Piece of Corpus Christi police history makes its way home
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A Corpus Christi animal hospital wanted to help the police department, so they donated $3,000 for equipment. Here's what they got. Alexandria Rodriguez, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Nancy Deviney is a history buff. In fact, it's her job.

But Deviney, executive director of the Texas Tropical Trail Region of the Texas Historical Commission, didn't expect to be an important part of Corpus Christi's history.

It all started with a phone call to Celeste Hogan, a volunteer with the Corpus Christi Police Department. Deviney wanted Hogan to speak at a commission event. 

"I mentioned I had a relative that worked at the Corpus Christi Police Department," Deviney said. "Then she told me he was a former chief of police and asked if I could help fill in any blanks."

That former chief of police was her grandfather, James B. Shaw. He served as police chief from 1924 to 1931, she said. 

During Shaw's time as police chief, the city had 12 police officers, according to the yearbook. 

"At one time the Corpus Christi Police Force numbered 16 men, but the police have cleaned up the city, making it unnecessary to employ more than the present force," the yearbook read. "Chief Shaw enforces the liquor and gambling laws, he keeps the speeders within bounds and finds time to assist government officers in the performance duties."

With the help of Deviney and her sister, Melissa Williams, the department was able to see Shaw's face for the first time in a Texas police officers' yearbook from the 1920s. Deviney and Williams also donated a sword from his time at Texas A&M University, his badge and the book.

Those items will be added to the department's museum, which is in the works, Chief Mike Markle said. So far the museum has badges, photos and equipment of former police officers.

"This has been a big endeavor for us. There's a blanks that need to be filled in," he said. "Corpus Christi is rich in history. We need to capture as much of that as we can."

Markle also gave Deviney two department challenge coins. One was a coin in honor of fallen police officers.

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