The first year of the officially organized department was 1893-1894. This department was composed of a chief, 9 patrolmen and 23 special officers. Specials were paid only 32 cents/hr while patrolmen made about $600.00/yr. The department spent only $6868.86 in its first year of operation. Aside from salaries which accounted for 4907.80 of the total budget other large items included uniforms ($442.75) and the rental of space in the Whitney Building ($265.00). The headquarters was equipped with both telephone and electric light. Rental of a lock-up (jail space) from M. A. Merritt cost another $400.00.
The department had not grown much by 1900. George Bowman was the chief, presiding over 14 patrolmen. Salaries remained unchanged and accounted for 8,098.06 of the total budget. From a total appropriation of $10,500.00 the department spent $9,551.15.
The police department staff was placed upon a system of graded pay during this year, depending on years of service. While the Report of the Chief of Police reports 10 patrolmen, the roster of names includes 12 “regular police.” Only 13 of the 30 specials were employed during the year. Department staff wages accounted for $7320.00 while specials added another $141.76. Other big budget items included uniforms at $241.37, rental at $520.00, lock-up rental at $400.00 and rental for the ambulance/patrol wagon and horse at $400.00. The expenditures for the year totaled $11,073.23. Chief Bowman's main concern was the need to address complaints coming from the east side of the city between Shippan Avenue and Weed Avenue in the neighborhood of Cove Road with the appointment of an additional patrolman. This patrolman would be assigned duty to this district from 5 PM to 1 AM . His request was seconded by the Police Committee.
Little changed during 1901. The chief presided over a staff of 12 “regular police” and 13 of the 30 specials were paid for active duty that year. Staff wages totaled $ 8,353.86, the rise being the result of the new graded pay system. Specials' wages accounted for another $126.24. The usual big budget items continued: uniforms $211.50; rental $390.00, lock-up rental $300.00, and ambulance/patrol wagon and stable rental $300.00.
The same number of “regular police” were on staff in 1902. Active special officers decreased by one. Staff wages totaled $6080.00, with specials accounting for another $56.00. Uniforms ran $432.00, rental $535.00, and lockup rental $400.00. Expenditures totaled 10,149.61.
During this year William H. Brennan took the helm of the department as Acting Chief. He remained chief until 1923. He presided over the same 12 “regular police” according to the roster, although the Report of the Chief lists only 11. Staff wages totaled $8,274.72, with specials' wages adding another $118.30. The three big budget items: uniforms, rental and lock up rental continued at $460.58, 687.50 and 500.00 respectively. The expenditures total 12,771.66 for the year. The Police Committee had, in January 1903, requested that a driver be hired for the ambulance and patrol wagon, who could also serve as a janitor in the lock-up. The request was denied but reiterated at the close of the year. The Police Committee went on to recommend the addition of a beat on the East Side and another on the West Side . Two extra patrolmen were requested.
Additionally, the Committee noted that appointments of special police had been more non-partisan and recommended the creation of an additional class of specials, who would serve as watchmen to replace those watchmen in the employ of private individuals, who fell under the class of special policemen by the charter then in effect.
The Committee also felt that a sergeant should be authorized, who would be second in command to the Chief and with a salary intermediate between the chief and the patrolmen.
Chief Brennan continued with a staff of 12 “regular police” in 1904. Staff salaries constituted $8,315.89 of the budget with another $245.12 for specials. The usual big items uniforms, headquarters rental and lockup rental continued at $605.38, $550.00 and $400.00 respectively. Thomas Hyland had been hired as driver and janitor. Expenditures totaled $13,133.41. Since no additional police had been appointed the Committee reiterated the need for an “ East Side beat to include Myrtle Avenue and the unpatrolled territory east of Myrtle Avenue and a West beat to include the territory west of Bedford St. and north of Main .” The Committee felt three additional patrolmen were necessary to address this need. They also felt the appointment of two sergeants was necessary.
