Chief William Eli Lloyd was both a saint and a sinner and because of that, the people of Maundbury both loved and hated the man.
After serving as a decorated officer in World War II, Chief William Eli Lloyd went on to become a police officer in Boston. He rose through the ranks with record speed and became well known for his sense of honor, dedication and respect for the law.
In 1948, Lloyd was shot several times by men trying to flee a failed bank robbery. Doctors thought the wounds fatal, however Lloyd recovered quickly and returned to duty in a very short time. Lloyd was strong as a bull and his usual “by the law” position became even more intense after the bank incident. “Let the punishment fit the crime” became words Lloyd lived by.
However, the Boston P.D. was not on board with his mantra. A beating of a man Lloyd caught assaulting a young woman put Lloyd and the Boston police department in a very bad light with some and garnered cheers of adoration from others. The heat of the situation made things difficult for all parties involved.
Maundbury heard of Lloyd’s toughness and saw an opportunity. Recent events in Maundbury were showing that it’s citizens were not fairing well. Crime was running rampant and something needed to be done to stop the decent. Maundbury made an offer to Lloyd that he could not refuse. Not only was Lloyd promoted to Chief, but he was also given free range to stop the rampant crime as he saw fit.
Chief William Eli Lloyd ruled with an iron fist, but also made sure he was in touch with his community. His “Let the punishment fit the crime” mentality was looked at as a blessing for most members of the Maundbury community. He got out to meet his community, made sure his men knew how to handle various situations, and wasn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty.
In the summer of 1949, Chief Lloyd caught a small group of men robbing Lettie Mill’s Diner shortly after the grand opening. The men had been very rough with a waitress and had almost killed the manager. When Lloyd arrived, he drove a police cycle at the robbery vehicle, stopped it short of escape, and shot the driver in the chest. Before the other robbers had a chance to react, Lloyd had them out of the car, disarmed and beaten to a pulp. At a press conference later that night, Chief William Eli Lloyd stood in front of the cameras, raised his blood-covered glove and growled out, “Crime will not be tolerated here in Maundbury. Ever.”
The next day, Chief William Eli Lloyd showed up at an event for children at the Maundbury Historical Society. He was greeted with applause and looked at as some sort of super hero by the children present. He posed for photos and greeted those he could – all with two broken ribs.
Later that summer, Lloyd stopped another robbery in the parking lot of Bar and Billiards. The unfortunate Carl Perkins tried to take a young woman’s purse and run. He knocked her to the ground and punched her when she refused to release the purse. Wrenching it from her, he bolted for the nearby woods. Witnesses say that Chief Lloyd “appeared out of nowhere”, smashing Perkins with an outstretched arm. “It was like he ran into a tree limb. He just flew up in the air.” Chief Lloyd brought a gloved hand down on the man’s face exactly how the woman had been hit – just three times harder.
By 1951, Chief William Eli Lloyd had stopped over 20 robbery attempts, had caught over 15 wanted suspects, and had been shot nine times. While the overall feeling in Maundbury was that Chief Lloyd was a hero, there were many that saw his actions as militaristic and hateful. Chief Lloyd was known for his politics as well, making a major effort to stem the tide of concern about his methods of law enforcement.
In an effort to increase efficiency, Chief Lloyd started a rigorous department training program for existing officers and made several new hires – men with distinguished military service records. Chief Lloyd’s new police officers were like carbon copies of Lloyd and just as dedicated to upholding the law. Soon, the crime rate returned to acceptable levels in Maundbury and Chief Lloyd play less of a role in active duties and spent more time behind the scenes and behind a desk.
In 1962, Chief William Eli Lloyd was found dead in his home. Medical examinations could find no apparent cause of death. The general consensus was that Chief Lloyd had passed away from a combination of exhaustion and his numerous injuries he received in the line of duty. Tommy Dorsey’s “I’m getting sentimental over you” (YouTube)was playing on the stereo in Chief Lloyd’s small, sparse apartment. The song was played at his funeral.
The legacy of Chief William Eli Lloyd and his changes in law enforcement lives on today.