citizens.

-submitted 4/2007

 

There is a statue in front of 657 Grand Ave depicting this story.  For more information and picture of the statue click here