By 1908 the department had grown ever so slightly. In addition to the Chief, two sergeants had been appointed and two plainclothes detectives were on staff, one who also served as dog warden. There were 14 patrolmen. Salaries totaled $18,106.00 with an additional $175.17 paid to specials. Uniforms ran $590.69 while telephones had become the next big item at $423.00. Expenditures totaled $20,178.61. A reserve fund for the Police Department, which had been established in November of 1907, totaled $3200.00 and was maintained at Stamford Trust Company at 4% interest. The Police Committee continued to call for more patrolman, at least four and additional signal boxes. A total of $5,135.08 had been collected during the year in fines, an increase of $106.95 over the preceding year, these monies helping to offset the costs of running the department.
Ten years later the department had changed in many ways. The number of patrolmen had doubled from 14 to 28. In addition to the Chief there were now 2 detective sergeants and 3 desk sergeants. In addition to regular staff there were 13 supernumerary officers and 98 specials. Salaries for staff, specials and supernumerary police totaled $45,075.00.
The horse-drawn buggy was a thing of the past and automobile supplies and repairs cost the department $1150.00. Two Indian motorcycles had been purchased for $600.00. Uniforms were still expensive, running 1408.50 for the year. Telephone operation was the last big item at $500.00. The total of fines collected had risen to $6,613.72, while the Police Benefit Fund had $29,201.45 on hand, $2,608.34 of which had been raised by the first Police Ball.
In his mayoral address, John J. Treat called for a new police automobile to be purchased to replace the current one that was practically worn out. He also suggested that another motorcycle be purchased to supplement the squad. He also felt that a better juvenile detention facility was needed to isolate them from hardened criminals. This concern was also echoed by Chief Brennan in his report.
Brennan also directed attention to the cramped conditions of the department at one point stating “the garage is entirely too small.we have a combination patrol and ambulance wagon, also a touring car and four motorcycles.owing to the lack of room, we are forced to house our motorcycles in the quarter occupied by the desk sergeants.” Brennan also noted insufficient space in the locker room and the inadequate number of lockers. He also bemoaned the lack of consultation room, where lawyers could consult with prisoners.
On the plus side, traffic had improved and safety conditions at schools had as well due to the presence of officers at assembly and dismissal times. Only two officers had been wounded during the year and two others were charged with minor offenses.
Finally Brennan applauds the increase in extra staff: “the amendment to the City Charter passed at the last legislature increasing the number of special officers form 30 to 100 and the supernumerary officers from 10 to 20 has added great strength to the Department; and in case of emergency, I would have 155 officers at my disposal.”
The department continued to grow. In addition to the chief and sergeants there were 30 patrolmen, the matron, a driver and special police. Salaries totaled 49,622.60, including $546.82 for special police. Big budget items continued to be uniforms ($861.99), auto supplies ($800.00) and the telephone ($482.84). Additionally the department spent $335.00 for a new motorcycle and $825.00 for a new car. Total expenditures were $54,836.14.
In his address of the year, Mayor Treat continued to call for separate facilities for juvenile offenders. Brennan continued to call for better facilities for the department, noting the lack of space and continued storage of the five motorcycles in the sergeants' office.
The major issue continued to be traffic and Brennan urged to the purchase of NO PARKING signs and their placement on the busiest streets: Greenwich and Richmond Hill Avenue , Main and Crystal Streets, and Elm and Hill Streets. He also recommended the marking off of pedestrian Safety Zones. In addition, Brennan called for a number of street blocks to be made one way: Willow Street from Guernsey to Atlantic , and State Street from Guernsey to Atlantic .
Brennan called for the adoption of a new uniform style and applauded the change of overcoat.
Staff wise, Brennan recommended the appointment of a captain and that of an assistant driver/janitor. He noted three officers had resigned that year and three others had been charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and had paid the penalty imposed.
The roster of the department continued its steady growth. In addition to the chief, a captain was appointed. Other officers included 2 detective sergeants, 1 acting detective sergeant, and 3 desk sergeants. The 28 patrolmen were supplemented by 11 supernumerary police, 82 special police, and 42 temporary police. The total number on the department roster was 172 including the driver/janitor and matron/stenographer.
Brennan noted that the 3 vacancies were on the regular force, 9 on the supernumerary force, and 18 on the special force. Salaries totaled 56,601.50, including $417.40 for special police. Other major expenses included the usual: uniforms ($1467.58), auto supplies ($771.07), and telephone rentals ($500.00). Yearly expenditures totaled 61,921.61.
