The Milwaukee Police Department was established on October 4, 1855. Police Chief William Beck selected seven Policemen with three
more officers added soon after. Officers were selected by size and ability to fight. The chief pulled in an annual salary of $800 dollars
with his officers making $460. The first "watch house" was located in the basement of the Alcott's Pharmacy on Wisconsin Avenue at
Water Street. A crime wave after the Civil War caused expansion of the department. By 1888 the department had grown to 150
patrolmen and three stations. In 1897 the department made 5,868 arrest of which 644 were female.
Late 1800's This portrait of Patrolman
William Sizer is an example of the late
1800's MPD uniform.
1893 A horse drawn police patrol wagon outside of the Central Station.
|The First Roll Call
October 4, 1855
Chief William Beck
Patrolman Fred Kessler
Patrolman John Hardy
Patrolman George Fisher
Patrolman James Rice
Patrolman Lawrence Ryan
Patrolman William Garlic
Patrolman James Smith
1893 A patrol sleigh was designed to get officers through the
streets of the brutal Milwaukee winters. (Photo courtesy of P.O. Ken Cecil)
This photo of the Third Precinct officers was taken in the late 1880's.
1886 Photo of officers taken outside of the West Side Station.
Oldest known photo of the Milwaukee Police Department. This picture is believed to
be taken in the mid 1800's.
1894 This lithograph depicts officers struggling with immigrants
as they are hauled off to "isolation hospitals" during a small pox
1896 Members of the departments marksman team.
1896 Two of the Department's drill teams.
June 21, 1884
This fascinating story from the Milwaukee Journal tells not only the story of
the first Milwaukee Police Officer killed in the line of duty but gives us a
glimpse of life and death in the late 1800's. One of the parts of the article that
caught my attention was an interview done by the paper of Officer Pisczek as
he lay in a bed on the second floor of the South Side Station waiting for his
1893 Officers lined up in front of the old Milwaukee County Courthouse.
1898 Officers march past the Central Station during inspection.
Officers of the late 1800's
|This group of photos is believed to be of officers from the mid 1800's.