Chief of Police Thomas Toler

Chief of Police Thomas Toler

Hot Springs Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Thursday, March 16, 1899

Thomas Toler

Chief of Police Thomas Toler, Officer J.E. Hart, and Officer Thomas Goslee were shot and killed by a neighboring sheriff, his son, and three of his deputies, during an argument over a mayoral election.

The sheriff and his deputies came into town and started arguing with the officers and a local bartender. The men left, but later returned. A gunfight ensued when the bartender attacked one of the deputies with a knife. All three Hot Springs officers, the bartender, and one of the deputies were killed.

The sheriff, his son, and his other two deputies were arrested and charged with murder. Two were tried and acquitted. The trials of the other two ended with hung juries.

Chief Toler was survived by his wife.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One killed, four arrested

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Toler,
On today, the 119th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your Officers who were also killed in that incident for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Hot Springs. It’s a travesty of justice that your murderers escaped justice but hopefully they re paying for it now.


United States Border Patrol

March 16, 2018

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