With the continuing increase in traffic, Mayor Treat seconded the request by Brennan for two additional patrolmen. The problem of where to put juvenile offenders also continued to be an issue raised by Brennan and Treat. The facilities problems continued unabated with motorcycles still placed in the sergeants' office and inadequate dressing room facilities.
Brennan also urged the purchase of new motorcycles to replace the older ones and the purchase of a smaller ambulance and a new automobile. He also called for 3 new police boxes to be installed. Brennan noted with approval the success of the crosswalks and safety zones delimited.
The department lost one officer by death John Mc Mahon and four officers were injured slightly in the line of duty: Grogan, Hanrahan, Kurth and Faubel. Only two supernumeraries were charge with unbecoming conduct and both resigned rather than face charges. Two other regular officers resigned: Daniel Troy and James Finley, both leaving in good standing.
Slight growth over the preceding year was reflected in the department roster. Officers included the chief, a captain, 2 detective sergeants, and 2 acting detective sergeants. In addition to 32 regular police were 6 supernumeraries, 92 specials, 42 temporaries and 1 veteran reserve officer. The roster totaled 192 people. Brennan noted a number of vacancies, 14 supernumeraries and 8 specials. Brennan responded to the rise in crime by reassigning motorcycle cops to regular beats during the winter nights.
Expenses for the year totaled $76,725.73. Salaries totaled $69,471.24 for all regular and special department members. Remaining costs included $1342.50 for 5 new motorcycles, $600.00 for a new car, $2218.50 for new uniforms, and $683.19 for phone rental.
Noting a nation increase in crime, Mayor Treat's address recommended the additional of two men to the force. He also called for legislation to regulate both pedestrian and automobile traffic. He commended the work of the motorcycle police in apprehending auto thieves and in protecting citizens in outlying districts. Brennan's report reflected the continuing failure of the City to address the congested conditions of the department. Brennan called for 4 additional patrolmen so that coverage of all beats could be maintained year round. Three men had been slightly injured during the year: Tynes, McCormick and Shield.
Mayor Phillips concurred with the Common Council's decision to add 8 more men to the force in order to improve traffic conditions and protect children during recess hours.
He called for a 15% increase in the salaries of members of the department. Department facilities continued to be inadequate and congested, prompting Phillips to recommend the “erection of a city municipal building, which would include new and adequate police quarters as also decent jails, detention rooms for juvenile delinquents and rooms for juvenile court.” However, Philips projected that such a structure could not be funded prior to 1925. Of course if would take many more years to realize this.
The department roster had grown considerable since 1920. Officers included the chief, a captain, 3 desk sergeants, 6 detective sergeants, 1 acting detective, as well as 40 patrolmen, 20 supernumeraries, 100 specials, 36 temporaries, and 3 retired patrolmen.
The roster totaled 212 people. Only 6 vacancies were listed in the supernumerary category. The increasing size of the department had made already very congested quarters worse with no relief. Total expenditures ran $107,262.63, salaries accounting for $93,184.93. Big budget items included the purchase of a car for $386.37, five new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, $1500, and uniforms, $1718.67.
Chief Heffernan noted the effectiveness of the six motorcycle police who not only helped with traffic duty but who also investigated complaints outside city limits. Heffernan also echoed the need for 8 additional patrolmen stating ideally that there should be two patrolmen for every 1000 citizens. Heffernan also felt that a doctor should be appointed to the department to examine drunk drivers and sick and injured. Heffernan noted a single resignation: Stanley Herzog, and Arnold Kurth's retirement.
Mayor John Keating continued to note the poor condition of the jail and insufficient space for the police in his address. He bemoaned the fact that in spite of an excellent series of traffic rules people were not enforcing them and this was creating difficulties. He lauded the purchase of a modern traffic signal system to cover the Main Street zone from Mill River Bridge to Clark 's Hill.
