Medford Police Department
100 Main Street, Medford, Massachusetts USA 02155
Chief Leo A. Sacco, Jr.
"Quality Policing Through Community Involvement"
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|Old Medford Police Photos & History
Police have been around here since 1677, when Medford's first peace officer, Mr. Goodman John Hall was elected town constable. Back then it is believed that constables received their pay mostly from the fees they collected from making arrests and attending court. Over the years, a number of constables were elected as the town's "peace officers" until the year 1870. Although there were constables keeping peace between 1677 -1870, no officially recognized and organized force of full time city policemen existed. Then, on March 21, 1870, the selectmen from the town finally decided to establish a full time police force by hiring 8 policemen and thus was born the Medford Police Department. Today, that number is approximately 140 police & civilians.
Now, take a look at the early police photos below. Back then, there was a number of common facial features the police all exhibited. Nearly every officer had a "handlebar mustache". They also dressed in a English style police uniform of long "bobby" topcoats and metropolitan London police hats. Moreover, just like many English/Irish forces today, many of the early police force members were not armed, they had just their "billy" clubs.
It appears that some English style policing did influenced early colonial America towns like Medford. This is seen in the old uniforms, badge styles, hats and other equipment. The term "bobby" refers to Sir Robert Peel, the police reformist of the metropolitan London police. The first modern municipal police force was established in 1829, when Sir Robert Peel in England introduced the Metropolitan Police Act establishing the London Constabulary. Some of the methods of policing used back then were basic in design and are still used today! Like for instance our foot beats, beefed up police responses to incidents, crowd control and night watchmen. Obviously, policing then, compared to today, is an evolving and adapting process.
We plan on posting some more old Medford police photos to the collection on this site. But, if you have any please call or email us.
Imagine enforcing these old State Laws: