1960s and 70s
1980s and 90s
mid-1990s to the present
When the 20th century began, Upper Darby’s Population was 3,821 and its government was active only as the need rose. On November 5th, 1906, Upper Darby’s first police officer, Edward C. Agnew, was appointed. His duty was to “arrest all disorderly persons and take them before a Justice of the Peace to be dealt with according to law.” In 1908 four other men were designated as police officers and served at the discretion of township commissioners without compensation and supplied their own horses. By the middle of 1909, each officer earned a salary of $80.00. The first Upper Darby Police Station opened in 1909 on the 900 block of Baltimore Avenue in Fernwood.
Since that time, the department continues to evolve. There are currently 133 sworn officers that handle over 60,000 service calls a year over 7.62 square miles. In 2012 the department investigated 1,829 criminal offenses and arrested 1,719 persons. Highway patrol, K-9, and mountain bike units are popular assignments. SWAT and hostage negotiations have become effective tools in handling crisis situations and high-risk warrant service. Body armor helps keep officers safe. Digital technology has completely changed the way law enforcement services are delivered.
Interaction with the community we serve has increased. Now, the Upper Darby Police Department mentors children at young ages in conjuction with the school district. A Citizens Police Academy is held twice a year to give residents a glimpse into the inner workings of the police department. Police presence at town hall meetings is a standard so that we can join with the public in finding solutions to citizens’ concerns.
What hasn’t changed is the human factor. The deep desire of the individual officer to protect and serve the residents of Upper Darby Township with honor and distinction.