Police Buildings: Sixth Precinct, 3333 E. 55th, ca 1882

As early as 1869, the patrolman of the Sixth Precinct reported to the Forest Street station house in the Third Precinct, since they did not have a station house of their own.  In those early years, the Sixth Precinct ran “From Willson avenue along Quincy street to the city limits, along the city limits to the Cuyahoga river, along the river to the south line of the Fourth Ward, along the south line of the Fourth Ward to the south line of the Sixth Ward, along the south line of the sixty Ward to Wilson Avenue along Willson Avenue to Quincy street.”

Sixth Precinct station house – 1940
Patrol Station #4 and Sixth Precinct station house

In the end of 1882 and beginning of 1883, the Cleveland Police Department went through a major reorganization, surpassed only by the enactment of the Metropolitan Police Act in 1866.  Precinct boundaries and the numbering system were revised and there was a wholesale re-distribution of police officers. And the Sixth Precinct got its station house. Built in late 1882 on Willson Avenue (now E. 55th) near Broadway, the Sixth Precinct Station House cost $5713.25.

Map drawn by A. Zeverina, 1884
Cuyahoga County Map, 1898
Cuyahoga County Map, 1927-1937

Patrol Station #4 was built next door a few years later. The station housed the officers of the Sixth Precinct until it was closed over neighborhood objections in late 1938 during Eliot Ness’ major reorganization of the police department. 

Patrol Station No 4 – 1940
6th Precinct Collar Insignia

The delegation elected officers to present their demand for equal time at Boystown. (l to r:) Dorothy Kleinschmidt, Secretary; Irene Dolnacko, President; Dorothy Fulton, Vice President; Dorothy Beal, Treasurer.

In 1939, the Sixth Precinct Station house was one of six vacant precinct stations converted into a Boys Town Recreation center by Safety Director Eliot Ness.  Organized to combat juvenile delinquency, Boys Towns provided a variety of services and support centered on crime prevention to boys aged 8-18. It wasn’t long before the a large delegation of local girls demanded “for equal rights in the Boystown” and two nights a week set aside exclusively for them. After the demise of the Boystown at the old Sixth Precinct Station, the building continued to be used as a “teen-age canteen” until it was abandoned and eventually torn down.