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The Stamford Historical Society Presents

Law & Order: The History of the Stamford Police Department 1830-1956
a 2004 Exhibit and more

Stamford Police Association Second Annual Entertainment and Dance, April 1946

A HISTORY of the Stamford Police Department

The Stamford Police department was first organized with the City Government on May 7, 1894 under Chief George Bowman and has been in existence for Fifty-two years next month.

Today the department consists of a Chief, two Captains, one in the uniform division and one in the Detective division, a Lieutenant in the uniform division, nine detective sergeants, three desk sergeants, one traffic maintenance sergeant and four street sergeants, with 85 patrolmen. (13 of whom have just returned after serving in the armed forces of our country.)

At the present time there are 6 cars equipped with radios, 5 of which are used 24 hours a day on patrol work. (At the present time we are awaiting the delivery of 5 additional cars that are on order for patrol work.) There are 3 other cars that are not equipped with radio that are used for investigations, etc., a combination patrol wagon and ambulance and 5 motorcycles, also a Police Matron to care for the women prisoners.

John B. Brennan, the present Chief of Police, was appointed a member of the department on March 11, 1914, and was elevated to a Captain on June 1st, 1919, He succeeded the late Chief James J. Heffernan as Chief after the latter's retirement from service on March 8, 1926.

On May 12, 1894, the Police Headquarters in Stamford was established in the Whitney Building at the intersection of Canal and Atlantic Streets. The department remained there for a brief period moving on July 31, 1896 into the Quintard Building on Atlantic Square.

The present headquarters of the department has been occupied since April 1, 1907 with the Detective Bureau housed in separate quarters across the street at 51 Bank St. (By the time that this leaves the press the Detective Bureau and locker rooms will be in a new location as the department has been requested to vacate the present quarters as the building is going to be renovated.) Efforts have been made from time to time to secure more adequate quarters for the department. At the present time there is a committee appointed by the Mayor looking over available locations for a new building for the Police Department under the Post. War Planning Committee.

The Detective Bureau of the Stamford Police Department was first organized in June 1909, through an amendment to the City Charter, and has since its inception, when two men were originally detailed to that line of work, have carried on investigations, which have taken some of the members to cities in all parts of the country.

An active file of all cases under investigation is maintained by the Bureau and a special index system was begun in 1934 so that all automobile accidents could be properly classified. This file is under the direction of the Safety Officer and is used by all members of the department.

Traffic Policemen are detailed between the hours of 7 :00 A.M. and 11 P.M. at strategic points in the center of the city, while several of the street intersections are controlled by a system of traffic lights. An automobile radio patrol is in operation 24 hours a day covering all sections of the city, also a motorcycle patrol between the hours of 8 :00 A.M. and darkness. (Weather permitting.)

This branch of the department has been instrumental in reducing the number of automobile fatalities along the through traffic arteries. They have also recovered a great many cars that have been stolen, both locally and from out of town and made a great many important arrests.

At the present time the department is equipped to handle all lines of investigations. A complete fingerprinting and photographic file is maintained by the department in charge of our own Fingerprint expert and Photographer, which co-operates with the F.B.I., filing all fingerprints in Washington, D.C.

All members of the department have had a Red Cross course in First-Aid so as to be ready to render any aid necessary in case of accidents or times of emergency. Some of the members of the department have been called on many times in the past to render first-aid and assist in reviving persons who have been overcome by gas poisoning or drowning. Each one of the radio cars used by the department carries first-aid equipment, while an adequate supply of oxygen and two inhalators are kept at headquarters at all times.

The Stamford Police Department is a municipal service and law enforcement agency. It is responsible for your safety and for the security of persons and property. Every law breaker has infringed upon your security by violating laws your representatives have enacted for the protection of all citizens. Your problems in this field and the use of lawful authority to solve them are police matters.

The department undertakes to assist you in any anticipated infringement of law endangering you or your property, generally seeks public co-operation in law observance and acts to meet any emergency in which your person or property are endangered by violence of persons or of the elements. Law enforcement activities are confined to the field of law violations which have already occurred and those where action is required to prevent threatened violations.

Patrolmen and radio equipped police cars patrol the city and in the course of a year respond to thousands of calls, to the scene of crimes, disturbances, accidents and to other places where service may be needed. The department's effectiveness depends in a large measure upon the prompt and intelligent co-operation of all its citizens.

The Stamford Police Department is well equipped to cope with any emergency and the record of its Officers and Men is well known to the citizens of the City of Stamford.

Introduction to the Exhibit
History of the Stamford Police Department
Annotated Timeline
The Political Life of a Connecticut Town 1868-1893
Police Department 1909 (The Daily Advocate)
The Police Department As It Was And As It Is 1894-1917
A History of the Stamford Police Department, April 1946
List of Constables 1865-1892
Police Roster 1894-1917
Staff images as of 1917
Police Roster 1953
Police Committees 1830-1956
Testimonial Dinner & Dance 1970 for Alexander J. Koproski, Sr.
Police Anchor Club Brochures
Police Department Website
Fallen Heroes Memorial Page
Stamford Police Association