Holland Police – 100th Anniversary, 1907 - 2007
Police Chief John Kruithoff talks about the changes in the department over the years.
One hundred years ago, the hourly wage for a police officer was under .25 cents. He could earn more if he shot a stray dog – 50 cents per dog. The officers weren’t allowed to talk to each other while on duty at that time and they couldn’t speak to people unless spoken to first. It certainly didn’t make for great relations with the public.
The department began with five officers, a bicycle and a police dog on 21 May 1907. Currently there are 62 sworn officers and 15 civilian staff. Open house is being held to let the public see what the new police facility (2004) is like.
There is a jail that can hold up to 52 inmates, an on-site evidence processing lab and a 10-station firearms range/training center.
Patrol vehicles are no equipped with radios and computers so the officers can find information immediately. Before radios, lights placed around the city would be turned on to alert policemen of a complaint. The officers would then have to go to the police department to get the details before responding.
There were fewer laws to enforce. Mainly, people were prohibited from racing their horses in the city, leaving them unsecured or tying them to ornamental trees.
One of the changes that Kruithoff has incorporated is community policing. Focusing on building relationships between the public and the officers.
Created: 26 January 2008