Police Department History

Police work in Tallmadge began in 1941 when Haskell Jones served as the lone officer and Town Marshal in the village of Tallmadge. In 1944, the village of Tallmadge hired Pat Francis as the first Chief of Police. In 1946, James Boarman was added to the force.

Becoming a City

Tallmadge became a city in 1952, and a third officer, Gerald Knapp was added to the roster. Knapp commented that when his career began his "primary duty was to chase cows and traffic."

First Police Station

The first police station was on the Tallmadge Circle in the building that is now recognized as the Old Town Hall. The facility contained a single jail cell only big enough to accommodate one prisoner. As the population grew and traffic increased on the Circle, attempting to dodge traffic to safely enter or exit the Police Department became a risky proposition.

Increased Population & Increased Crime

The population increase also brought more crime to the area. Captain Knapp commented that "we drew burglars from surrounding communities and a lot of our major crimes were committed by known criminals from Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown." During the early 1960s, the police department operated with a Chief, one Captain, one Sergeant, and three patrol officers.

New Comprehensive Facility & Increased Staff

In 1979 the police department moved into a new building at 53 Northeast Avenue The new facility included a dispatch center, six jail cells, a kitchen, a training room, offices for administrative staff, supervisors, and the detective bureau, a roll call room, and a garage for housing departmental vehicles.

The ranks of the police department increased to include:
  • A Chief of Police
  • 1 Captain
  • 4 Sergeants
  • 2 Detectives
  • 14 Patrol officers

Specialized Additions

Over the years, the department added specialized positions such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer, juvenile detective, and a K-9 unit that served to enhance the quality of life for Tallmadge residents. The Tallmadge Police Department was effectively performing community policing long before the phrase "Community Policing" became popular.

Modern Tallmadge Police Department

The current organizational structure of the Tallmadge Police Department includes:
  • A Chief of Police
  • A Captain who functions as the Operations and Support Services Commander
  • 4 Patrol Sergeants
  • 1 Detective Sergeant and 1 General Assignment Detective
  • 17 Patrol officers

Auxiliary Unit

The Auxiliary Unit of the police department provides valuable assistance to the community through vacation house checks, traffic control at special events, and assistance with the Juvenile Diversion Program and many other tasks.