History of the Fairfield Police Department

 

Click here for a list of our retired officers.

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Click here for a more detailed history of law enforcement in Fairfield

The Town of Fairfield was established in 1639, Law Enforcement in Fairfield started in 1661 when the Town Marshall was appointed. Throughout the years, the Town Marshall eventually became the Town Constable and the position was elected rather that appointed. In the 1800's, each political party nominated constables and the 7 receiving the most votes were elected. The candidate receiving the most votes also served as the Tax Collector, Registrar of Births, and Town Clerk.

The 1926 shooting of Constable Hezekiah Elwood prompted the drafting of an ordinance creating the Fairfield Police Department. In 1930 the ordinance was overwhelmingly passed and the Fairfield Police Department was organized under the leadership of its first chief, Arthur J. Bennett. The original Police Department consisted of 7 officers and Police HQ was located on the Post Road in Fairfield Center. There were no 2-way radios and call boxes with lights were used to notify officers of calls. The officers worked in 12 hour shifts and the night shift officers were required to call in every other hour. original_officers
 

1930 Fairfield Police Department

 

(l-r) C. Schick, G. Burns, T. Shaughnessey, Chief A. Bennett, C. Gandorf, T. Murphy, W.Burr

   
old_headquarters_1950 In 1934 the Police Station moved to the corner of Reef Rd. and Nichols St., to the rear of the Board of Education building. During 1936 2-way radios were installed in patrol cars and it was not uncommon to hear radio transmissions from Texas and Oklahoma. In 1938 the Police Department grew to 12 members and used 6 cars and 4 motorcycles and the first entrance exam for recruits was used. During 1942 the shifts were changed from 2, 12 hour shifts to 3, 8 hours shifts per day which still continues today.

Police HQ 1934-1953 (Bd. of Ed. building)

 

Due to the growth of Fairfield, the Police Department had also grown and thus moved to a new HQ in 1953. The Police Department was on the first floor and circuit court was on the second floor. During the fifties, the department created the Detective Bureau and the Youth Bureau. Officers also served as the ambulance service for town. The Police Athletic League (PAL) was formed and recruit officers were sent to the Westport Police Department to attend training classes.

50_nichols_street_hq

Police HQ 1953-1976 50 Nichols St.

The Fairfield Police department continued to grow and in 1976 it moved to its current headquarters at 100 Reef Road. The department now employs 108 sworn officers, 100 authorized special officers, 15 telecommunicators, 4 Animal Control Officers and 7 Marina Guards. The department has 40 patrol cars, 4 motorcycles, 2 boats and 1 police helicopter.