The first Town Marshall was appointed on September 2, 1941. With the safety of the community’s residents being priority; early focus was on traffic safety, pedestrian safety and fire suppression. Commensurate to the original focus the department operates today on four core values: Protection, Service, Enforcement and Education.
The department operated with 1 full time officer and 2 part time officers from 1942 to the mid 1950’s. Additional officers were added in 1964 to 1974 to bring the operational strength from 5 to 11 officers. Additional officers were added in 1997, 1998 and 2016 giving the department strength of 14 officers. The department currently operates at a designated strength of 13 full time officers.
In the 1940’s the department was assisted by city clerk to dispatch the Town Marshall or call for assistance using the “call box” located outside city hall. Thereafter the department employed up to 5 dispatchers to provide services. In the 90’s dispatching services were transferred to the Sheriff’s office where they remain to this day.
The department’s original equipment can be seen as a badge, firearm, espantoon and whistle. An espantoon is commonly referred to as an officer’s stick. Today on officer is issued a badge, ballistic vest, firearm, ASP baton, handcuffs, electronic control device, pepper spray and a portable radio to be carried on their person. Additional equipment includes automatic external defibrillator, rifle, shotgun, less-lethal weapons, personal protective equipment and cell phone.
The vehicles used by officers on a daily basis are recorded back to 1968 when the department used a Buick Wildcat. Today the standard vehicle used is a Ford Utility Interceptor. The department has used other vehicles to include Buick Lesabre, Ford Galaxy, Pontiac Lemans, Ford LTD, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Caprice and Ford Crown Victoria.
Chiefs of Police
- Interim Derek Meyer – 2016 to current
- Dennis McDaniel – 2010 to 2016
- Gary Walters – 2003 to 2010
- Michael Rolow – 1997 to 2003
- William Hitchcock – 1971 to 1996
- Arthur Bartholmew – 1966 to 1971
- Norman Timmons – 1963 to 1966
- Philmore Akey – 1942 to 1963