Little Rock Look Back: First six Little Rock Police officers are hired

On January 9, 1866, the new Little Rock City Council held its second meeting after the post-Civil War resumption of municipal government.  At that meeting, a special committee was created to meet with Gen. Williams who was the military commander for Arkansas.  Mayor J. J. McAlmont, Alderman I. A. Henry, and Alderman Henry Ashley were authorized to discuss the creation of a permanent police force in Little Rock.

At the same meeting, the City Council hired the first Little Rock police officers. These six men were hired on a temporary basis until a department could be created. Their pay was $3.00 a day (that would be the equivalent of $47.55 a day in 2019). The first six officers were John O’Brien, Thomas Doyle, James Anderson, John Henry, Fred Kurtz, and Joseph Chears.

Prior to the Civil War, Little Rock had a Constable and volunteers, but no police force.  As the City had continued to grow, even during the Civil War, as the government was reorganizing, it was felt it was time for a permanent police force.

The Little Rock Police Department was officially created on January 15, 1866 by Ordinance 2 of 1866. Two days later, the salary was set at $2.00 a day.  No reason was given as to the reduction from the temporary pay base.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s