About the Northampton Police DepartmentThe Northampton Police Department is a full service law enforcement agency.
According to the Northampton Police Department, “From 1782 to 1860, Northampton residents relied on the services
of the Northampton Society for Thievesand Robbers for their protection. This was an organization of businessmen,
comprised of a Clerk, a Treasurer, a Board of Directors and twelve pursuers. For a fee of $2.00 per year,
this group provided protection for your property against thieves and robbers. Unfortunately, this organization
was no longer in operation when in January of 1876, the Northampton National Bank was burglarized. The
notorious and skilled burglars were able to pull off such a heist because the two night patrolman employed by the town had
gone home at 4:00 AM.
In 1884, one of the early acts of the first Mayor of
the newly chartered City of Northampton, was to establish a police department. Mayor Benjamin E. Cook appointed
Colonel Joseph E. Parsons as the first Chief of Police in February of that year. Along with his two night
policemen, his mission was to keep order, to remove all suspected persons and to protect property from loss or damage.
As the City of Northampton grew and changed, so too did it's police department. In 1917 we received
our first police automobile. In that same year the Center Street School was converted to a police station.
Forty-eight years later, in 1965, the present police station was constructed in an adjacent lot on Center Street.
In its 112 year history the Northampton Police Department
has led the way in many advances in the field of police services. Northampton was the first police department
in Western Massachusetts to have the 911 phone system and among the first to offer videotaped booking for use in court proceedings.
In more recent years, Northampton was the first community in Massachusetts to replicate the Drug Abuse Resistance Education
(DARE) program. In 1994, Northampton was the first to offer a Citizen Police Academy.”