was the 1st LAPD Chief of Police?
My co-worker just asked me, who was the 1st LAPD Police Chief?
Do you know the answer to this Q?
Reply: from Bill Murray - LACP.org - LA Community Policing
Re: Who was the 1st LAPD Chief of Police?
Good question ...
I didn't know, but I've done some research for you.
There have been 54 LAPD Chiefs of Police, going back to the mid
1800s. Some have been less than stellar (little more than gunfighters)
and others have really stood out.
The City of Los Angeles had a variety of "law-enforcement" groups
prior to the selection of the first officially recognized Chief
of Police, Jacob T. Gerkins, who served for about one year, 1876-1877.
The following information is from LAPD's official website, LAPDonline.org:
managed to survive without what could pass as a bona fide police
department until 1869 when six officers were hired and paid
out of funds collected, for the most part, from fines and fees.
They were led by City Marshal William C. Warren, who was gifted
with $50 to furnish his headquarters and $25 a month for rent.
The City Marshal also served as dog catcher and tax collector,
and was paid 2½ percent of all tax money he collected. Gambling
and prostitution went unregulated, but in 1871 entrepreneurs
were required to pay license fees.
Of all the violence prior to a day in October 1871, none was
more tragic than a hanging of 19 Chinese by a mob. Denied protection
under state law, the victims were easy prey to the frenzied
crowd. Eight suspects were arrested and sentenced to San Quentin
for two to six years. All were set free in 1873.
In 1875 the first horse patrol trotted down the unpaved streets.
Personnel were paid $95 a month for their services, $5 more
than the foot patrolmen and only $10 less than the City Marshal.
The Department continued to deploy mounted officers until 1916.
The City Marshal and his staff had something less than the happiest
of relationships. He was shot and killed by one of his subordinates.
That occurrence may have led the City Council to appoint the
first Board of Police Commissioners and select Jacob T. Gerkins
as Chief in 1876. With Chief Gerkins came the first regulation
uniform: a hip-length, blue serge coat and felt hat. Officers
bought their own silver, 8-point badges for $6. Emil Harris,
who assumed office after relinquishing the management and part
ownership of a saloon, succeeded Gerkins in 1877.
Here are a couple
of other links you'll find interesting:
Chiefs of Police pictures
of the LAPD history
The current information on the History page is broken out into sections
that deal with the years 1850-1900, 1900-1925, 1926-1950, and then
by recent important Chiefs: Chief Parker, Chief Davis, Chief Gates,
Chief Williams and Chief Parks (but it ends in 1998, shortly after
Chief Parks was appointed).
Here's more current bio information on Bernard Parks, who served
for 5 years and has recently became a City Councilman representing
Council District 8:
Parks LAPD biography
Chief Parks was followed by Martin Pomeroy, who was briefly brought
back from retirement to take over during the selection of our current
Pomeroy LAPD biography
Finally, here's the link to the page about the current Chief of
Police, William Bratton, who was appointed in October 2002 as LAPD's
54th Chief of Police:
Bratton LAPD biography
All Chiefs of Police since Willie Williams took office have been
appointed to 5 year terms, and each is eligible for a second, and
final, 5 year stint. Thus far, none have been re-appointed.
By the way, there's an LAPD
Historical Society about which LA Community Policing is
currently writing an article. Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, currently
second in command at LAPD and a Member of the Historical Society
Board of Directors, has expressed his gratitude for our interest.
Look for it soon here on LACP.org, our website.
The Historical Society has restored the old Highland Park Station
located at 6045 York Boulevard in the Highland Park area of Los
Angeles. This station was built in 1925 and is a registered National
Historic landmark. It's well worth a visit.
Thank you for your excellent question, and for giving me the opportunity
to bring this to the community.
Yours in service,
LA Community Policing
....... "Community Policing ...
it's everyone's issue"