Arthur C. Hohmann

Last updated
Arthur Clarence Hohmann
Born(1895-11-12)November 12, 1895
Died April 9, 1985(1985-04-09) (aged 89)
Police career
Department Los Angeles Police Department
Country United States
US-O10 insignia.svg

Chief of Police 1939-41

Arthur Clarence Hohmann (November 12, 1895 – April 9, 1985) served as Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police from 1939 to 1941, when he voluntarily relinquished the position during a police corruption scandal. Hohmann was the 40th Chief of the L.A.P.D., succeeding acting Chief David A. Davidson in July 1939. He previously had been a lieutenant.

Los Angeles Police Department municipal police department in California

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the police department of Los Angeles, California. With 9,988 officers and 2,869 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the Chicago Police Department and the New York City Police Department. The department operates in an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2) and a population of 4,030,904 people.

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct in which law enforcement officers end up breaking their political contract and abuse their power for personal gain. This type of corruption may involve one or a group of officers. Internal police corruption is a challenge to public trust, cohesion of departmental policies, human rights and legal violations involving serious consequences. Police corruption can take many forms, such as bribery.

David A. Davidson was the 39th Chief of Police of the Los Angeles Police Department, succeeding James E. Davis. Promoted from the rank of inspector, Davidson served as acting Chief of Police from November 19, 1938 to June 23, 1939, and was succeeded by Arthur C. Hohmann, a police lieutenant who was appointed chief by the Police Commission. During his term of office, Davidson authorized policewomen to be armed. Under his directive, in 1939, L.A.P.D. policewomen were ordered to go through fire arms training, after which they were issued .38 caliber revolvers.


Becoming Chief

Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron had preferred that Captain R.R. McDonald become chief, but he left the decision up the Police Commission, which decided to base the appointment on merit. The civil service exam for chief was a two part test, which was traditional with the L.A.P.D., when testing was first implemented for promotions. The first part of an L.A.P.D. civil service exam was written, which accounted for 95% of the score, followed by an oral exam. Those who took the test were given a score and placed on a promotion list, off of which promotions were supposed to be made.

Fletcher Bowron American mayor

Fletcher Bowron was an American lawyer, judge, and politician. He was the 35th mayor of Los Angeles, California, from September 26, 1938, until June 30, 1953. He was the longest-serving mayor to date in the city, and was the city's second longest-serving mayor after Tom Bradley, presiding over the war boom and very heavy population growth, and building freeways to handle them.

In 1939, Mayor Bowron, a reformer who had closed down 600 bordellos in L.A. after assuming office in a drive against corruption, and his Police Commission had all the extant promotion lists jettisoned and new round of testing implemented. The office of chief was officially put up for grabs, and acting chief Davidson declined to test for it.

The written exam for chief was undertaken by 175 candidates. Of these, 31 qualified to take an oral examination. Lieutenant Hohmann placed first on the list of candidates and thus won the position, which surprised many. (Acting Captain William H. Parker, a future police chief who is credited with cleaning up the L.A.P.D. during the 1950s, placed eighth.) Mayor Bowron appointed Hohmann chief as the official selection of the Police Commission. The members of the Commission had been personally appointed by Bowron.

William Henry Parker III was the police chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and has been called "Los Angeles' greatest and most controversial chief of police". He was the longest-serving police chief at 39 years on the force. The former headquarters of the LAPD, the Parker Center, was named after him.


Hohmann's reign as L.A.P.D chief was brief. During his time as chief, he created a new headquarters division, which he himself personally oversaw with Captain McDonald as his administrative officer.

He was succeeded by Clemence B. Horrall on June 16, 1941, after he voluntarily took a demotion to deputy chief after he had become ensnared in a police corruption trial that had embarrassed Mayor Fletcher Bowron. Once Horrall became chief, he demoted his former mentor to lieutenant. After accepting the demotion, Hohmann sued the L.A.P.D. to get his rank restored. The police corruption trial and Hohmann's struggles with Horrall further upset an already demoralized police force. [1]

Clemence Brooks Horrall was Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police from June 16, 1941, when he succeeded Arthur C. Hohmann to serve as the 41st Chief of the L.A.P.D., to June 28, 1949, when he resigned under pressure during a grand jury investigation of police corruption. Clemence Brooks Horrall was born in Washington, Indiana and graduated from Washington State University. Horrall had become chief when Hohmann, under pressure from Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron, voluntarily took a demotion to deputy chief after he had become ensnared in a police corruption trial that had embarrassed the mayor.

Ironically, Horrall himself would resign as chief in 1949, when he too became ensnared in a police corruption scandal during the Brenda Allen vice scandal. [2] Horrall had become chief when Hohman, under pressure from Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron, stepped down.

Brenda Allen was a madam based in Los Angeles, California, whose arrest in 1948 triggered a scandal that led to the attempted reform of the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D.). Allen received police protection due to her relationship with Sergeant Elmer V. Jackson of the L.A.P.D.'s administrative vice squad, who reportedly was her lover.

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  1. Buntin, John (2009). L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City. Crown. pp. 94–95. ISBN   978-0-307-35207-1.
  2. "Clemence B. Horrall". L.A.P.D. Online. Retrieved 15 August 2011.

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Police appointments
Preceded by
David A. Davidson
Chief of LAPD
Succeeded by
Clemence B. Horrall