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Police and Law Enforcement

Historic photos of those who have sworn to "serve and protect" - the first responders in dangerous situations.

"His job involves putting others' needs ahead of yours." - a policeman's wife. This quote sums up the life of most policemen and women and their families. Whether federal, state, or local law enforcement, the lives of the police most often revolve around their chosen profession. This has always been the case.

Often a family tradition of serving the community, generation following after generation, the life of a cop requires a lot of dedication. Long hours, dangerous conditions - domestic disputes are often the most perilous - and, often, the mistrust of the people they are serving, is a grueling experience. While previous generations of police have been good and honorable people, wanting to protect those in their communities, the current racial and political divisions have taken their toll.

Current police officers say such things as:
"I pulled over a female the other day, and it took her a block or two to stop. When she finally did, I asked why, and she said she didn’t want to stop where there wasn’t any light, because she didn’t know what I was going to do to her. I thought, Wow, we’re the bad guys now." - a police officer in Florida

"That anxiety you feel when you encounter us? We feel it too." - a police officer in Ohio

"Before, when we stopped a car, we just walked up, said “You’re speeding,” and asked for license and registration. Now the first thing we ask is if they have a weapon in the vehicle." - an Iowa state trooper.

Times have changed, the cultural environment has changed, but the life of a police officer hasn't. It has only gotten more dangerous. From the lawmen of the Old West to the community patrols of the present, these are the photos of those have chosen to serve and protect, often at their own peril.

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Taken in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA in .
This photo was rescued from an antique shop in Seaside, Oregon on January 24,... more
Shared on Jan 26, 2015 by
A photo of Officer Peter Arens, Minneapolis Minnesota Police Officer. My... more
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Shared on Oct 16, 2014 by
Taken on .
A photo of my Great Grandfather: Fredrick William Green, Omaha Police Officer.
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Shared on Aug 26, 2014 by
Taken in Elkville, Jackson County, IL .
1877 - 1912 died from lockjaw as a result of a coal mining accident at age 34.
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Shared on Jun 18, 2014 by
Taken in Australia in .
A photo of John Alexander Campbell
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Shared on May 13, 2014 by
A photo of John Samonek, 1926 - 2010, in his police uniform.
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Shared on Apr 27, 2013 by
Taken in Sabula, Jackson County, IA USA in .
Grandpa Alfred O. Swift was elected Town Marshall for Sabula, Iowa. This... more
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Shared on Jun 6, 2012 by
Taken in New York, NY USA in .
John Elmer Mason, NYPD in 1922, age 22
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Shared on Feb 24, 2012 by
Taken at G. Waldon Smith, Photographer,145 Tremont Street, Boston, MA USA in .
This photo portrait of Bernard Battles was sent to my... more
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Shared on Feb 19, 2012 by
A photo of a Policewoman and policeman practicing self-defense
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
A photo of James Elson (Templeton) Blount
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Shared on Sep 2 by
A photo of Guy Webster
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Shared on Aug 10 by
A portrait of Henry Adelhoch as a policeman.
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Shared on Aug 3 by
This is a picture of my sister, Betty Mort, and a friend,.Trooper Marcheniti.... more
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Shared on Apr 14 by
A photo of James Willett Moseley in a Fort Lee New Jersey Auxillary Police... more
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Shared on Jan 3 by
A photo of Richard Joseph Nunez - this was when my dad worked as a sheriff in... more
Shared on Apr 7, 2017 by
These are my children, Keith and Kathy Waters, with a Park Policeman and his... more
Shared on Jan 3, 2017 by
A photo of Jack W Gascoyne
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Shared on Jan 2, 2017 by
A photo of Albert "Ab" Thomas Hargis. We always called him "Ab". Why? He was... more
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Shared on Dec 26, 2016 by
A photo of Captain George McNamee - a officer in St. Louis, Missouri, from... more
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Shared on Aug 31, 2016 by
A photo of Terry J Bergmann
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Shared on Jun 3, 2016 by
A photo of Ralph Edwin Niles. My brother was a policeman for Adrian, Michigan... more
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Shared on Apr 3, 2016 by
Taken in Cocoa Beach, Brevard County, FL on .
A 1983 rookie cop photo of Jeffrey Schackart - Brevard County sheriff's... more
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Shared on Mar 11, 2016 by
A photo of Barry Wallace Faulkner (1950 - 2009)
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Shared on Nov 21, 2015 by
Taken in Dallas, TX.
A photo of Carl John Vittrup
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Shared on Aug 23, 2015 by