Fire and Police Dept. Collection
Prior to 1856 there were no patrolmen or watchmen in the city. Under the revised charter of 1857 the Common Council had the power to appoint a police constable and one watchman for each ward.
Three fire companies were partly organized as early as 1844, but they were only temporary. Two volunteer fire companies were organzied in the fall of 1849 and a third in January of 1850. As they say, the rest is history.