Earliest records indicate Edward J. Watson was chosen by the people to serve as the first City Marshal in 1872. Some of the duties of the early city marshals, included apprehending horse thieves and hauling hobos in and off the trains and rounding up the town drunks. Some of these offenders ended up in the calaboose (the first Jefferson County Jail is located in the Jefferson County Historical Village at 1411 N 27th Street, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.)

YEAR   CHIEF/MARSHAL
1876   City Marshal Edward J. Watson
1904   City Marshal William C. Grove
1915   Chief of Police Johnson
1921   Chief of Police William Reese
1927-1928   Chief of Police Bill Brove
Unknown   Chief of Police Hal Smith
Unknown   Chief of Police Wilson Lively
1942-1959   Chief of Police Verner Pigg
1959-1961   Chief of Police John Wielt
1961-1980   Chief of Police Fred Dedman
1980-1998   Chief of Police Ron Massey
1998-2014   Chief of Police Chris Mendenall

During the 1950's, the "Door Shakers" were organized. This group of merchant police were security guards hired by store owners to check and secure their businesses at night. Of course, they were always on the look out for break-ins and thieves. The exact dates of their disbursement isn't known. During this time parking meters were also installed downtown and are still in use today. A motorcycle patrol was added to the department in the 50's and in 2005, but is no longer in use today.

 

In May 1927, during Prohibition, the Mt. Vernon Police Department confiscated a load of alcohol in an undercover operation. Undercover operations still continue. In February 1995, the Mt. Vernon Narcotics Division working undercover conducted their first raid at a cocaine house and they seized cocaine, marijuana, and guns.

 




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