Motorcycle Patrolman Roscoe C. Shipp, 34 years old, was fatally injured on the night of Tuesday, July 23, 1929, at Delaware and 13th Streets when his motorcycle struck the front wheel of an automobile driven in the opposite direction. Officer Shipp was chasing a speeder he had "clocked" at sixty-two miles an hour when the incident occurred. The driver of the vehicle struck by Officer Shipp was held blameless by witnesses, as Officer Shipp had turned toward the left to draw up beside the speeder. The speeder escaped. Officer Shipp died at City hospital following the amputation of his left leg, which was broken in two places and mangled.
Born in Edinburg, Officer Shipp moved to Indianapolis in his late teens. He worked as a telegraph operator for the Pennsylvania railroad prior to his appointment to the police force in November 1928. He was assigned to the motorcycle squad a month before his death. He was survived by his wife, Frances, two brothers, and four sisters. He is buried in Crown Hill cemetery.
A war on speeders was declared by police following the death of Officer Shipp. More than 120 arrests were made during the night of Wednesday, July 24, by a motorcycle squad that had been augmented with the transfer of eight officers from other lines of duty. Every motorcycle owned by the department was pressed into service. None charged with speeding was given leniency. The average fine meted out to the speeders was $10 and costs, which totaled $20. All offenders of the speed law were warned that they would be given jail sentences and have their driver's license revoked if they were arrested for speeding again.
Source: The Indianapolis Star, July 25 and 26, 1929. Polk's Indianapolis City Directory, 1929.