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Police Motorcycles

1900 August 15th Lower Merion Township becomes a 1st class township. The township creates its first police department consisting of 7 officers and Charles D. Moore is appointed the first Police Chief. His salary was $55.00 per month. Officers were paid $45.00.
1903 Speed enforced by a stopwatch. Twenty five speeding arrests were made that year.
1904 Bicycles used for patrol. Police ambulance service implemented.
1910 First motorcycle purchased for patrol.
1911 James I. Donaghy appointed Chief of Police.  Department consists of 13 officers. First motor vehicle used for patrol.
1921 Department consists of 32 Patrolmen, 3 Sergeants and the Chief of Police.
1924 September 15, first officer killed in the line of duty, Francis "Buck" Roy.
1926 Township municipal building erected at 75 E. Lancaster Ave., its present location.  Police headquarters was located in the basement of the Township building.  In September of this year, Charles B. Smith was appointed to Chief of Police.  With his appointment the title, Chief, was changed to Superintendent.  Under Superintendent Smith, the Investigations Unit was established.  The first radio system was installed in five automobiles and twelve officers were trained to dispatch using the radio system.  Officers in the cars could receive calls only.
1927 On June 9th, Officer Elwyne A. Fletcher was killed in an on duty motorcycle accident.
1934 Department consists of Superintendent, 3 Lieutenants, 6 Sergeants and 82 Patrolmen.
1937 Samuel W. Gearhart appointed as Superintendent.  Officers were now required to graduate from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy prior to service.  Annual salary for LMPD  recruit was $1500.00.  Superintendent Gearhart introduced the police code of Lower Merion Township.  The department had a nationally renowned pistol shooting team.
1938

First two-way radio system installed.

1941 J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, writes a letter to Lower Merion Police Superintendent Samuel Gearhart commending him on the region's low crime rate.  Hoover even goes so far as to ask if there had been some mistake in the caculations, since he has rarely seen similar statistics come from such a large area.
1949 G. Andrew McLaughlin appointed to Superintendent.  Police moved to their own building, located at 71 East Lancaster Avenue.
1969 Superintendent James J. McCaughey appointed.  Implemented new units including Crime Prevention and Traffic Safety.  The department fostered the development of the community watch program.
1981 Patrick J. Joyce appointed to superintendent of police and becomes Township Manager the following year.
1982 Salvatore G. Frustaci appointed as superintendent. Police moved into the new Public Safety Building, at its current location, 71 E. Lancaster Avenue.
1985 Superintendent Henry E. Hasson appointed.  The department consists of 131 officers serving a community of 59,000 residents spread over 24 sq. miles.
1988 September 30, Officer Edward M. Setzer killed in the line of duty.
1990 Department switches from .38 caliber revolvers to Glock 9mm handguns.  Protective vests are issued to all officers.
1992 9-1-1 Center installed in the Lower Merion Township Public Safety Building.
1994 Superintendent Joseph J. Daly appointed.  Department consists of 144 officers.  Under Superintendent Daly, the Community Policing Unit, Bicycle Patrol and Special Investigations Units are developed.
1998 Patrol cars equipped with cameras.  A Canine Unit consisting of two police dogs trained in narcotics detection are put into service. New style custom fitted uniforms are introduced. The Emergency Response Team was created to deal with high risk warrant service and other incidents requiring specially trained tactical officers.
2000 A third Canine Team, trained in explosive detection, is added to the Canine Unit. In car computers and mobile data terminals are installed in marked police cars creating a paperless reporting system. The civil disobedience unit was created in the event of a large scale disorderly group. The Public Safety Building was renamed in Honor of fallen Officer Edward M. Setzer.
2002 An additional canine team trained in explosive detection was added. An Honor Guard, trained by the USMC Headquarters Ceremonial Unit, was established.
2006 The Department received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
2009 Michael J. McGrath is appointed to Superintendent of Police.  The department consists of 136 officers.  The department is revaluated by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and is reaccredited for three more years.
Last updated: 10/22/2013 3:18:47 PM