Service, Integrity, Leadership and Fair Treatment To All


SLMPD History

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.



Historical Milestones

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.