More Portland Police History

Dear Liza,

Police Chief Hunt and his Officers in 1903

The city of Portland started in 1851, but didn’t have a Police Department until 1870. I guess before then, it was a pretty wide-open Western town, and folks were sort of on their own as far as dealing with crime.

The Trout family legacy in Portland

The first Police Chief was James Lappeus, and he designed the uniforms based on English Policemen’s uniforms. The hats resemble English “Bobby” helmets. Their uniform, a key to the Police call box, and a whistle were the officer’s entire weaponry. It was a tough job.

In this photo of the Police force in 1903, Police Chief Charles Hunt stands with his department of 56 men. At the time, the population of Portland was 90,000, so there was about one police officer for every 1,500 people.

Memorial to fallen officers

I know I missed a lot of Information, because I was focused on the year my story takes place, 1903. There were photographs of Trick motorcycle riding In the 1950s and even a Glockenspiel Quartet. I’m sure I will go back and learn some more!

To misquote John Steinbeck, “There’s always something to do in Portland”.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

4 thoughts on “More Portland Police History”

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