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Billy Chase

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About the Bridgeport Police Department

The first inception of a Police Department for the City of Bridgeport was through a bill enacted on January 7, 1837. The “Night Watch” Bill, as it was referred to, was the first recorded action in an effort toward the protection of life and property in Bridgeport.  Soon thereafter, on October 17, 1837, the Court of Common Council appointed 25 special constables to “preserve the peace”. The constables would make the rounds or “patrol the streets”, as had their predecessors, hence the acronym cops  (constables on patrol). They had the authority to make arrests, but received no salaries with the exception of expenditure reimbursements that were levied by the court.


On May 6, 1848, the first “police station” or watch house was established in the cellar of a building located on the north corner of Bank and Water Streets. Later, the constables worked out of the basement of the city hall building. By 1861, the city charter allowed for fifty constables, although in actuality they only had 38 constables. Thomas P. White was installed as the first Chief of special constables in the City of Bridgeport (which now had a population of approximately 40,000) on December 12, 1865. A few months later, William E. Marsh was appointed the first Chief of both police and constables on April 12, 1866.  In 1872, Wakeman W. Wells, a 1st sergeant of the Republican Army post in Stratford (1847), was appointed as the first Chief of police and special constables of East Bridgeport with a complement of 41 men.





Billy Chase grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut.   He worked as a guard for the Connecticut State Correctional Department at the Whalley Avenue Correctional Facility in New Haven, Connecticut.  After a short stint with the Monroe Police Department (Connecticut) he joined the Bridgeport Police Department (Connecticut).  In 1992, he retired from the Bridgeport Police Department


Billy Chase is the author of Chased: Alone, Black, and Undercover.  According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Chase may well be one of the most courageous police officers now working a beat. As an undercover narcotics agent in Bridgeport, Conn., he has infiltrated black, Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Colombian and Italian mobs, fortified by smarts he acquired on the street in his own youth, and fueled by his hatred of drugs and organized crime. But while his primary struggle was waged against gangsters, he also fought racism: on more than one occasion, Chase held a gun on thugs he had arrested only to hear them yell for help, claiming he was robbing them; spectators were all too ready to believe the claim.”


One reader of Chase said, “This is an excellent book that puts you right in the passenger seat for a thrilling ride. You will be amazed at some of the things you will read. It is an insight in the underworld of drug trafficking and undercover police work. A must for hardcore police work done the ol' fashion way - respect and courage!”

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