Bemidji Police Department: then and now

I was re-reading the Bemidji Police Department’s strategic plan when I came up on this photo from 1962:

It’s interesting to think how things have changed from then. Here’s a little bit more history about the department from the strategic plan:

The Police Department has evolved from a Village Marshall (Daniel Darmis), appointed in 1896 to 31 full-time officers headed by Chief of Police Michael Mastin in 2012.
The City of Bemidji was chartered November 4, 1905, as a Home Rule city with ‘strong mayor’ government where Alva A. Carter was elected mayor. The first Chief of Police appointed under the chartered city was S.O. Bailey who served as police chief from 1905 to 1914. Bemidji has had several Chiefs of Police since including; Harry Grey (1928 – 1943), Martin Daley (1943 – 1948) Earl Lang (1948 – 1955), James McDowell (1955- 1975), David Simondet (1975 – 1980), Robert Tell (1980 – 2000), J. Bruce Preece (2000 – 2005), and Gerald W. Johnson (2006 – 2011).




4 thoughts on “Bemidji Police Department: then and now

  1. So nice to see old pictures like this. I have this same picture. Front row….first on left…is my dad, Arnold Johnson. I know all the other officers in the picture also and stories of all of them. Heart warming. The uniforms they have on were made of wool and they wore them all year round. Even the hot summer days.

  2. Brings back good memories. Like the time in 1957 when I and several high school class mates pulled an April Fools Joke near the old bus depot. A few citizens did not, it appears, appreciate it. A few hours later, the local police, pulled us over and said, “Oh, it’s you guys again”. “You better register with us next time or you will see what the inside of our city jail looks like”. No more April Fools Jokes in Bemidji after that. Bemidji Police, class act!

  3. I also have this same picture. That’s my dad back row, left. Jim Gorman was my father-in-law. My son has both of his grandpa’s in this picture!

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