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Crime & Technology




Our History


1858- 1875  October 5, 1858 Organized Police Department – creating the Police Department First Chief Walter S. Miller at a salary of $150 a year



1876 – 1899 First reported death of an off-duty Elizabeth officer occurred on July 30, 1876 John P. Bicle (36) , was struck and killed on the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks near his 850 Pearl Street home. Buried in Evergreen Cemetery, he left a wife and four children. He was appointed in February 1876


During 1900, William J. Martin became the city’s first mounted policeman. He would be followed five years later by Thomas Condrom, George Rabig, Fred Hess, John Talbot, John Coughlin and Peter Dempsey. When the “bridle and saddle” unit was disbanded years later because of the use of motorcycles, the horses and equipment were sold to the Newark Police Department.


1920 Elizabeth Police Band

The twenty piece Elizabeth Police Band appeared for the first time at the May 12, 1920 annual inspection and parade. Started under the direction of Sergeants Gustave Steffens and band President Patrick Sheridan, the band would lead marches in most city parades for the next fifteen years.



On March 5, 1923 the city’s first African- American policeman, Kirkpatrick Marrow, and ten other officers were hired. Marrow served many years as a detective specializing in gambling , alcohol investigations and, the identification bureau, after graduating from the New York Institute of Photographic Art and Identification. He retired January 1, 1950 and became an Essex County Court Attendant. His only child, Edmund, was killed in action WWII. Marrow died on January 25, 1961.


1940 Emergency Police Reserve

The Elizabeth “Emergency Police Reserve” was started in 1940 with 156 civilian officers. During the war, they had a total strength of 218 men. Preference was given to men with previous military experience. They received class instruction in all aspects of police work


1953 – First Hispanic Officer

Eighteen new officers were sworn in on December 10, 1953 by Mayor Nicholas S. LaCorte . Included in the group was Luis Martinez, the first Hispanic officer on the Elizabeth Police force.






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