History of Department

1841 - City was known as the Village of Southport. The population was 642. The streets and highways were lanes of mud in wet weather. Records show the first "Marshall" being Waters Townslee.

1850 - Southport changed to Kenosha, with one Constable. City of Kenosha was incorporated.

1880 - Population 5,039 with two police officers, one days and one nights. Their duty was to fill the four kerosene street lamps in Kenosha.

1890 - Population 6,532, five officers on the department. Jobs were strictly political. Civil Service in the year 1907. Communications, "Roundsmen", traveled on bikes delivering messages from headquarters to the officers walking their beat. The police salary was raised to $55 a month. The new big thing, was the city decided the police should have uniforms, but they would have to pay for them themselves. The city would buy the other equipment and it would remain the property of the city. The council also voted to give them $20 a piece to buy an overcoat.

1903 - The Police and Fire Commission was created

1910 - Population 21,371, thirteen officers on the department. Station house located above the Fire Department downtown. Two horse patrol wagons. Police Chief had his own horse and buggy. Switchboard at station and police call boxes were installed.

1913 - Motor driven patrol wagon was put into service. October 12th, the police had their first ambulance call. A man was hit by a motorcycle. They were able to exceed 45 mph.

1920 - Recall System, lights and bells installed.

1923 - First Police Woman was hired. Motorized patrol wagon, three touring cars and five motorcycles. Identification Expert hired, thousands of prints and photographs taken in the first year.

1925 - Police Department temporarily moved to corner of 8th Avenue and 56th Street.

1930 - Population 50,262, seventy three men, two women served on the police department.

1934 - John Dillinger days, Police Department acquired an armored car. Second to Milwaukee in one way radio communication.

1957 - 91 Police Officers assigned to the Kenosha Police Department

1958 - First teletype hookup and Polygraph or lie detector

1962 - 105 Officers and 4 civilians

1965 - 115 officers and 15 civilian workers. Matching the increase in numbers of officers, law enforcement in Kenosha has advanced quite rapidly in the Sciences of the Law Enforcement Field.

1968 - The Canine Unit began with 3 dogs assigned to 3rd shift

1979 - 153 officers and 29 civilians.

1982 - Moved to the new Public Safety Building at 1000 55th Street.

1986 - Joined with the community to start Kenosha Area Crime Stoppers

1992 - 163 officers and 12 civilians.

1994 - 168 officers and 12 civilians.

1996 - Population 85,685, 172 officers and 12 civilians. In car computers installed.

1998 - Population 87,000, first computerized Polygraph system. 99.9% accurate, bicycle unit started

2000 - Population 88,000, 180 officers, completed new networking system within the whole department

2004 - First digital in squad video systems installed into 31 patrol cars. Officers begin carrying TASER electronic control devices. Population 92,000

2005 - Digital radio system went on the air, first P25 digital radio system in Wisconsin

2006 - Digital video system installed in all interview rooms

2008 - Launched Kenosha's Most Wanted on the KPD website, population 96,000, canine unit consisting of 2 dogs started back up with funding from the community

2010 - Full renovation of police department with new front lobby, patrol operations, detective bureau and administrative wing

2013 - First purchase of Ford Interceptor squad cars, slowly phasing out Chevrolet Impala squads