|James P. Damos, a past president of the IACP, died September 10, 2011. He was 91.|
Damos served as chief of police for the University City, Missouri, Police Department for 28 years, retiring in 1989. He had never even been a police officer when University City asked him to become police chief in 1961. According to the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, Damos was working in his family’s movie theater business when the city manager named him chief. Damos possessed the management skills the department needed, and he also was the department’s only college graduate at the time.
He helped found the Major Case Squad of Greater Saint Louis and became its first chairman.
Damos was IACP President from 1981–1982. In the January 1982 issue of Police Chief magazine, Damos wrote about his concern for the implementation of the Reagan Crime Initiative: “A strong national defense is certainly vital to secure the blessings of liberty on our way of life. The need for a strong domestic defense is no less crucial to that cause. And, hopefully, I will be able to report greater progress on these points in the very near future.”
The Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MoVA) presents an award named for Damos. The James P. Damos Award is so named in recognition of Damos’s pioneering for crime victims’ rights. Damos was one of the original board members of MoVA when it was established in 1983 and also served on the National Organization for Victim Assistance. The Damos Award honors professionals in the fields of law enforcement, social services, and the judicial system.
Family and Memorial
Damos is survived by his sons, Peter J. and George J. Damos; his grandchildren Michael Damos and Carol Damos Hill; his great-grandchildren Rieley Damos and Audrey Hill; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins, and friends.
Memorial contributions in Damos’s name may be made to the BackStoppers Inc., P.O. Box 66927, Saint Louis, MO, 63166.
For more information on James P. Damos, please visit http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/stltoday/obituary.aspx?n=james-p-damos&pid=153604692&eid=sp_shareobit (accessed September 12, 2011). ■
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 10, October 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.