#TBT Galveston PD Officer Bill Scott with his "Rider"
The Original Beach Boy was the Galveston Police Department’s Bill Scott.
He started out on night patrol for several years, transferred to evenings for 12 years and from 1966 to 1982 he served on Beach Patrol in uniform shorts and T-shirts which were purchased by a Mr. Childress, then-owner of Gerland’s.
There was no budget.
Lifeguards worked in two units along the Seawall and on the West End.
They were mobile with 32 miles of beach using both patrol cars and a station wagon.
The 20 to 25 lifeguards utilized 20 lifeguard stands which were built and donated by Henry Porretto, Jr. Burger Chef fed the beach patrols.
The station wagon was used to take people to the hospital—at that time there was no EMS and officers assigned to the beach area worked on a daily basis with the fire department.
In his teen years, the original Pleasure Pier had a menagerie with lizards, lions, tigers and more. One of the pier employees walked the tiger every day and soon Bill Scott and his friends were walking the tiger and taking him swimming on a daily basis.
This activity proved to be good experience for Officer Scott’s patrol duties.
A Harcon construction worker had a male lion--Max.
He would come to the Peacock Café for lunch each day and the lion would remain in the back of his pickup truck or tied to a parking meter.
Soon, while his owner was at lunch, Max was riding in the back of the patrol car with Officer Scott and Officer Eddie Barr who later became GPD Chief of Police. Yes, the lion had teeth.