Our History

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The roots of the Hartford Police Department date back to 1636, with the appointment of Samuel Wakeman to the post of Constable of “Herteford Towne” by the English and Dutch immigrants who settled in what was later to the City of Hartford. Initially the department consisted of the citizens patrols; men assigned to night duty whose responsibility consisted of watching for fires and suspicious persons. For this, they were paid one dollar per night.

The first official police force was established in the summer of 1860. A year later the Board of Police Commissioners was installed to oversee the department. The Hartford Police operated under the direction of the Board of Police Commissioners until 1947.

The department's first station was opened Oct. 13, 1898, at Market and Kinsley streets. Police headquarters were then moved on April 21, 1955, to the old Brown School on Morgan Street. Twenty-four years later, the station was moved to Jennings Road. In 2009, construction began on the Public Safety Complex, which was to house the Police Department, Emergency Services and Telecommunications and the Fire Department's headquarters; its current location is on High Street. 

The department has a lot of notable firsts. The first female officer joined the city force in 1927 and the first African American was hired in 1939. The first African American Police Chief was Jesse Campbell, who served in 1985 and the first Hispanic Police Chief was David Rosado, who served in 2019.

The Hartford Police Department has undergone many dynamic changes since the turn of the Century, the mission has remained the same: To serve and protect the citizens of Hartford.

History of the HPD Patch


Reference Material:

Retired Lt. James Looby & Retired Captain Robert Rudewicz