the Lake Worth Police Department
was incorporated in 1913. Its 308 residents lived mainly around Lake and Lucerne Avenues. Feeling the need to establish law
and order, they appointed James King as the first town marshal. He earned a salary of $50 per month. Marshal King is the great-grandfather
of Jan Strickbine, who works today as a loan officer in the City Employees Credit Union.
King used his shotgun, not to catch criminals, but to catch fish for his dinner. He used his stopwatch to make sure those
with motor vehicles did not exceed the 8-mph speed limit. Marshal King installed two jail cells in the Police Department,
then located on the site of the present City Hall, but he never had occasion to use them. They were not utilized until two
years later, when the Department was led by Town Marshal Edward Lundy.
the Department had grown to 40 personnel, including clerical staff, two investigators, ten supervisors, one meter maid, a
jail matron and a dog-catcher. Minorities were first represented during this time. Officer P.W. Odum, the Department's first
African-American officer, was personally recruited by Chief Sanders based on the recommendation of a friend. Officer Odum
was paid $210 a month when he was hired in 1950.
the Lake Worth Police Department employs 91 sworn police officers and 44 civilian personnel.
They provide police services to over 33,000 full-time residents. As with most police departments, the patrol division
is the largest division, handling more than 55,000 calls for service last year. Commanded
by a deputy chief, the patrol division is organized into three platoons which provided 24 hour coverage.