Chief John M. Boyes 1910 - 1918

Biography & Career

Chief Boyes was well recognized as one of the State’s best known and respected lawmen. He was born in Mendocino County and was a long time Santa Rosa resident. He entered the Police Department in 1896 as a patrolman and served for 14 years prior to his appointment as Chief. His small but effective force enjoyed the confidence of the citizens of Santa Rosa. In December 1918, he resigned as Chief and served as Chief Criminal Deputy for Under Sheriff James Petray.

Notable Incidents in His Career

In December 1920, Sheriff Petray, two San Francisco detectives, Lieutenant John Matthews, and other Sonoma County officers, gathered at 6th and Adams. They were looking for men wanted for several robberies in the Bay Area. The task resulted in the deaths of Sheriff Petray and the two San Francisco detectives. Three men were arrested. It was Chief Boyes who commanded the defense of the Sonoma County Jail which was stormed by the hooded mob that seized and hanged the three accused men. Chief Boyes was Sheriff of Sonoma County from 1920 - 1924. He was active in many fraternal orders in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
John M. Boyes in police uniform