The department continued its steady growth reaching 221 total personal that included the chief, acting chief, captain of detective, 6 detective sergeants, 2 acting detective sergeants, 3 desk sergeants, 9 motorcycle officers, 13 stationary traffic officers, 6 floating traffic officers, 25 patrolmen, 29 supernumeraries, 99 specials, 18 temporaries, 4 retired, 3 chauffeurs and the matron. The expenditures totaled 170,191.42, the majority made up by salaries.
Chief John Brennan started his report with the now decade old call for new staff. It was in this report that he announced a new plan to have officer to public safety education classes with school children. He also suggested that older boys could serve as crossing guards. In order to alleviate the pressure on the desk sergeants, Brennan also recommended the hiring of a switchboard operator to take phoned in complaints. Brennan praised the 9-man motorcycle squad for its efficiency in “capturing stolen automobiles and rum runners”. He sought to increase the squad by three men in order to serve as a check against criminals coming in from out of state.
Brennan cited the large number of traffic violations as contributing to the overall increase in arrests. He denied a crime wave. He also argued for the “instruction of all members of the department in traffic directions so that uniformity of signals” could be achieved.
He noted the passing of Daniel Hickey on April 14, 1926 as well as the retirements of Chief James Heffernan and Captain Walter P. Williams, both of whom were long serving members of the department.
This is was marked by the loss of two long-serving members of the Police Department: Detective Sergeant Michael J. Greaney (June 22) and Officer George W. Shields (Aug. 2). On a more positive note, Mayor Phillips noted the effectiveness of the department was shown by the absence of major crime in Stamford and fewer burglaries than ever before, in any one year. The detective bureau was equally as effective, recovering 145 of 147 automobiles reported stolen from streets and garages in the city.
The department continued its slow and steady growth paralleling that of the city as a whole. In 1927 the department roster included the chief, the captain of police, the captain of the detective bureau, 8 detective sergeants, 3 desk sergeants, 3 street sergeants, 1 court sergeant, 9 motorcycle officers, 17 stationary traffic officers, 24 patrolmen, 3 chauffeurs, and the police matron, supplemented by 25 supernumerary policemen, 100 special policemen, 52 temporary policemen, 4 retired officers and 1 veteran officer for a total of 234 people. Chief Brennan noted 5 vacancies for the Supernumeraries.
Brennan's report continued to call for improvements to better outfit the department. In general he noted the effectiveness of the department in carrying out its central duty of “protecting life and property and preserving public peace,” but that it was often undermined by other duties which took cops off the street, such as court duty. He went on to praise the Detective Bureau and the Motorcycle Squad who were characterized as “live wires, always on alert with very little escaping their watchfulness in regard to criminals or automobile thieves, who were very fortunate in apprehending the notorious Irwin brothers and numerous other criminals.”
During 1927 the Bureau of Complaints and Investigations was created by the Mayor as another avenue for the prevention and remedy of crime. Another improvement noted by Brennan was the increase in protection in Shippan with 16 hrs of daily patrol. To better manage traffic, Brennan noted the installation of 19 traffic lights.
In terms of the restructuring of the department, Brennan noted the appointment of 3 street sergeants and a court sergeant. Brennan called for the appointment of three additional patrolmen as well as a physician, a full time janitor and a clerk. The inadequacy of the headquarters also continued to be a problem.
A number of officers were wounded or gravely ill during the year, two incapacitated at the time the Chief wrote his report.
The total amount expended by the department was $186,784.59, of which the overwhelming majority went to salaries. Other larger items included auto supplies ($2697.00) rent for the Bank Street annex ($2000.00), and uniforms ($3265.62).
The department grew considerably during the year. The 277 members of the department were composed of: the chief, the captain of police, captain of detective bureau, lieutenant of police, 8 detective sergeants, 3 desk sergeants, 3 street sergeants, 9 motorcycle officers, 18 stationary traffic officers, 25 patrolmen, 1 chauffeur, and the matron/secretary supplemented by 30 supernumerary policemen, 100 special policemen 69 temporary policemen, 4 retired officers and 1 veteran officer.
The effectiveness of the Detective Bureau was again shown by the recovery of 154 out of 158 automobiles reported stolen from the streets and garages of the city.
In his annual report Chief Brennan continued to call for the necessity of building a new police station. He cited overcrowding and a deficiency of space in the garage.
