Following the incorporation of the Village of Larchmont, the Board of Trustees made one of the first orders of business to provide police services in the newly established Village. Accordingly, at the second meeting of the Board of Trustees held on October 10, 1891, the Village Board appointed Constable Richard Restore. A second constable, John O’Brien, was appointed in 1892.
After the resignation of Constable Restore, a full time patrolman, William F. Camp was appointed in 1894. By 1898 a full time police department was organized with a complement of five patrolmen under the direction of Captain R.C. Stewart. Village records from March, 1898 identify the patrolman as: W.F. Camp, Wm. McGuire, J. O’Brien M. McDermott, and W.M. Hynds. In fact, at the time Larchmont boasted the only full-time uniformed police force along the Boston Post Road between New Rochelle and Stamford. Captain Steward headed the Department until 1902.
William M. Hynds, was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1902. That year, under his direction the Larchmont Police Department, whose headquarters along with the Fire Department and Village Hall were located at Circle and Magnolia Avenues, acquired bicycles for each member of the force.
In 1910 Patrolman Oliver P. Cochran was assigned to motorcycle patrol, one of three patrolling the Boston Post Road between Port Chester and New York City. By the early 1920’s Village Hall was relocated to a new building at the intersection of Larchmont Avenue and Boston Post Road, the Police Department complement had risen to eighteen, and two more motorcycle officers, Eugene Marshall and Walter Verdick, were added to discourage speeders on the Boston Post Rd
As the Village of Larchmont grew, so did the Larchmont Police Department. On April 17, 1933 William J. Keresey, who had been appointed in 1914, was promoted Chief of Police upon the retirement of Chief Hynds; he would remain in that capacity until 1974. Under his direction police radios were installed in 1937 revolutionizing the way officers were dispatched to calls for service, and drastically reducing response time. By 1963 the complement had risen to 23, and in an article that appeared that year in the Herald Statesman, Chief Keresey was”...reported to be the oldest Chief, from point of service, in the state and quite possibly the country.”
Over the years, under the direction of several Chiefs of Police the Larchmont Police Department has grown and changed with the times. Today it continues to strive to be a progressive police agency while maintaining the small town community policing practices and personalized police service intended by its founders and embodied in those charged with its direction.
(some images courtesy of the Larchmont Historical Society)