BADGE 4 & 198
SDPD 06/06/1927 - 10/01/1947
12/10//1889 - 09/28/1951

The genial giant of the San Diego Police Department, Captain Yancy Neil Adams, 61, died Friday night in his home 3516 Sydney Place. He had been retired since October 1, 1947. He suffered a heart attack on Thursday. 

For many years Captain Adams was in charge of the uniform division.

Men and women “fighting drunk” responded amiably to courteous questions from Capt. Adams, and lurching into jail, frequently remarked to the arresting officers; “nice guy, the captain.”

Born December 10, 1889, in Glen Rose Texas, Captain Adams signed his first contract as a public school teacher at the age of 18.  Later, he came to California and was employed by Imperial County for five years as combined superintendent of the county hospital, deputy sheriff, psychopathic parole officer and commissioner of indigents.

It was on June 6, 1927, that he was appointed to the San Diego Police Department. He walked a beat for three nights only, then was made the department’s secretary.

In the next nine years was advanced from the rank of patrolman to sergeant, personnel director, lieutenant and captain.  At the time of his retirement he had been captain for 11 years, a record unequaled by any other member of the department.


While a patrolman, Capt. Adams gave safety talks to public and private schools.  In a single year, he gave as many as 115 talks to more than 27,000 school children.  He also gave traffic safety radio talks on a series of programs sponsored by the Union-Tribune Publishing Company.

With Elliott Langon, he was in charge of the San Diego Police School in 1928 and again in 1931 and 1932.  For some time he was in charge of breaking in rookies for the department.

At the time of his death, Capt. Adams was operating a private missing person’s bureau and was a security guard for the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company.  He was a member of the El Centro Lodge 384, F. & A.M., and the first Baptist Church of San Diego.
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