Madera cops went looking for trouble
For The Madera Tribune
Madera’s police force in 1947. Ernie Fernandez is on the far right.
In 1947, Madera was a peaceful, little town of just over 9,000 people. Most everything seemed to be running smoothly; the town had been fairly calm, and the news was routine.
There was, however, one fly in the buttermilk. A rash of nighttime burglaries had Madera police stumped. Stakeouts, increased patrols, citizen awareness programs — all were equally ineffective. No corrective measure seemed to work.
Police Chief Walter E. Thomas demanded diligence among the members of his department. These break-ins had to be stopped; the public and its property had to be protected. With this admonishment ringing in their ears, officers John Voith and Ernie Fernandez began their nightly patrol on March 6, 1947.