Police, National Guard, and Firefighters


Police, National Guard, and Firefighters


These oral and written histories feature individuals who were working as Detroit police officers or served in the National Guard in July 1967.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society

Collection Items

John Kastner
John Kastner dropped his daughters off at summer camp, to return to a city on fire in July, 1967.

Henry B. Lick
Henry B. Lick recalls memories of the actions of some officials and government presence in Detroit, July, 1967.

Felton Rogers, June 17th, 2015
In this interview, Rogers discusses his experience as a black, rookie officer with the Detroit Police Department in July 1967. During the second day of the unrest, he was assigned supervisor of a jeep driven by National Guardsman. Rogers discusses…

Anthony Fierimonte, October 10th, 2014
Former Detroit Police officer Anthony Fierimonte discusses his experiences on the force--including his role in the raid on the blind pig at Twelfth Street and Clairmont Street on July 23, 1967.NOTE: This interview contains profanity and/or explicit…

Paul Moten
Paul Moten recalls being called to service in July 1967 as a reserve policeman.

Tom Ryan, July 20th, 2015
In this interview Tom Ryan discusses his childhood and adolescence in Detroit. He also shares rich stories from his four decade career in radio. Tom also shares his experiences serving in the National Guard during the events in 1967.

Dennis K. Laurion
Dennis Laurion recalls his experiences as a member of the Coast Guard stationed on Belle Isle during July 1967.

Michael David "Sandy" MacMechan, January 20, 2016
Michael David "Sandy" MacMechan discusses his experiences with Detroit growing up on the east side of Grosse Pointe, how he came to be an Air Policeman, and where he was when he heard about the unrest in 1967. Further, he explains his role as an Air…

John Tsampikou, May 19th, 2016
In this interview, Tsampikou discusses his family’s move to the Detroit area in 1947 and how he eventually joined the Detroit Police Department. He discusses how the department handled the week of July 23, 1967, as well as the various causes and…

Michael Krotche, June 15th, 2016
In this interview, Krotche discusses growing up in a Polish community in Hamtramck and his experiences as a Detroit police officer on duty during the summer of 1967,

Jim Atkin, July 1st, 2016
In this interview, Atkin discusses growing up on the west side and joining the Air National Guard in 1965. He was deployed to the city during the unrest to assist in guarding prisoners and police perimeters.

Dennis Nagy, July 12th, 2016
In this interview, Nagy tells of his upbringing on the east side of Detroit, his brief time in the army in Alaska, and his job in communications for the Detroit Police Department, where he was working during the summer of 1967.

Thomas Robinson, July 19th, 2016
In this interview, Robinson discusses growing up near 8 Mile Road, experiencing the ’43 riot, and his experiences as an African American police officer during the 1967 disturbance, including the department’s riot training and his interactions with…

Michael Slusser
Michael Slusser was a member of the Michigan National Guard. He was called to duty in the summer of 1967 and stationed at Central High School.

Ronald and Betty Kerwood, June 30th, 2016
In this interview, Kerwood discusses his time working in the Detroit Police Department and his experiences during the 1967 unrest.

William Giardin, August 9th, 2016
In this interview, Girardin tells what it was like growing up in an all-white neighborhood in Livonia and his life post-high school graduation. He describes how he was called for duty in the National Guard during the 1967 unrest and his various…

Faye Reese, August 4th, 2016
In this interview, Reese discusses growing up on the west side in a multi-generational household. She describes the Women’s Division of the Detroit Police Department where she worked during the unrest and what her duties included during that week.

James Tessen, August 8th, 2016
In this interview, Tessen discusses growing up on the east side and how and why he joined the Air National Guard. He then describes the various duties he performed for the Guard in the city during the unrest of 1967.

Hubert Locke, August 17th, 2016
In this interview, Locke discusses working his work at the Detroit Police Department during 1967. He also describes the tension between government and the department, along with frustration between citizens and the Detroit Police Department. Locke…

Richard Viecelli, August 12th, 2016
Viecelli discusses the 1967 disturbance from a police officer’s perspective, which he considers not a riot, but a “baby war.” He was stationed at Kiefer Command Center, where he tracked incoming and outgoing calls for the police. Notably, Vicelli…
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