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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 389« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Lt. Woodrow Wiggins)

Mr. Hubert.
How long have you been in the Dallas Police Department?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Eighteen years.
Mr. Hubert.
How long have you been an--a lieutenant ?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Since October 1, 1956.
Mr. Hubert.
What particular department do you serve with, sir ?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. I am with what is known as the service division. have under my control the dispatcher's office, the jail and the service division and all the substations.
Mr. Hubert.
Who is your immediate superior?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Chief Lumpkin.
Mr. Hubert.
Lumpkin, and over him would be
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Chief Batchelor.
Mr. Hubert.
Then, of course, Chief Curry ?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Yes.
Mr. Hubert.
So, the line of command between you and Chief Curry is Batchelor, Lumpkin, then Wiggins?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. That's right.
Mr. Hubert.
What are your particular duties ?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. That depends, of course. Could I quote here and say that on certain times I have different duties?
Mr. Hubert.
Lieutenant WIGGINS. That I have a Jail lieutenant that works for me, on his days off, I watch the jail, or pass on prisoners and supervise the Jail as well as the other things, and when the Jail lieutenant is there then I am at liberty to inspect substations and do---the dispatcher's offices and the jail, wherever I may be needed.
Mr. Hubert.
On November 24, what was your situation ?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. I was working the Jail. My jail lieutenant was off that day.
Mr. Hubert.
Now, working the jail entails what responsibilities and duties?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. I'm in charge of everything that goes on in the jail, and among other duties, I pass on all prisoners that are put into jail.
Mr. Hubert.
When you say "pass," on them, what do you mean?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. I check to see their--the arrest is legal, and that I think the charge is proper and that this person belongs in jail before he is placed in jail.
Mr. Hubert.
Now, have you any duties or responsibilities with respect to the transfer of prisoners, in your capacity as jail lieutenant?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Nothing more than as is normal to turn them over to either the constable or deputy sheriff who transfers them to the county jail.
Mr. Hubert.
With reference to prisoners who are transferred from the city Jail to the county Jail, is it customary for your department to transfer them to the county jail, or is it customary for the State deputies to come and get the prisoner?
Mr. Hubert.
Lieutenant WIGGINS. It is customary for the deputy sheriff or constable to come and get a prisoner.
Mr. Hubert.
Do you know why an exception was made in the case of Oswald?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. I was never told.
Mr. Hubert.
In other words, normally, it would have been Sheriff Decker's duty to come and get Oswald, is that correct?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Normally, it would have been that way.
Mr. Hubert.
Do you know, or did you ever hear it discussed, the reason why the normal procedure was not followed?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. No; I haven't. When I make that statement--I have surmised that it was for better protection due to the fact that we have more men, possibly, than Sheriff Decker did. That is strictly a surmise of mine, of my own.
Mr. Hubert.
What security had you provided for Oswald within the jail itself?
Lieutenant WIGGINS. Well, as a rule, we used a trustee to run our jail elevator. I relieved the trustee from the jail elevator and placed a patrolman on it. And put two officers in front of Oswald's cell at all times.
Mr. Hubert.
That is on the 24th, or at all times since he was arrested?
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