Cambridge Police Department, Massachusetts (Images of America Series)

Cambridge Police Department, Massachusetts (Images of America Series)

by David J. Degou
     
 

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Formally organized in 1859 with the appointment of John C. Willey as the first chief of police, the Cambridge Police Department was then manned by only 16 officers. The department has grown dramatically from its humble beginnings and today employs 277 sworn officers and a civilian staff of 37. Cambridge Police Department, the first comprehensive photographic

Overview


Formally organized in 1859 with the appointment of John C. Willey as the first chief of police, the Cambridge Police Department was then manned by only 16 officers. The department has grown dramatically from its humble beginnings and today employs 277 sworn officers and a civilian staff of 37. Cambridge Police Department, the first comprehensive photographic history of the department, contains over 100 years of historical photographs, including images of specialized traffic and K-9 units, auxiliary police officers, uniforms, and equipment. Many of the vintage photographs in the collection have come from the department archives or were donated by family members of Cambridge officers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: New book sheds light on Cambridge Police Department history

Author: Jeremy White

Publisher: Wicked Local Cambridge

Date: 3/30/09

Cambridge police do more than just apply handcuffs and hand out parking tickets. They are also representatives of an institution that is bound up with Cambridge's history.

As the Cambridge Police Department's 150th anniversary approaches, a new book will allow readers to take a visual journey through a history replete with guns, badges and law-enforcing canines.

Entitled "Cambridge Police Department" and authored by Cambridge Police SuperintendentDavid J. Degou, the book assembles more than 200 photographs of Cambridge cops that span over a century.

The Cambridge Police Department first came into being in 1859, and since that time its ranks have swelled from 16 to nearly 300 employees. In the 230 years preceding the department's creation, a town constable was tasked with keeping the peace.

The department's growth has also paralleled larger social trends. In 1884, Frederick Arthur Robinson became the department's first African-American officer, after which he served for 30 years and ascended to the rank of sergeant.

Innovations in law enforcement also serve as historical yardsticks: in 1880 the police chief purchased his 60 officers 10 guns at a cost of $10, in 1889 a system of telephone boxes for the first time enabled instantaneous communication between various stations, and 1969 saw the formation of a K-9 unit.

With Degou's guidance, locations familiar to Cantabrigians emerge in a new perspective. For example, the book notes that what is today called the Longfellow Bridge witnessed the death of William Loughrey -- the first Cambridge officer to fall in the line of duty -- in June 1860.

The book is divided into six different categories of images, including "Specialized Units," "Tools of the Trade" and "Notable Events."

Degou said he decided to put together the book after discovering tomes dedicated to police departments from cities including Los Angeles and Cleveland and noticing a conspicuous lack of a similar volume for Cambridge.

"I thought it would be nice for Cambridge to get involved," Degou said.

Degou said he drew on a variety of resources to realize his idea, including collecting photos from retired officers and perusing back issues of the Cambridge Chronicle to steep himself in the historical context.

Degou said the book should shed light an often-neglected part of Cambridge's already rich history.

"A lot is known about the city of Cambridge, but not a lot is known about the police department other than what's in the annual reports to the city," he said. "It's a little here, a little there, and you try to piece it all together."

"Cambridge Police Department," is available from Arcadia Publishing for $21.99. Available at local retailers, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738562018
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
04/06/2009
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
127
Sales rank:
1,145,856
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


David J. Degou, superintendent of the Cambridge police, was appointed to the Cambridge Police Department in 1975. A U.S. Army veteran, he served in Vietnam with the Americal Division 198th Infantry and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Commissioner Robert C. Haas served as chief of police for the Westwood Police Department for 12 years before being appointed as Massachusetts secretary of public safety by Gov. Mitt Romney. Since April 2007, he has served as the commissioner of police in Cambridge.

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