Given the propensity of criminals to use fast “getaway” cars, Brennan called for an additional 10 policemen and two high powered autos. He noted the installation of a night patrol consisting of three men in one car on duty from 8PM to 4AM .
In order to respond more effectively to traffic issue Brennan recommended the creation of a Traffic Board to study such issues.
He also called for the hiring of a chief mechanic to take charge of traffic lights and street signals, who could maintain the city's 22 lights. He also reiterated the need for a physician.
Finally he noted some changes to the departments membership including the appointment of a lieutenant, the resignation, in good standing of two member, the dismissal of an officer for “conduct unbecoming an officer” and the death of Court Sergeant William McMahon and Officer Dennis Reardon.
Expenditures during the year totaled $198,370.56, the overwhelming majority composed by salaries, with other large items including auto supplies ($2215.43), rent of Bank Street Annex ($2000), and uniforms ($3807.14).
In 1929 the Board of Public Safety was created by an act of the General Assembly, such Board to take office January 1, 1930 and to have the supervision of the Police and Fire Department. Mayor Graves praised this move, feeling it would facilitate independent action of these departments. Graves went on to praise technological and informational improvements made by the Police, including the implementation of a new index card system used to record criminal record experience, as well as the adoption of a teletype machine to broadcast information to neighboring cities.
The department swelled to 325 members composed by: the chief, captain of police, captain of detectives, lieutenant of police, 8 detective sergeants, 1 acting detective sergeant, 3 desk sergeants, 9 motorcycle officers, 22 stationary traffic officers, 1 chauffeur, 1 traffic mechanic, 19 patrolmen, and the matron supplemented by 30 supernumerary police, 100 special police, 119 temporary officers and 4 retired officers.
Brennan's report began with the long standing call for a new headquarters with the same complaints that had been brought up 10 years earlier by the first Chief Brennan. Brennan also continued to call for more police. He recommended the hiring of an additional 20 policemen and three more motorcycles. He noted the capture of “several dangerous criminals” during the year and praised the motorcycle squad of their daring captures.
He reiterated the need for a Traffic Board as well as the need for a place for departmental target practice and the need of a physician.
Lastly, he noted the deaths of Edward O'Brien, a retired veteran and Harry Curran.
Expenditures totaled 216,843.75 (for the first time breaking 200,000). Other than salaries, big ticket items included auto supplies ($2223.92), Bank Street annex rent ($2000), and uniforms ($3206.43). In addition, $5,000 was spent to acquire a new combination ambulance/police car.
Mayor Graves reiterated the need for new department in his address for 1930, while noting the improved management of the Police and Fire departments by the Board of Public Safety, which made possible the conduct of these departments free from political manipulation.
The first Lieutenant report was given in 1930 by Lt. Ryan which dealt primarily with automobile and motorcycle repair and maintenance. He noted the purchase of 9 Harley Davidson motorcycles on March 10, 1930 . A report by the newly appointed Traffic Bureau was also made.
Another innovation by Chief Brennan was The Safety Patrol. On April 4, 1930 Brennan assigned Officer Carl Paight to talk to pupils of various schools on Safety Patrols. Paight spoke to 13,502 students at the following schools: Stamford High, Burdick Jr. High, Rice Jr. High, Rogers Jr. High, Center School , Cloonan School , Cove School , Elm Street School , Franklin Street School , Hart School , Holy Name School , Street John's Parochial School, Stevens School , Wall Street School and Waterside School . Talks and Illustrations were given on the following subjects:
The roster of the department included 328 active individuals composed by the chief, captain of police, captain of detectives, lt. of police, 9 detective sergeants, 3 desk sergeants, 3 street sergeants, 1 traffic sergeant, 9 motorcycle officers, 26 traffic officers, 29 patrolmen, 1 chauffeur, and the matron, supplemented by 26 supernumeraries (4 vacancies), 130 special police, 82 temporary police and 4 retired officers.
Brennan's report again called for new headquarters, mentioning that the inadequate space in the garage forced the dept to house cars in various sections of the city.
Brennan also called for an additional five policemen to keep pace with the population growth of the city as well as a physician and the establishment of a Traffic Bureau, with a man to devote all time to traffic problems.
