Bruno Merz (left & right) was the first Police Chief of New Braunfels. He held that position for 6 years, ending his service in 1936. Previously, the heads of the law enforcement system in New Braunfels were referred to as Marshals or Sheriffs.
& 1931: First Death Penalty Case
The first death sentence to be handed down in Comal County happened in February of 1931 when Chief Red Wing, a traveling stuntman, was convicted of murdering a 2-year old girl. This picture (below) was taken just prior to his execution in Huntsville in November of 1931.
Pictured (above) to the right of Chief Red Wing are City Marshal Bruno Merz along with Deputy Marshals for the City of New Braunfels Bill Salge and Walter “Doc” Scholl. Merz would soon become the first Chief of Police for the City of New Braunfels, with “Doc” Scholl later becoming the second. Pictured to the left of Chief Red Wing is Justice of the Peace Ben Gaust along with Deputy Sheriff August Knetch.
1932: Standard NBPD Patrolman
LEFT AND ABOVE: Circa 1932 - New Braunfels Police Department Patrolman Frank Buske in uniform and standing with his Indian Four motorcycle.
1934: First NBPD Group Photograph
ABOVE: Circa 1934 - The first known group photo of New Braunfels Police Department officers, including Chief Bruno Merz (bottom right corner). The group is standing outside of the original City Hall building on North Seguin Ave. The Police Department’s Headquarters was located in the basement.
1936: Walter A. “Doc” Scholl Becomes Second Chief of Police
LEFT: Walter “Doc” Scholl was born in Comal County in 1901 and was a second generation police officer. He served as the Chief of Police in New Braunfels from 1936 to 1945. Following his death in 1974 he was buried in the Comal Cemetery.
RIGHT: An unnamed collector from Tennessee donated this 1930’s era NBPD badge to add to our collection of historic New Braunfels Police Department memorabilia. The badge, which is made of nickel-plated brass, originally belonged to Chief Scholl and is now featured in a display case at NBPD Headquarters, adding to an ever-growing collection of photos, uniforms, and equipment that remind NBPD employees of the history and tradition of being a police officer in New Braunfels.