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The History of the Riverview Police Department

                                                                       The History of the Riverview Police Department

In the early 1920’s residents of Monguagon Township elected to form a village government to be known as the Village of Riverview and incorporate a charter.  During the first village council meeting on May 3rd 1923, among the acts of business was the appointment of the first police Chief.   Roy A. Smith, a WW 1 veteran and former Wayne County Deputy was chosen.  Chief Smith served until April 6th, 1934 when he resigned.  Roy Smith served as a Justice of the Peace and Trustee/Treasurer of Monguagon Township and became the first Treasurer of the new City of Riverview in 1959.

Some of the significant moments in the early history include the following:

  • May 15, 1923 the council voted t pay Chief Smith $100 a month and authorized the purchase of a police motorcycle, a 1923 Henderson 61, CI 4 cylinder one of the fastest motorcycles available and favored by the police.
  • A traffic ordinance, a traffic sign ordinance and a police commission were established.
  • The council also authorized the purchase of the first Riverview Police Car, a 1924 Dodge Brothers convertible sedan.
  • In September 1924, Ford Motor Company sold the former carriage house of FB Sibley to the Village which then moved the carriage house to West Jefferson (tot lot area) where it was renovated and used as a Village hall, Fire Department and Police Station from 1924 to 1959.
  • May 1924 Chief Smith buys a jail bunk for $17.00
  • May 14, 1924 the village passes into law a “Disorderly Person Ordinance”.
  • October 20, 1925the village buys Chief Smith a service weapon.
  • On March 23, 1926 the village hired its second officer, Albert J. Valade, whose official title was to be “Captain of Night Police”.
  • April 1, 1926 Albert Williams was hired as a motorcycle patrol officer and worked until December 1926.
  • In 1927 Russel Floyd Gorham was hired as a motorcycle officer to replace Albert Williams. Russ worked until 1953 when he passed after an illness.
  • In 1929 Andrew Tear was hired as a part time officer.
  • April 18, 1930 Andrew Davis was hired as a motorcycle patrolman. The shifts at this time were 20 days straight, 12 hour days with no sick leave, overtime or paid holidays.  Officers received 10 days off.
  • April 6th, 1934, Roy Smith resigned as Chief and Albert Valade was appointed Chief and served as such until his death on April 19, 1945.
  • From 1934 to 1935 the village police force consisted of two full time officers, Chief Valade and Patrolman Gorham. On October 1st, 1935 Elmer manning was appointed as a patrolman.
  • After 1935, Andrew Davis was appointed as a full time officer and in 1943 a local mechanic Howard Krause was hired.
  • Claude Lester Hale was hired in 1943 as a dog warden a made a fulltime patrolman working the 8-4 shift until he died at work on June 1963.
  • On April 19, 1945 Chief Valade passed away from cancer. May 1st. 1945 the council appointed Andrew Davis as the next Chief with a salary of $250 a month.  Also in 1945 Howard Krause was named as second in command of the department.

In the beginning years of the department the station was open from 1:00 pm to 1:00 am.  If an officer was needed before or after hours the resident called the officer at his home.

By 1954 Chief Davis increased the manpower of the department to eight fulltime and one part-time patrolman.

In 1957 the first Sergeants, Manning, Melms Molnar and Krause were appointed.  By 1959 the department consisted of thirteen patrolman, four sergeants and the chief of police.

As part of a civil defense plan during the cold war, in June 1957, Riverview created a Civil Defense/Auxiliary volunteer Police force to assist full time officers.  The auxiliary consisted of 19 officers under the direction of Sgt. Shoup.

In 1959 the Riverview Police department; with the incorporation fo Riverview as a city, moved from their original location, 18516 West Jefferson, t a newly built municipal comples to house City Hall, Fire Department and Police at 17700 Fort Street.  The municipal offices would be located here until 1989 when the city purchased the then closed former Jack downing Elementary school creating a municipal office building that included a senior recreation area.

During 1959/1960, Riverview Police changed the color of the uniforms from dark midnight blue/bacl to French blue pants and shirts.

In April 1961, Chief Andrew Davis retired and Sergeant Jack Shoup was named Chief.

In 1966 the council approved Chief Shoup’s department reorganization plan that made the addition of a Deputy Chief of Police and four Lieutenants positions.  Under Chief Shoup, a detective bureau was created.

Below is a list of Chiefs of Police for the Riverview Police Department in order:

Roy Smith

A J Valade

Andy Davis

Jack Shup

Adam Molnar

George Tear

Charles J. Hale

Donald Highfield

David Couture

James Bartus

Dean Workman

Patrick Knight

Don Ginestet

Clifford Rosebohm

Ronald Beggs

Bob Bemis

John R. Allen

Special thanks to Lt. Dade Pepin for the research of our historical beginnings.

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