First Responders: Policemen and Policewomen

Updated on Sep 11, 2019. Originally added on Aug 18, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
From traffic control (don't you wish NYC traffic today were like the 1911 photo?) to crowd control, police men and women have been on the front lines. These are photos of those who have sworn to serve and protect, dating from the 1800's and early 1900's. In some ways, a lot has changed but the duties of these men and women have remained the same.

Historical facts: Thousands of years ago in China, "prefects" carried out investigations. In ancient Greece, slaves were responsible for crowd control and made arrests. And in the Roman empire, the army was in charge of security while local watchmen would be hired for extra help.

First Responders: Policemen and Policewomen

New York PD, 1908

New York City Police Dept.

Dig that phone!

Traffic cop, 1918

Mrs. L. O. King

Women taking police exam

They might be policewomen



They might be giants

Measuring the recruits

In 1925, they wanted policemen who were over 6 ft - these guys are measuring up!

A "rurale", 1903

A rurale - Mexico border police

A Mexican "border policeman" (rurale) on horseback.

Detectives escorting hitman

[Detective Lt. Joseph Petrosiino( left) , Inspector Carey...

The hitman was called "Petto the Ox" - 1903.

Town Marshall, 1899

 Alfred O. Swift, Iowa 1899

Using a mirror to direct traffic

Traffic cop

1907 comic photo

You'll excuse me

Making out while policeman peeks in . . . oh, the teenage years!

Swearing in one of the "little band of sleuths"

D.C. Female "sleuth"

Yes, they did that - they called her a part of the "little band of sleuths".

Handcuffing a suspect

Training a policewoman

A policeman and policewoman demonstrate how to handcuff a suspect.

1905 - "The Life of an American Policeman"

"The Life of an American Policeman"

Still from the movie.

Policewomen receiving marksmanship training

Marksmanship training

Guarding President Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt - 1918

Washington DC police guarding TR just before his death.

Police parade, 1904

Policemen's parade, Fifth Avenue, New York

5th Ave, NYC

Harbor police, 1926

Harbor police boat, [7/1/26]

Traffic control

Traffic squad police

In 1911 New York City.

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