Police & Law Enforcement

Historic photos of those who have sworn to "serve and protect" - the first responders in dangerous situations.
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"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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This photo was rescued from an antique shop in Seaside, Oregon on January 24, 2015. No name on the back, but some good information: Age 21, Year: 1925 (so subject born ca. 1904). Address is 1814 Toberman Street in Los Angeles. I should be able to track down census or city directories to hopefully get a name.
A photo of Officer Peter Arens, Minneapolis Minnesota Police Officer. My grandmother’s father was a police officer early 20th century Minneapolis. He was born in 1873 and died in 1950.
People in this photo:
1873 - 1950
A photo of my Great Grandfather: Fredrick William Green, Omaha Police Officer.
People in this photo:
c. Jan 17, 1864 - c. Nov 21, 1937
Added Aug 26, 2014 by: Ronda Hewett
Ronda Hewett
94 favorites
1877 - 1912 died from lockjaw as a result of a coal mining accident at age 34.
People in this photo:
Apr 14, 1877 - Dec 7, 1912
Added Jun 18, 2014 by: Charles Foertmeyer
Charles Foertmeyer
5 favorites
Topics:
A photo of John Alexander Campbell
People in this photo:
Dec 27, 1892 - May 16, 1964
Added May 13, 2014 by: Glenda Sharry
Glenda Sharry
11 favorites
A photo of John Samonek, 1926 - 2010, in his police uniform.
People in this photo:
Mar 17, 1926 - Aug 12, 2010
Added Apr 27, 2013 by: Chris Samonek
Chris Samonek
7 favorites
Grandpa Alfred O. Swift was elected Town Marshall for Sabula, Iowa. This photo was taken in 1899.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
John Elmer Mason, NYPD in 1922, age 22
People in this photo:
March 1900 - Unknown
This photo portrait of Bernard Battles was sent to my great-great-grandfather, Roscoe Dabney Chesterman, a policeman in Richmond, Virginia.Though the note is dated 1894, Mr. Battles thanks Mr. Chesterman for his help in September of 1892. Presumably, this concerned police business between the two states.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of a Policewoman and policeman practicing self-defense
Added Jan 11, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
428 favorites
This is a photo of William Francis Hartenstine added by William Hartenstine on September 11, 2020.
People in this photo:
Jul 25, 1922 - Mar 5, 1997
Added Sep 11 by: William Hartenstine
William Hartenstine
22 favorites
Topics:
This is a photo of Clarence William Sherrill added by Jesse Dean Williams on September 11, 2020.
People in this photo:
Dec 19, 1887 - Aug 16, 1974
Added Sep 11 by: Jesse Dean Williams
Jesse Dean Williams
292 favorites
Topics:
Clancy Moore, chief of police for 20 years, in Latta, Dillon Co, South Carolina
People in this photo:
Dec 19, 1890 - June 1974
This is a photo of Stephen J Branaugh added by Stephanie Branaugh on April 16, 2020.
People in this photo:
Mar 9, 1958 - Apr 26, 2003
Added Apr 16 by: Stephanie Branaugh
Stephanie Branaugh
4 favorites
Topics:
This is a photo of Lewis E Cleaver added by Dan Hiller on March 24, 2020.
People in this photo:
Mar 15, 1924 - Mar 25, 1993
Added Mar 24 by: Dan Hiller
Dan Hiller
3 favorites
Topics:
Herbert rose in the ranks to be come a detective. His father Thomas was also in the Police force.
Added Oct 28, 2019 by: Andrew Gibson
Andrew Gibson
14 favorites
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A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett and coworkers
People in this photo:
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Added Oct 23, 2019 by: Thomas Brett
Thomas Brett
80 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett and coworkers
People in this photo:
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Added Oct 23, 2019 by: Thomas Brett
Thomas Brett
80 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett
People in this photo:
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Added Oct 23, 2019 by: Thomas Brett
Thomas Brett
80 favorites
Topics:
Heres a photograph showing the Norwegian State Police school in Christiania ( Oslo today) 1920, wich depicts my great great grandfather Johannes and his fellow officers. Hes the 3rd at bottom row from the left.
People in this photo:
1871 - 1941
This is a photograph Taken in 1902 showing the officers in Bergen. My great great grandfather Johannes Sundvor is in the photo nr 9 on second row .
People in this photo:
1871 - 1941
A photo of Edward Ellingson Enger, Deputy Sheriff at Hanley Falls, Yellow Medicine, Minnesota, circa 1900
People in this photo:
Mar 12, 1873 - Apr 11, 1935
Added May 24, 2019 by: Dianne Snell
Dianne Snell
14 favorites
A photo of David Winslow Newkirk
People in this photo:
Nov 24, 1924 - Jan 2, 1970
Added Feb 21, 2019 by: Keith O
Keith O
62 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Arthur Willkings Newkirk Sr
People in this photo:
Mar 10, 1894 - Nov 19, 1954
Added Feb 21, 2019 by: Keith O
Keith O
62 favorites
Topics:
A photo of James Elson (Templeton) Blount
People in this photo:
1871 - 1961
Added Sep 2, 2018 by: Emma Jones
Emma Jones
25 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Anthony Kalinowski
People in this photo:
May 10, 1925 - July 1979
Added Sep 1, 2018 by: Joe Kalinowski
Joe Kalinowski
22 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Anthony Kalinowski
People in this photo:
May 10, 1925 - July 1979
Added Aug 11, 2018 by: Joe Kalinowski
Joe Kalinowski
22 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Guy Webster
People in this photo:
Aug 11, 1927 - Oct 5, 1988
Added Aug 10, 2018 by: Toni Thomas
Toni Thomas
4 favorites
Topics:
A portrait of Henry Adelhoch as a policeman.
