ABOVE: This group photograph of NBPD officers is believed to have been taken around 1952 (location still unknown), and features Chief Elmo Arnold standing on the far right.
1953: Elmer Harboth Becomes Fourth Chief of Police
Harborth was born in 1905 and
served as the New Braunfels Chief of Police for 3 years from 1953 to 1956. Following his death in 1982 he was buried in
the Comal Cemetery.
1954: Night Shift Patrol
LEFT: Alton Brehm (l) and H.C. Hoffman (r) on night shift patrol in May of 1954.
NBPD Hires Female Dispatcher & Records Clerk
In December of 1955, Mrs. Johnny Schnabel assumed her duties as record clerk and police dispatcher. In an article printed in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, Mrs. Schnabel “invaded a traditionally male department in the city administration in New Braunfels.” Her position was put in place to “release a patrolman from the desk for investigative and patrol duties.”
Her duties also included improving the police department’s record system, specifically so that officers could “determine from the statistics kept what primary causes of accidents are, and in what spheres of traffic safety improvements should be made.”
Weldon Davidson Becomes Fifth Chief of Police
Weldon Davidson (pictured left) was born in 1911 and he served as a police officer in McKinney, TX, and New Braunfels, TX, for a total of 18 years prior to being appointed as Chief of Police.
Davidson was part of a “new look in local law enforcement” according to an article in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung published in April of 1956. Those changes included raising performance standards. The police commissioner at the time told the Herald: “Policemen in New Braunfels are going to receive proper schooling and training in their jobs – and we’re going to do everything possible to give this town the police protection it deserves.”
Davidson served as New Braunfels Police Chief for 6 years, from 1956 to 1962. Following his death in 1992 he was buried in the Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park Cemetery.
New Radios and Filing System
late spring and early summer of 1956, Police Chief Weldon Davidson (pictured
right) implemented several new programs, including continued improvements to
the police department’s filing system, adding “M.O.” files and stolen car
The department’s police radio system,
originally dubbed “no better than a taxi system,” also received a major
upgrade, linking New Braunfels officers with other law enforcement agencies in
the area. The powerful new transmitter
was located on the city water tower off of Hwy 46, connecting a console two-way
set at police headquarters and two mobile units installed in the city’s two
Other programs started by Davidson include
pistol training, professional police training, and an “around-the-clock
crackdown on traffic violations.”
1957: City Buys New Police Car
ABOVE: In February of 1957, the City accepted the bid of Becker Motor Company on an 8-cylinder 197-horsepower Plymouth with standard transmission for its new police car. The vehicle cost $1,878 (minus the $850 offered for trade-in of the department’s 1953 Dodge police car).
1958: NBPD Group Photograph
ABOVE: Officers with the New Braunfels Police Department pose for a group photograph outside of the City Hall building on North Seguin Ave. Chief Weldon Davidson is wearing a white hat on the far left of the front row.