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Elmer V. H. Brooks papers

 Collection
Identifier: M129

Overview

Elmer V. H. Brooks was born in Briceville, Tennessee in 1906. By the time he reached fifth grade, he was supporting his family by working in a local coal mine. In the early 1920's, however, he joined the Navy to escape the dangers of the mines. He was attached to the USS Colorado for several years before receiving an honorable discharge in 1926. Brooks then hitchhiked to Boston and married Eileen M. Brooks later that year. Elmer Brooks began his career in law enforcement in 1937 as a patrolman at District 13, Jamaica Plain. The father of five was then 31 years old. Brooks was promoted to detective in 1951, and his long police career involved him in many of Boston's most famous events, such as the Coconut Grove fire, the Brinks Robbery, and the case of the "Boston Strangler." In 1961 he was promoted again to Sergeant. In 1968 Detective Brooks received the ultimate honor, being named Boston's outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He retired in 1970, honored by his peers as a "cops cop." His badge number, 510, was retired with him in recognition of his 33 years of dedicated service to the people of Boston. He died in 1984. Brooks' wife, Eileen M. Brooks also distinguished herself as an advocate for Massachusetts policemen and their families. In 1944, she helped form the Boston Police Wives Association (BPWA), which advocated for better salary conditions for policemen and their families in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She also served as president of the organization and editor of the organization's newsletter, "Roll Call."

Dates

  • 1924-1998 (Bulk 1937-1968)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Elmer V. H. Brooks was born in Briceville, Tennessee in 1906. By the time he reached fifth grade, he was supporting his family by working in a local coal mine. In the early 1920's, however, he joined the Navy to escape the dangers of the mines. He was attached to the USS Colorado for several years before receiving an honorable discharge in 1926. Brooks then hitchhiked to Boston and married Eileen M. Brooks later that year.

Elmer Brooks began his career in law enforcement in 1937 as a patrolman at District 13, Jamaica Plain. The father of five was then 31 years old. Brooks was promoted to detective in 1951, and his long police career involved him in many of Boston's most famous events, such as the Coconut Grove fire, the Brinks Robbery, and the case of the "Boston Strangler." In 1961 he was promoted again to Sergeant. In 1968 Detective Brooks received the ultimate honor, being named Boston's outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He retired in 1970, honored by his peers as a "cops cop." His badge number, 510, was retired with him in recognition of his 33 years of dedicated service to the people of Boston. He died in 1984.

Brooks' wife, Eileen M. Brooks also distinguished herself as an advocate for Massachusetts policemen and their families. In 1944, she helped form the Boston Police Wives Association (BPWA), which advocated for better salary conditions for policemen and their families in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She also served as president of the organization and editor of the organization's newsletter, "Roll Call."

Chronology

  • 1906 Elmer V. H. Brooks is born in Briceville, Tennessee.
  • 1923? Enlists in the Navy out of Memphis, TN.
  • 1926 Discharged from the Navy, marries Eileen M Brooks.
  • 1937 Hired as patrolman for District 13.
  • 1944 Eileen M. Brooks forms the Boston Police Wives Association (BPWA).
  • 1951 Elmer Brooks is promoted to police Detective.
  • 1961 Promoted again to police Sergeant.
  • 1968 Receives the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.
  • 1970 Retires.
  • 1984 He and his wife die within months of each other.
1906
Elmer V. H. Brooks is born in Briceville, Tennessee.
1923?
Enlists in the Navy out of Memphis, TN.
1926
Discharged from the Navy, marries Eileen M Brooks.
1937
Hired as patrolman for District 13.
1944
Eileen M. Brooks forms the Boston Police Wives Association (BPWA).
1951
Elmer Brooks is promoted to police Detective.
1961
Promoted again to police Sergeant.
1968
Receives the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.
1970
Retires.
1984
He and his wife die within months of each other.

Extent

0.45 cubic feet (1 container, 1 flat file folder)

Language

English

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.

Physical Location

59/4, FF5/D1

Bibliography

  • Smith, E. Stratford. May 1992. Oral History Collection: Robert A. Brooks. The Cable Center. http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=212
Title
Finding aid for the Elmer H. Brooks Papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by David Barnett
Date
February 19, 2007
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US