History of Police

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
  • The Village of Westerville was formed in 1858

    * In 1875 Henry Corbin attempted to open a saloon at Knox and W. Main St. 
       * Glass was blown out twice during this time (Known as the
         Whiskey Wars) 
       * In 1879, Corbin opened another saloon on S. State St.
            * The saloon was damaged in an explosion and was
               torn down.
    * In 1890, there were 1,329 residents. Motorcycle Officer 1920's
    * In 1895, there was a train traction,
      which went from Rt. 3 to Columbus.
    * In 1898, there were 12 streets in the city.

  • First Westerville Ordinance - written in the late 1800's

    * Ordinance #1 - Indecent or immoral practices forbidden 
       * Noisy People 
       * Swearing
       * Alcoholic beverages 
       * Indecent pictures or books
       * Common labor in the streets 
       * Stores or homes open on Sunday 
       * Gambling
       * Prostitutes or vagrants

  • City Manager Style of Government

    * In 1916, Westerville adopted a city manager's style of government
    * Historically, Westerville was the first village to adopt this type of Government in the country. 
    *  Paul R. Blinn was the first city manager.

  • Early Policing

    * In the late 1890's to early 1900's there was a night watchman. Half of their salary was paid by the
      business association and half was paid by the city.
    * In 1915, the night watchman's salary was $150.
    Teddy Tedrow* By 1920, after the resignation of 3 night watchmen, the
       salary was increased to $500. 
    * They also started calling the watchman a Marshal.

  • The 1920's

    * In the '1920' annual report there were comments
      about "Chief of Police S.P. Lane", a part-time officer.
      "Chief of Police S.P. Lane has handled the duties of the
       police department in a very satisfactory
       manner. A number of arrests were made and fines
       imposed.  Mr. Lane has thus far rendered effective service
       as the guardian of our safety and protection from burglary,
       vandalism, etc and other is quite a noticeable improvement
       in the petty nuisances…”
    * Jess Hall was also a prior part-time Chief.
    * Other history cites that Robert Dahlke was the first Full-time



          The first official Town Marshal was Ernest “Teddy” Tedrow -1926-  1946.  


  • Prohibition in the early 1920's

    * In 1922, it was reported that "the police department made an enviable record for efficiency, honesty
      and fairness; by vigilant efforts, bootleggers and vagrants had been so pursued and arrested, that
      this “class of evil has been kept at a minimum” and there were over 125 arrests made during that
    * In the early ’20’s, "one local raid was reported to have netted 50 gallons of mash and a 5-gallon still. It
      was also noted that another individual was charged on a traffic violation for transporting 300 gallons of
      corn liquor".
    * Westerville officers were noted to journey to Columbus and assist Columbus officers in closing
      down “Pig stys”
    * In 1925, State Street was designated a “through traffic” street and stops signs were placed at
       intersections. The Westerville city manager wrote “Westerville is said to be better known abroad than
       any other in the United States, outside of New York and Washington”.
    * The first traffic enforcement vehicle
       * In 1923-1926, there was history of the first motorcycle officer.
       * It was also in 1926 that Westerville installed its first traffic signal at the intersection of State and Main

  • The 1930's Early Police Department 60's

    * December 18, 1930 – First Bank 
       * Citizen’s Bank
       * Took $6,529 
       * Compared to $1,000 to $3,000 on
         average today 
       * Wilbur Gilliand and James
          Newman – life in prison
    * In early 1930, The Businessmen’s
      Association discontinued paying part
      of the Marshal’s salary. The village
      was now responsible for the entire
    * In the 1930’s, it was reported that Westerville had 2,885 residents in the community, a gain from
      2,480 in the 1920’s.

  • first responder in the 50'sThe 1940's

    * One “Day Officer” and one “Night
      Officer” were employed
    * A guard was placed at the water plant 
       at all times due to a “war emergency”
    * In the early 40’s there was a drastic
      drop in traffic enforcement (most likely
      due to the war)
    * 1943 – 72 traffic violations 
    * By 1945 – 18 traffic  violations recorded
    * After war times officers, having a military background, were highly trained and  maintained a structured form of policing, that we still see today.
    * These new officers brought new life and vigor to policing.

  • The 1950's

    First Officer of the Year - Skip Day* The police department began to increase in
       staffing, equipment, and other needs.
    * There was one police car.
    * In 1951, two-way radios were purchased.
    * In 1952, the city's budget was $495,000 compared
       to $90 million in 2003.
    * By the mid-1950's - the police division was
      comprised of four full-time officers and six auxiliary  
    * 1956 - Officer Leonard Day was involved in a
       shooting and shot in the shoulder. 
       * He is the first and only officer shot in the
          line of duty.
    * 1957 - Officer Leonard Day was awarded
        the "Outstanding Patrolman of the year" for
       * He was the first officer in Westerville Police
         History to be recognized for this award
    * In 1959, a radar unit was put in the cruiser.


 1960's 7 Officers








  • The 1960's

    * In 1960, Westerville obtained city status.
    * There were seven full-time officers.
    * The police division had two police  
    * In 1967, due in part to the expanding
      police division and the anticipated
      needs in the near future, the
      department was relocated from the
      municipal building to it's present
      location and was called the
      Tedrow Safety Center (since then, the
      police division was re-built)

  • 1975 OfficersThe 1970's
    * Nancy Giles was the first female officer
    * In 1973, George Gustavson was
       named as the first Captain.
    * In 1975:
       * There were 23 sworn officers 
       * There were 13 auxiliary officers
       * 2 clerks
       * 4 civilian dispatchers
    * A juvenile unit was established
       with one full-time juvenile officer
    * The radio system was updated,
       replacing it with a modern
       updated UHF radio system.

  • The 1980's

    * The department saw a complete revision
    * The division was broken down into four sections: 
       * Administration early 1980's cruiser
       * Communications/Records 
       * Investigations
       * Uniform Patrol
       * Two Captains were
         appointed, one for civilians
         and one for sworn
       * One Lieutenant was
          appointed over the
          investigative section
       * 3 sworn officers worked in
    * In 1988, a new police building was built
    * In 1988, Officer Frank Felker designs new police cruiser

  • Bill Highfield Crime PreventionThe 1990's

    * In 1990, there were 52 sworn police officers.
    * In 1995, the police cruisers were changed from white to silver, with reflective blue striping.
    * In the early 1990's, there was an aggressive move toward community policing.
    * The DARE and Crime Prevention programs became widely accepted in the community.
    * Training became an important mission of the division.
    * In 1994, the communications section became a division of it's own (still located in police
    * By 1998, the division had implemented MDT's (computers in the cruisers) and 4 LIDARS were
    * In 1999, the division held the first citizen's police academy.





  • The 2000's

    * 2000 marked the largest hiring of officers in Westerville's History.
       * 11 officers were hired in a single year.
    * By 2001, there were 66 sworn officers.
    * In 2001, SRO's (school resource officers) were implemented in the schools.
    * Crime Prevention efforts and school programs began to increase.
    * In 2001, one new crime prevention officer was hired  station
    * The cruisers were changed 
       to silver and black.
    * In 2002, AED's were
    * In 2003, TASERS were
    * In 2003, the police division
       was renovated.
    * In 2004, a civilian court
       liaison was hired.
    * In 2004, the Internet
      Enforcement program was
    * In 2006, a civilian crime prevention specialist was hired.
    * By 2007, the force grew to 74 sworn officers and currently that number remains the same.