The Ann Arbor Police Department has a long and storied history since it's origins began in 1847.
|On May 3, 1847, H.K. Stanley was elected as Ann Arbor's first marshal. The marshal had no central office and no staff. There was no formal police department and the marshal was the only law enforcement officer in the city, paid per arrest. As there were very few arrests in those days, the marshal did not rely on this job for his livelihood. Most of the marshals were farmers that were summoned to make arrests when warranted. From 1847 until 1871, the marshal continued to be the sole law enforcement officer in Ann Arbor. This would change in 1871 upon the formation of the Ann Arbor Police Department.
The Ann Arbor Police Department was formed by city council action due to concerns about the lack of 'moral tone' found in the city by members of the State of Michigan Legislature. At that time the city had 38 saloons, gambling rooms and pool halls.
Members of the legislature came to Ann Arbor for business with the University of Michigan in early 1871. After visiting the city, they were extremely concerned with the atmosphere they found available for the students, which in turned pressured city leaders into establishing the Ann Arbor Police Department.
The Ann Arbor Police Department grew from its original four members to the current strength of 159 sworn officers and 67 civilians. Ann Arbor has had a rich tradition of policing and has had many high-profile crimes to investigate since its inception.
Four Ann Arbor Officers have died in the line of duty, one murdered, one died of a heart attack and two from traffic accidents. The murdered officer, Clifford Stang, was shot and killed on March 21, 1935, as he walked into a downtown clothing store and interrupted an armed robbery.
Through the years, the Department has steadily grown to keep up with the demands of the city. We are extremely proud of all the men and women that have served through the years. If you would like more information on the Ann Arbor Police Department, a history book of the department was written in 2002 and is available at the local Ann Arbor Library. You can also tour the Police Department's history room, which contains memorabilia from the early days of the Department. Please call Officer Joon Hur at 734-794-6000, ext. 49235, if you are interested.