Former Texas chief
called "policeman's policeman"
[Taylor, TX]

Monica Polanco American-Statesman Staff
December 28, 2000, Thursday
Copyright 2000 The Austin American-Statesman
Austin American-Statesman
December 28, 2000, Thursday

(TAYLOR, Texas) -- In the days when jails were the only option, former Taylor Police Chief A.O. "Pete" Schier would bring juvenile delinquents to his home.

"They didn't have juvenile detention centers" in the '50s, said Schier's daughter, Justice of the Peace Judy Hobbs . "It didn't matter if they were males or females. Mom would bathe them and feed them until they could be returned to the appropriate family."

Schier, 92, died Tuesday night at Temple Hospital of natural causes. He was one of the longest-serving police chiefs in Taylor. Last year, the city named its new police station in his honor.

Schier joined the Taylor Police Department as a patrolman in 1942, before patrol cars and two-way radios were used, Hobbs said.

"They had to go to a pay phone, and they patrolled on foot," Hobbs said. "He would have to call in to see if they needed anything. It was dangerous because they were isolated."

Schier was promoted to police chief 12 years later. He retired in May 1977 and became interim sheriff of Williamson County in September 1977 after former Sheriff August Bosshard died.

Schier resigned in 1978, when Jim Boutwell was elected sheriff. He chose not to run for the post because he had pancreatitis, Hobbs said. "He felt like his health was an issue, and he didn't want the people saddled with a sick sheriff," she said.

Schier developed a reputation as an ethical police chief with high standards, said Mary Bartlett, a retired former Taylor police officer.

"If you misspelled a word, you got it back," Bartlett said. "He was a policeman's policeman. He could walk in a room, and you respected his presence."

Schier made his officers keep records on their contacts. "If we had a disturbance call, we had all the names of everybody involved," Bartlett said. "You knew who you were dealing with."

He prided himself on never having drawn his weapon in the line of duty, Hobbs said.

In retirement, Schier focused on family and the community, Hobbs said. He had a rare blood type and was a frequent donor. He also volunteered at the Salvation Army, was past president of the Taylor Rodeo Association and helped found the Williamson County Law Enforcement Association, Hobbs said.

At home, he taught his grandchildren to play dominoes and shake hands. "That was a biggie with him," Hobbs said. "And you always speak to people when you come into a room."

Before he died, Schier typed his family a letter.

"No one lives forever, and at my age, forever may be closer than we think," Schier wrote. "I have always believed that if I was able to distinguish right from wrong and lived by 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,' that I couldn't be too wrong.

"I feel that I have had a good life. Death is inevitable, and my time here on earth has run out. Do not mourn my death."

Schier is survived by his daughter, Judy Hobbs, his son, Bob, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife, Demetra. Funeral services will be 4 p.m. today at Condra Funeral Home in Taylor.

You may contact Monica Polanco at mpolanco@statesman.com or 246-0043.

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