Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D.  Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

XXI. Tricks Of The Trade

Back in 1968, after Eden became a town, I was promoted to line sergeant and was given my own shift to command and I had some good boys. We raided liquor houses all over town and caught quite a few fellas. We caught "The Chinaman" flatfooted, we regularly confiscated liquor from "The railroad cut" in Spray, we hit liquor houses in Leaksville and raided in Flint Hill and on Spring Street. At that time, there were four people who lived on Peter Hill Street in the Spray section of Eden actively selling moonshine. Not all these people were bad people but sometimes due to a lack of education or job opportunities, moonshining was the only way to make a living. I may remind you that in those days, black people were routinely excluded from what was, good paying jobs in the mills and there were mouths to feed and bill that had to be paid.


     We soon learned that if we could shut down the liquor traffic, we would have less fight calls, less domestic calls to answer and fewer drunks to shepherd. One day, while searching the woods off Peter Hill, I discovered a fairly good path and walked it out. This path led from the end of Peter Hill Street, thru the woods and came out on Aiken Road. An idea popped into my head and we decided to have some fun.


     We knew that the bootleggers all got up fairly early and sat on their front porches on Peter Hill Street, which was a dead end street. We did not have the manpower or time to be answering calls on Peter Hill all day when we had a whole city to police so we devised a plan. When A  shift came on duty and as soon as the sun came up real good, I would load all of A shift into one car and we would head to Peter Hill, we would drive past all the "joints" and make a show of waving to all the bootleggers as we passed into the dead end. I would unload everyone but myself and they would hit the path to Aiken road. I would slowly drive out, making sure the bootleggers saw me, even stopping to speak to one or two of them so they knew I was now alone in the car. Then I would go to Aiken road and pick up the shift of officers and we would go to the stationhouse and go about our regular duties. The bootleggers on Peter Hill knew five police officers had disappeared and they had no idea where they were, Peter Hill shut down for the day.


     One day, I was in Leaksville, headed for Spray when I saw a Blue Creek man walking, it was hot as fire out there so I stopped to offer him a ride (information comes this way) he got in and I asked what in the world he was doing in Leaksville? he said" I walked to Leaksville to get a drink of liquor, when you guys are working a man can"t beg a drink in Blue Creek."

Michael D. Martin

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