Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Walter L. Scoble, 1925-2013: Police chief inspired son, grandsons


Walter L. Scoble.


Walter L. Scoble, whose promotion to Toledo police chief in 1978 capped a long career on the force, died Sunday in Toledo Hospital. He was 87.

He entered the hospital a week earlier with difficulty breathing, his daughter Muriel said.

Chief Scoble of Point Place served two years as chief of police and was lauded at his 1980 retirement for steering a steady course in the wake of his predecessor, Corrin McGrath, who had been the only chief chosen from outside the Toledo police ranks.

“I am leaving here with no regrets, no hard feelings, and nothing but love for this department,” Chief Scoble said in announcing his departure.

His son, the late Larry Scoble, was a Toledo police officer and detective. Two grandsons, Brent and Chris Scoble — Larry’s sons — are Toledo police sergeants. Police veterans have told Brent about working with and serving under Chief Scoble.

“Not only was I told my Grandpa was a good cop, but he was a genuinely good man,” Sergeant Scoble said.

In September, 1982, from Chief Scoble’s home, he and his son saw a woman leave her car on the Ottawa River bridge, climb a railing, and jump in the river. They called police and set off in their boat for the bridge. Larry jumped in the water and with his father’s help rescued the unconscious woman.

Chief Scoble joined the police force in 1948. He was promoted to sergeant in 1959 and to lieutenant in 1967. As captain, he led the selective enforcement unit, which concentrated on felony arrests in high-crime areas. He was a shift commander at the Safety Building downtown before he became first commander of the Scott Park district station when it opened in 1976.

He wanted jobs that kept him in contact with officers on the street. “That has been on purpose,” he told The Blade after he was named chief. “I guess you’d call it my management style.”

Then-City Manager Walter Kane made the appointment over two deputy chiefs, four other captains, and a lieutenant who sought the top spot.

“He was proud of it, but he was kind of taken aback when they gave it to him,” his daughter said.

He was born Sept. 25, 1925, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to Ruth and Walter Scoble. His father died before he was born. His mother moved to Toledo, where she had family. He attended Libbey High School and was a graduate of the former Macomber Vocational High School.

He was a Navy veteran of World War II and served in the Mediterranean as a chief petty officer aboard a transport vessel known as a “landing ship tank.” Everyone aboard LST 602 received a commendation for their service.

He was member of the Toledo Police American Legion post and accompanied friends to events at the Conn-Weissenberger post.

He and his wife, Anna Mae, married May 30, 1947. Their son, Larry, died March 10, 2009, after a fire in his home. Mrs. Scoble died Dec. 5, 2010.

Surviving are Chief Scoble’s daughters, Muriel Sindyla and Valerie Abbott; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the David R. Jasin-Hoening Funeral Home. There will be no services. The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Area Humane Society.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.

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