The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has seen many changes since its inception 200 years ago. What started as a four man militia in 1808 has grown to a force of more than 1200 officers today. We invite you to explore our storied history.
1808- First Police Force Organized
1846- Major reorganization of the police force takes place. The “Department of Police” is established.
1861- A Police Board with members appointed by the Governor is established. The Board has control over the Department. As a result of this structure, 1861 is considered the start of the modern Saint Louis Police Department.
1866- The Department increases in size to 225 officers as the population of St. Louis grows to more than 200,000.
1867- First Mounted Patrol Unit is established.
1869- First Police School of Instruction begins in St. Louis.
1881- The first police telephone system was installed. This allowed officers in the districts to connect to each other and to headquarters.
1901- First African American Officers hired.
1903- First Police Car was manufactured by the Dorris Motor Car Company.
1923- Present Police Badge adopted.
1929- Current Police Headquarters building opened.
1960- Department reorganized into present day nine district/3-area structure.
1968- First air conditioned patrol cars.
1973- First female police commissioner serves on Board of Police Commissioners and first female officer promoted to rank of Sergeant.
1987- First female promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
1991- First African-American Police Chief appointed.
1993- First Female promoted to rank of Captain.
2005- The Department unveils a 40,000 square foot laboratory with the latest technology in crime scene evidence analysis.
2009- First female promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
For a complete history of the Department, click here.