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Department History

1872 -(TOP) Concord managed without a regular policeman until 1872 when a racial incident awoke the townspeople to the certain reality that they needed a law enforcement officer to preserve the peace even if there wasn't much for him to do because the minute Mr. Edwin Smith was appointed, the town became very law-abiding. Then the selectmen and the water commissioners decided it would be handy for the policeman to watch out for leaky fire hydrants or frozen pipes besides his other duties, and perhaps he could also be the lamplighter (but that economical idea didn't work out.)

1889 -(TOP) In 1889 some hooligans vandalized Ralph Waldo Emerson's grave. The body wasn't harmed but the grave itself was damaged. No one was ever arrested. William Craig, Patrick Varley, and Lyman Carr were the three regular police officers in 1892. There were seven officers at the Massachusetts Reformatory who served as special officers. That year there were thirty arrests five of which were for bootlegging. The next year the post office was broken into twice and there was one incendiary fire.

1900 -(TOP) In 1900 there were 185 arrests 62 of which were for drunkenness. In 1902 the selectmen worried that many strangers coming into town in their electric cars would create the necessity for a policeman to be on duty in the center of Concord.

1904 -(TOP) The police acquired uniforms.

1908 -(TOP)In 1908 Chief William Craig recommended that a jail cell be located in West Concord so that anyone who was disturbing the peace in that area during night time didn't have to be escorted (usually on foot) all the way to the cells in the Town House. Accordingly a cell was constructed in Association Hall (on the corner of Commonwealth Ave. and Beharrell St.)

1910 -(TOP) By 1910 there were nearly 75 arrests for drunkenness; other infractions included riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, selling oleomargarine, defacing shade trees, breaking street lamps and keeping a disorderly house.

1918 -(TOP)Officer Patrick Varley was stabbed while making an arrest. He was disabled for more than a year.

1920 - (TOP)A ford touring car was purchased for the police; a second car was purchased in 1928. By 1923 the total manpower of the force was seven.

1930 -(TOP) A blue light was placed over the Court Lane door to the police station in the Town House. There was a vote approving a motorcycle for the police force for traffic control.

1933 -(TOP)Patrol cars were equipped with radio receivers. A pistol range was created in the basement of the Town House.

1941 -(TOP)There were 446 arrests of which 72 were for drunkenness, 137 for speeding and 30 for failing to slow down at an intersection. The new ambulance cost $2000.

1947 -(TOP)A recommendation was made for a new police and fire station on Heywood Street.

1951 -(TOP)The department consisted of the chief, two sergeants, and twelve patrolmen.

1953 -(TOP)Chief Ryan died on Christmas Day after thirty years of service.

1955 -(TOP)
The police station in the Town House had three offices: a main front desk, a smaller office, and a private office for the chief on the first floor. There was a   3-cell cell block and a firing range in the basement through which the secretaries had to crawl to get to the vault. The force had 17 patrolmen, two crossing guards and eight active special officers.

1957 -(TOP)Dominic Pagano became the parking meter mechanic; his shop was in the basement of the Town House. Thomas Finan retired after 28 years.

1960 -(TOP)The department moved to the new building on Walden Street.

1966 -(TOP)James Finan retired after 33 years. Sergeant Costello was appointed chief. Officer Sal Silvio became Juvenile Officer.

1967-(TOP)There was a new prison alarm built on Annursnac Hill which sounded for thirty seconds every hour on the hour until midnight or until the prisoner was caught.

1968 -(TOP)Inspectors Nutter, Silvio and Landini worked 2018 unpaid hours of overtime in the newly organized Investigation Division. Their work saved the town $7406.06.

1970 -(TOP)There were 27 full-time officers, 12 crossing guards, and a civilian secretary.

1976 -(TOP)The Police Department voted to join the Communications Workers of America.

1987 -(TOP)Chief Costello retired after 32 years.

1988 -(TOP)Pauline Wilson was honored as the Massachusetts Municipal Employee of the year.

1991 -(TOP)Pauline Wilson retired after 35 years.

1993 -(TOP)Leonard Wetherbee was named chief.

1999 -(TOP)Pativ joined the Concord Police Department as it's first K9 officer.

2007 -(TOP)Lt. Paul Macone and Lt. Barry Neal elevated to the rank of Deputy Chiefs

2010 -(TOP)Chief Leonard J. Wetherbee Retired after 33 years of service to the Town of Concord. Deputy Chief Paul Macone retires after 32 years of service to the the Town of Concord. Deputy Chief Barry R. Neal is appointed as new Chief of Police.

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