He concluded by noting the deaths of two patrolmen: Theodore Kemp and Matthew Douglass.
Expenditure totaled $231,862.83, the majority spent on salaries and the usual big ticket items: automobile supplies ($2210.28), rent for the Bank Street Detective Bureau ($2000), uniforms and equipment ($7543.4)), and the nine new motorcycles ($1615.00).
By 1931 the department had accumulated a number of vehicles to help it stop crime. These included: a 1929 Pierce Arrow Ambulance and Patrol, two 1929 Buick Touring Cars, a 1928 Buick Sedan, a 1930 Chevrolet Emergency Truck, a 1930 Hudson Sedan, nine Harley Davidson Motorcycles and one Tribute Bicycle.
The Safety Patrol work under Officer Carl Paight continued at the same schools as in 1930, and over 11,274 pupils received instruction. Each school had a Safety Patrol for a total of 120 student members covering 30 crossings.
The department had grown to 331 members, composed of the chief, captain of police, captain of detective, lieutenant of police, 9 detective sergeants, 3 desk sergeants, 3 street sergeants, 1 traffic sergeant, 10 motorcycle officers, 26 traffic officers, 31 patrolmen, the matron, and a clerk, supplemented by 24 supernumeraries (6 vacancies), 133 special policemen, 82 temporary policemen, and 3 retired officers.
Brennan's uncharacteristic report made no requests or recommendations and only noted the death of Retired Captain Walter P. Williams.
Total expenditure for the year were $243,323.24 the majority made up by salaries with other big ticket items including auto supplies ($2631.86), Bank Street rent ($2000), uniforms and equipment ($5327.12), and telephone rentals ($1237.69).
During this year no additional vehicles were added. Officer Paight continued his Safety Patrol work at the same 15 schools, lecturing to over 10,000 pupils. 120 Badges had been furnished to youth members in 1931 along with 120 belts.
The department roster included just 289 names. The regular members of the department were the same, with the exception of the motorcycle squad, which lost a member and which was offset by the addition of a traffic officer. supernumeraries remained at 24 (6 vacancies) along with 130 specials, 43 temporary and 3 retired officers.
Brennan's report made no additional requests.
No additional vehicles were added.
Expenditures for the year totaled $231,367.74 the overwhelming majority dedicated to salaries.
In 1933 the Buick Sedan was gotten rid of and replaced by a 1932 Pierce Arrow Sedan, otherwise the vehicles remained the same. The department continued to work through the schools with its Safety Patrol, reaching over 10,000 students.
The roster in 1933 mirrored that of 1932, except for the reduction of traffic officers to 26 from 27 and the loss of the clerk. The regular roster was supplemented by 24 supernumeraries (6 vacancies), 128 specials, 43 temporaries and 3 retired officers for a total of 285 members.
Brennan noted the year was marked by the death of former Chief James Heffernan (1923-1926) and the retirement of sergeant Timothy Kenefic. James Burke was appointed sergeant in Kenefic's place. No other recommendations were made by Brennan in his report.
Expenditures totaled $206,454.89, of which roughly $130,000 was made up in salaries.
The vehicles of the department were almost the same in 1934 as they had been in 1930. In addition to 8 1930 Harley Davidsons, the department still had a 1929 Pierce Arrow Ambulance/Patrol vehicle, two 1929 Buick Touring Cars (though one is noted as useless), a 1930 Chevrolet Emergency Truck, and three new 1934 Ford Sedans purchased fresh.
The work of the Safety Patrol continued, with all elementary and junior high schools receiving safety lectures. All summer play-grounds and summer school connecting with churches were also contacted. Many schools also took advantage of the opportunity to send classes to visit the police department.
The roster of the department was little changed, with only 25 traffic officers instead of 26. The clerk position was filled. The remainder of the 292 members of the department was made up by 29 supernumeraries (1 vacancy) 139 specials, 34 temporaries and 2 retired officers.
Brennan noted the deaths of officer Edward Broderick ( 12/27/33 ), and retired officer Arnold Kurth in 1934. Total expenditures ran 209,440.82.