People in this photo:
Oct 27, 1903 - January 1956
Added Aug 3, 2018 by: Jacob Adelhoch
Jacob Adelhoch
3 favorites
Topics:
This is a picture of my sister, Betty Mort, and a friend,.Trooper Marcheniti. of the PA. State Police. Taken in 1944 on the PA Turnpike, probably by the Willow Hill interchange - My sister in custody
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of James B. Margritier
People in this photo:
May 8, 1952 - Jun 12, 2013
Added Mar 24, 2018 by: Sue Broussard
Sue Broussard
58 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Glenda Juanita Durden Smyly
People in this photo:
Added Mar 15, 2018 by: Sandy Smyly
Sandy Smyly
34 favorites
Topics:
A photo of James Willett Moseley in a Fort Lee New Jersey Auxillary Police Uniform.
People in this photo:
Aug 4, 1931 - Nov 16, 2012
Added Jan 3, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Richard Joseph Nunez - this was when my dad worked as a sheriff in san bernardino
Added Apr 7, 2017 by: Lily Moyotl
Lily Moyotl
22 favorites
Topics:
These are my children, Keith and Kathy Waters, with a Park Policeman and his horse while on a visit to Washington, DC, 1965-1966. (Petting the horse)
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 3, 2017 by: Marlene Christopher
Marlene Christopher
239 favorites
A photo of Jack W Gascoyne
People in this photo:
Jul 10, 1916 - Nov 9, 1999
Added Jan 2, 2017 by: Carrie Thompson
Carrie Thompson
6 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Albert "Ab" Thomas Hargis. We always called him "Ab". Why? He was the son of Clyde L. Hargis and Rosie Hargis. In 1928, Albert married Margie Anna Lee, in Idaho. They were the parents of 8 children.
People in this photo:
Sep 26, 1899 - January 1989
Added Dec 26, 2016 by: Kelly Sullivan
Kelly Sullivan
271 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Captain George McNamee - a officer in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1880 to 1921.
People in this photo:
1854 - Unknown
Added Aug 31, 2016 by: John Sullivan
John Sullivan
34 favorites
A photo of Terry J Bergmann
People in this photo:
May 7, 1950 - Sep 23, 1978
Added Jun 3, 2016 by: Jeramy Bergmann
Jeramy Bergmann
31 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Ralph Edwin Niles. My brother was a policeman for Adrian, Michigan and later a bailiff for Judge Pickard of Adrian Michigan.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Apr 3, 2016 by: Lauretta Niles
Lauretta Niles
63 favorites
Topics:
A 1983 rookie cop photo of Jeffrey Schackart - Brevard County sheriff's office, Florida
People in this photo:
1960 - Unknown
Added Mar 11, 2016 by: Jeffrey Schackart
Jeffrey Schackart
7 favorites
A photo of Barry Wallace Faulkner (1950 - 2009)
People in this photo:
May 13, 1950 - Oct 26, 2009
Added Nov 21, 2015 by: Becky Frisby
Becky Frisby
22 favorites
A photo of Saturnino Barela CARBAJAL, seated 6th from left, my great-grandfather born Dec.1854 Soccoro, Texas, died Jul 1916 El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas Police Force 1910
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Carl John Vittrup
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Aug 23, 2015 by: Franci Callahan
Franci Callahan
20 favorites
A photo of Ray Cortland Young in his U.S. Secret Service uniform.
People in this photo:
Oct 12, 1894 - Nov 27, 1954
Added Jul 28, 2015 by: Barrett Young
Barrett Young
284 favorites
A photo of Lt. Bill Strauch and Stephen Strauch, his Dad. The photo was taken in the late 1960's at the Grayton Street, Detroit, Michigan home of Steve & Emma Strauch who came from Oliver #1 (Uniontown), Pennsylvania during WWII. Steve & Emma raised four sons: Steve, Emil, William, John, and two daughters: Irene Ontko and Bobbie (Cecilia) Zeweke. All of their children were born in Pennsylvania.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Apr 3, 2015 by: Tommy Dale
Tommy Dale
85 favorites
A photo of LT. WILLIAM "WILLIE" STRAUCH, asking "And how can I help?" Lt. Bill Strauch, Homicide Division, Detroit Police Department (Retired). This photo taken in 1967 at the peak of the Detroit riots. Lt. Strauch was with the entry team conducting a raid at a location where someone from above was firing at officers patrolling the street. The Thompson sub-machine gun was being used by the suspect to fire at under-armed police. The perpetrator became a casualty and the 'Tommy Gun' was "kept as evidence" by Strauch until after the riot was under control...about three years later. Lt. Strauch served DPD for twenty-five years. He was born in Oliver #1, Pennsylvania and passed in 2001. He was a U.S. Army veteran and graduated from Cass Tech High School. He raised six sons with his wife, Micky.
People in this photo:
Jan 24, 1928 - Jun 6, 2001
Added Apr 3, 2015 by: Tommy Dale
Tommy Dale
85 favorites
A photo of Howard K Darden (1938 - 2008)
People in this photo:
Oct 8, 1938 - Nov 5, 2008
Added Feb 12, 2015 by: Donnie Darden
Donnie Darden
4 favorites
Maxie Schrecker on left with Henderson Police Dept.. Jennings Lilly on right (my grandfather) Photo courtesy of HPD..
People in this photo:
Sep 24, 1914 - Sep 26, 2000
Added Oct 16, 2014 by: Eric Lilly
Eric Lilly
3 favorites
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