As the population of Milwaukee spread, so did the need for police service. In 1878 the "West Side Station" or "Third Precinct" was
opened. Located on West Walnut Street between North Sixth Street and North Seventh Street, this station was commanded by a Patrol
Sergeant and staffed by 26 Patrolmen.
In 1886 the station house was moved to West Galena Street between North Ninth and North Tenth Street. The station again moved in
1918 to a newly constructed house at 1747 North Twelfth Street. This building was constructed at a cost of $38,000.
Milwaukee's population expansion to the west caused a move in 1937 to 4715 West Vliet Street. "The Rock", as the station became
known, served Milwaukee until District Three moved to its current site at 2333 North 49th Street in 2001. The current station house also is
home to Milwaukee's 911 Communications Operations Center.
"The Rock" stood waiting for the wrecking ball until 2009 when it was reborn and became the new home of the newly formed
Neighborhood Task Force.
To travel back to some memories and see some faces from "The Rock" from 1986 just click.
|District Three Station
4715 West Vliet Street
1937 to 2001
|Third District / Communications Operations Center
2333 North 49th Street
2001 to Present
|District Three Station and Staff 1932
"West Side Station"
1747 North Twelfth Street
1918 to 1937
1935 Sergeants office inside the "West Side Station." Notice the
spittoons next to each desk.
1935 Office equiped with a cot inside the "West Side Station."
1935 "West Side Station" Switchboard.
1935 Roll call room inside of the "West Side Station."
|Ptlm. Richard Zingler
|Ptlm. Ronald Hogan
|Ptlm. Paul DuPlanty
|Sgt. Micheal Tourmo
|P.O. William Robertson
|Ptlm. Otto Flieth
1907 Members of the Third Precinct "Night Squad."
January 21, 1932
1937 Construction being done on the new Third District Station
1937 Third District's Captain's office during the grand opening.
Reprinted From Milwaukee Magazine
The curious legend of Otzelberger Park.
Leo Otzelberger was the only cop in Milwaukee history to have a park named after him. Well, sort of.
Certain facts are clear. Otzelberger was 6-foot-1 and 300 pounds, and could be a little scary to citizens and fellow cops. Officer Marvin Palk, who
was supervised by Otzelberger, recalls their first meeting. “He was very gruff. He sounded like a mean, mean man. But he was really a pussycat, a
great guy. A voice like gravel, but gentle as a lamb.”
Otzelberger was born in Milwaukee on July 17, 1890, and joined the police force in 1917, becoming one of its first motorcycle cops.
“He was way too big for that motorcycle,” retired officer Howard Maney remembers. “They had to make a special bench seat for him, but he was still
too wide and his butt spilled over each side.”
Otzelberger proudly helped escort such dignitaries as General Douglas MacArthur and Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and
Kennedy. By his retirement in 1962 at age 71, Otzelberger was a legend, one of the oldest and longest-tenured police officers in history. So his
colleagues wanted to show their admiration.
The legend goes that there was an Otzelberger Park on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side. While it wasn’t named for Leo, according to retired cop Rudy
Will, one day a group of police officers stole the park’s sign and hung it from a tree in the little grassy area behind the old 3rd Precinct (47th and Vliet
Street), where Otzelberger ate his lunch every day. And so it became “Otzelberger Park” from 1962 and into the 1990s, finally disappearing in 2001,
when the station moved to its current location at 49th Street and Lisbon Avenue.
However, neither the Wisconsin Historical Society nor Milwaukee County Parks Department has any record of an Otzelberger Park. So the origin of
the sign remains a mystery.
Today, the wooden placard is in the possession of Leo’s great nephew, Detective Brian Otzelberger, and the old “Otzelberger Park” sits overgrown.
Some retired officers would like to rededicate it, but given that the park was never dedicated to begin with, they’ve encountered obstacles.
But they may keep trying because, heck, old Leo was unforgettable. “He was like a father figure,” says officer Rocky Todd. “He would take care of
Vehicle and garage of the "West Side Station."
(Photos courtesy of P.O. Ken Cecil)