In November 1855, a motion was made to then Mayor Lorin Farr to select a police force for the City of Ogden. By December, an ordinance was drafted and passed by the City Council to select 25 good, efficient men to act as policemen. Ogden had only become a city in 1851. The influence of the Mormon Church was evident I the early years of the police force. The force was referred to as a “quorum” and the officers were addressed as “brother.” An officer could be dropped from the force for drunkenness and profanity. The police quorum met weekly and records show that the main concern was to keep the streets clean of drunkenness.
At the turn of the century, the population growth and increase in crime created the need to for new laws and a redefining of the duties of the police. In 1902, the Ogden Police Department consisted of a chief, a captain, a detective and eight patrolmen. A patrolman earned $75 per month and worked twelve hour days. In 1903, Police Chief Thomas E. Browning requested the purchase of a patrol wagon. Mayor William Glasmann denied the request stating that such a purchase would require the purchase of a team of horses, the hiring of a driver and a caretaker for the horses as well as maintaining a stable. Such costs were not warranted, however, Mayor Glasmann did authorize the chief to engage a carriage, gurney, cab, wagon, or other conveyance as the chief might wish for patrol purposes. That same year Chief Browning requested placement of a telephone on the desk in the police station office and the request was granted.
Ogden Police Today
As of 2011, the Ogden Police Department has been in the state-of –the-art 60,000 square foot public safety building since the year 2000. The facility houses the police department, fire administration and Ogden’s central fire station. The department is comprised of 144 sworn officers, 10 Community Service Officers and 23 civilian employees. In addition, 50 volunteers made up the Ogden Reserve Corps. There are three main divisions within the Department: Uniform Division, Investigations Division, and Support Services Division. Each division is led by an Assistant Chief, with Bureau Commanders, Watch Commanders, and Sergeants acting in administrative and supervisory roles. Ranks within the Department consist of officer, master officer, sergeant, and lieutenant, with detective positions being assignments at the respective rank of the individual. Assistant Chief is an appointed position, as is the position of Chief of Police.
In 2010, the police department responded to 104,406 calls for service and officers wrote 28,738 reports. Officers patrol over 28 square miles and made approximately 8,360 arrests; 7,089 adults and 1,271 juveniles.
The department is actively engaged in community policing with ten officers assigned full-time to the Community Policing unit, primarily using bicycles as their mode of transportation. In addition, the department has a K-9 Unit, Crime Reduction Unit, Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Policing, and D.A.R.E. programs. Ogden Police Department administers the Ogden Metro SWAT Team, the Ogden Metro Gang Unit, and participates heavily with the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.