On this day, Nov. 4, in 1955, August Vollmer, considered to be the father of modern law enforcement, took his own life at age 79 rather than be bed-ridden with cancer.

Vollmer became a Berkeley, Calif., hero in 1904 when he leapt onto a runaway freight train and prevented a terrible collision with a passenger coach.

As the chief of the Berkeley Police Department, from 1909 to 1931, Vollmer lead a national movement to make police officers more professional.

He is credited with the first scientific analysis of blood, fibers and soil, the first police motorcycle patrol, the first lie detector and the first School of Criminology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Vollmer's ideas helped set the standard for many agencies throughout the country.

?- Scott McCabe