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Published: Wednesday, 10/24/2001

Ex-police captain an expert on prints

Ferdinand J. Wiegand, a retired Toledo police captain assigned for many years to the identification and records bureaus who was known as a fingerprint expert, died yesterday in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He was 83.

He had multiple health problems and had been in poor health since July, his son Jim said.

Mr. Wiegand, of West Toledo, retired in 1979 as a captain in charge of the detective bureau's crimes against property section.

“He was my boss for a while. I was a sergeant in the burglary squad,” said his son, who became a police officer in 1969.

Two generations followed Mr. Wiegand into police work: sons Jim, public safety director at Bowling Green State University and a former Toledo police assistant chief, and Tom, a Toledo police lieutenant; and a grandson, Peter Swartz, a Toledo police officer.

The openings caused by Mr. Wiegand's retirement opened a lieutenant's position for son Jim.

Most of Mr. Wiegand's career was in identification and records, where he was assigned after his promotion to sergeant in 1953.

“He was considered an expert in fingerprint classification and identification,” son Jim said. “He was very progressive for his time.”

Mr. Wiegand was promoted to lieutenant in 1963 and to captain in 1968. He was a former acting deputy chief. He joined the force in October, 1946, and was assigned to motorcycle duty for several years.

Mr. Wiegand attended the former Macomber Vocational High School and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and served aboard an LST - Landing Ship Tank - in the Pacific.

In retirement he was administrative assistant to Sandy Isenberg in her first months as Lucas County recorder in early 1979. He was an inspector for about a decade for the state racing commission, working at Raceway Park. He and his wife, Dorothy, liked to travel and visited Europe. He played volleyball at the South Toledo YMCA until he had a heart attack in his late 70s, his son Jim said.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy, whom he married Feb. 22, 1941; sons, Jim, John, and Tom; daughters, Mary Ann Swartz and Catherine Susan Wiegand; sister, Delores Helsey; 15 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Coyle Mortuary after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Fraternal Order of Police and American Legion services at 7 p.m. tomorrow and a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. Friday in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Conception Church, where he was a member. The family requests tributes to the church or a charity of the donor's choice.

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