History of the Police Department

In 1858, the City of Stevens Point was incorporated and the elected office of City Marshal was established. A.E. Aldrich was elected as the first City Marshal.

In 1883, the office of the Chief of Police was established and James Bellinger was appointed as the first Chief. Since then, 27 men have held the position, including the present Police Chief, Kevin K. Ruder.

On September 7, 1933, the Common Council ordained the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners to act as the governing body of the Police and Fire Departments.

In May, 2001, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Board officially recognized the Department as an Accredited Law Enforcement Agency. The certification was awarded by Attorney General Doyle, under the authority of the Accreditation Board, at the Attorney General's Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Accreditation is another step to ensure that the Police Department continues to deliver quality services to the community. Having accomplished this goal, the concept of community oriented policing is enhanced, and accreditation will aid in the development of a vision for the future of policing in the community. The Department will engage in a strategic planning process in 2002.

During the calendar year 2002, the Department received a federal grant of $14,501 which will be utilized for police equipment. In addition to receiving the grant, the Department works directly through city government to develop capital and operational budgets which provide the greatest opportunity to obtain equipment and maintain professionally trained staff who work to ensure that personal safety and the protection of property are the top priorities in our community.