A Brief History of the New Rochelle Police Department
The Town of New Rochelle established its first professional police department in the Spring of 1885. Up until that time, for almost two centuries, the community had employed constables to provide law enforcement services. The constable-magistrate system, inherited from America's British ancestry, had been the traditional and almost universal system of law enforcement in the United States up until the middle of the nineteenth century. During the nineteenth century, population growth and increased mobility gradually diminished the effectiveness of this personal, relatively informal, and less organized system.
Toward the middle of the century larger, American cities began establishing professional police organizations to administer their law enforcement services.By the end of the century, smaller communities like New Rochelle joined the trend.
Modeled after the New York City Police Department in substance and structure, the original New Rochelle Police Department consisted of four officers: a Captain, William Conklin, to command the Department and three "roundsmen," Thomas Ford, Edward Kelly, and William Stouter, to provide uniformed protective patrol and other police services.