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Police & Law Enforcement

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

"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:
Peter Arens
1873 - 1950
A photo of my Great Grandfather: Fredrick William Green, Omaha Police Officer.
People in this photo:
Frederick William Green
around Jan 17, 1864 - around Nov 21, 1937
1877 - 1912 died from lockjaw as a result of a coal mining accident at age 34.
People in this photo:
John Walter Schwartz
Apr 14, 1877 - Dec 7, 1912
Shared on Jun 18, 2014 by:
Topics:
A photo of John Alexander Campbell
People in this photo:
John Alexander Campbell
Dec 27, 1892 - May 16, 1964
Caloundra, QLD, Australia
A photo of John Samonek, 1926 - 2010, in his police uniform.
People in this photo:
John Samonek
Mar 17, 1926 - Aug 12, 2010
Zephyrhills, FL, USA
Shared on Apr 27, 2013 by:
Grandpa Alfred O. Swift was elected Town Marshall for Sabula, Iowa. This photo was taken in 1899.
People in this photo:
John Elmer Mason, NYPD in 1922, age 22
People in this photo:
John Webster Mason
Born: March 1900
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:
A photo of a Policewoman and policeman practicing self-defense
Herbert rose in the ranks to be come a detective. His father Thomas was also in the Police force.
A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett and coworkers
People in this photo:
Bartley P Brett
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Villas, NJ
A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett and coworkers
People in this photo:
Bartley P Brett
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Villas, NJ
A photo of Sergeant Bartley P Brett
People in this photo:
Bartley P Brett
Apr 10, 1917 - 1997
Villas, NJ
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:
Johannes Sundvor
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:
Johannes Sundvor
1871 - 1941
A photo of Edward Ellingson Enger, Deputy Sheriff at Hanley Falls, Yellow Medicine, Minnesota, circa 1900
People in this photo:
Edward E. Enger
Mar 12, 1873 - Apr 11, 1935
A photo of David Winslow Newkirk
People in this photo:
David Winslow Newkirk
Nov 24, 1924 - Jan 2, 1970
A photo of Arthur Willkings Newkirk Sr
People in this photo:
Arthur Willkings Newkirk Sr
Mar 10, 1894 - Nov 19, 1954
A photo of James Elson (Templeton) Blount
People in this photo:
James Elson Blount
1871 - 1961
A photo of Anthony Kalinowski
People in this photo:
Anthony S. Kalinowski
May 10, 1925 - July 1979
Maynard, MA
A photo of Anthony Kalinowski
People in this photo:
Anthony S. Kalinowski
May 10, 1925 - July 1979
Maynard, MA
A photo of Guy Webster
People in this photo:
Guy Webster
Aug 11, 1927 - Oct 5, 1988
Albertville, AL
A portrait of Henry Adelhoch as a policeman.
People in this photo:
Henry Adelhoch
Oct 27, 1903 - January 1956
North Bergen, NJ, United States
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:
A photo of James B. Margritier
People in this photo:
James B. Margritier
May 8, 1952 - Jun 12, 2013
A photo of Glenda Juanita Durden Smyly
People in this photo:
A photo of James Willett Moseley in a Fort Lee New Jersey Auxillary Police Uniform.
People in this photo:
James Willett Moseley
Aug 4, 1931 - Nov 16, 2012
A photo of Richard Joseph Nunez - this was when my dad worked as a sheriff in san bernardino
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:
A photo of Jack W Gascoyne
People in this photo:
Jack W Gascoyne
Jul 10, 1916 - Nov 9, 1999
Sun City West, AZ
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:
Albert "Ab" Thomas Hargis
Sep 26, 1899 - January 1989
Fontana, CA
A photo of Captain George McNamee - a officer in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1880 to 1921.
People in this photo:
George McNamee
Born: 1854
A photo of Terry J Bergmann
People in this photo:
Terry James Bergmann
May 7, 1950 - Sep 23, 1978
Tampa, FL, United States
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:
A 1983 rookie cop photo of Jeffrey Schackart - Brevard County sheriff's office, Florida
People in this photo:
Jeffrey Schackart
Born: 1960
A photo of Barry Wallace Faulkner (1950 - 2009)
People in this photo:
Barry Wallace Faulkner
May 13, 1950 - Oct 26, 2009
el dorado, ar, us
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:
A photo of Carl John Vittrup
People in this photo:
A photo of Ray Cortland Young in his U.S. Secret Service uniform.
People in this photo:
Ray Cyrus Cortland Young
Oct 12, 1894 - Nov 27, 1954
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:
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:
William "Bill" Francis Strauch
Jan 24, 1928 - Jun 6, 2001
A photo of Howard K Darden (1938 - 2008)
People in this photo:
Howard K Darden
Oct 8, 1938 - Nov 5, 2008
Bracey, VA
Maxie Schrecker on left with Henderson Police Dept.. Jennings Lilly on right (my grandfather) Photo courtesy of HPD..
People in this photo:
Maxie B Schrecker
Sep 24, 1914 - Sep 26, 2000
Henderson, KY
My dad "Allen McGee" with the sheriff at Silver Dollar City
People in this photo:
This is a photo of A photo from the Police collection. added by David Thomas on August 30, 2014.
A photo of Troy Louis Barboza
People in this photo:
Troy Louis Barboza
Mar 8, 1963 - Oct 22, 1987
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