Tag Archives: canal-zone-police

My Chance Now!

This is an image from 1937 of some motorized Canal Zone Policemen.  I was grateful for the cop's intervention that day in front of the Commissary. Image thanks to czimages.com.

This is an image from 1937 of some motorized Canal Zone Policemen. I was grateful for the cop’s intervention that day in front of the Commissary. Image thanks to czimages.com.

Yes, they had closed in on me that night at the commissary until a Canal Zone policeman, who had overheard their taunts and all the commotion said, “Get out of here and leave that boy alone!” This was one time that I had been really glad to see a zone police officer because his instinct had immediately told him that they were about to attack me and steal all the groceries my Aunt had bought from the commissary leaving all of her packages strewn all over the sidewalk. Continue reading

“Reasonable Cause


Here is the memorandum from the Canal Zone Chief of Police in 1945, A.O. Meyer, delineating what his department determined was the course of events in the homicide investigation that gave the Canal Zone Police “reasonable cause” to detain my father, Cobert Reid, and hold in him jail. Continue reading

“On Suspicion:” The Arrest and Imprisonment of Cobert Reid

In researching archival articles for the preceding police cases we were happy, after more than sixty years of searching for records regarding the incidents surrounding the arrest and imprisonment of my father that I mentioned in my article “A Clear and Clean Character” to have found an article shedding some light on the details of the entire matter that so affected our family. Continue reading

The Panama Canal Zone Police- Part II

Penitentiary at Culebra 1908. Image thanks to the National Archives.

There have been several theories suggested for the relative peace and order that existed in the Canal Zone. The “effectiveness of the police forces and the low level of serious crime”, according to Michael Conniff,* could have been linked to “the British claim to have taught their subjects respect for law and order. Secondly, the work regime of 60 hours a week kept the men under close watch during their waking hours and left little time or energy for getting into trouble afterwards. Third, the summary,” and, many times, arbitrary,” justice meted out by U.S. and Panamanian courts was so harsh as to be a ‘positive’ restraint.”* Continue reading

Joshua Austin Reid- From Dispensary Director to New Dangers

The former Gorgas Hospital atop Ancon Hill in Panama. Image thanks to Panamacz.com

Image thanks to Panamacz.com

Although the widow Reid did not elaborate much on the issue of my grandfather’s employment, Joshua Reid seemed always to occupy a position of leadership in the community. As Director of the Silver Roll Employees’ Dispensary he was also responsible for overseeing Public Health in those parts of the segregated Panama Canal Zone and as director one of his important duties was the identification and control of vectors against all sicknesses. Continue reading