Bodie Andrew Wallman (February 18, 1883 – January 1, 1951) served as Oakland’s police chief from 1934 to 1943 – from the height of the Depression to the middle of World War II.


His parents, German native John A. Wallman and Alice (née Morris) Wallman, arrived in Oakland in 1880.His mother was born in San Francisco to pioneer Reuben E. Morris who had some of the first stagecoach routes to the 'outerlands'. His father worked in the hardware business. Born in Livermore, young Bodie was an 1897 graduate of St. Francis de Sales Elementary School and a 1901 graduate of Oakland High School. Wallman briefly attended St. Mary’s College before entering the Oakland Police Force in 1904. He later graduated from Santa Clara.

Police Chief

After 30 years on the police force (interrupted only by World War I service in 1918 – at which time he was a police inspector), Bodie had risen through the ranks to become assistant to OPD Chief James T. Drew.

In 1934, Mayor William J. McCracken named Wallman chief. Wallman’s lifelong friend and St. Francis de Sales classmate, Oakland Mayor John F. Slavich, whose term as mayor (1941-1945) partly overlapped Chief Wallman’s term. (rest of sentence is missing … what about Slavich?) Wallman instructed the Oakland Police Department to assist Federal agents in the arrest and internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.

Later Life

In 1943, after nearly 40 years with OPD, Bodie Wallman retired. Married twice, his first marriage to Agnes ended in divorce. After his first marriage ended, Wallman married his second wife, Mary. His last public appearance, in October 1950, was at the funeral of Dr. John F. Slavich, MD.

Bodie A. Wallman died in Oakland on January 1, 1951. He is buried at Santa Clara University. Among his mourners were Oakland Police Chief Lester J. Divine, Oakland Tribune publisher, Joseph R. Knowland, Oakland mayor Clifford E. Rishell and California governor, Earl Warren.