History

Photo of the Original Headquarters of the SPDThe Southfield Township Police Department was organized in October 1953 by a retired Detroit police officer. The officer had his office in the Police Headquarters at the Town Hall on 10 1/2 Mile Road and Berg Road.

In 1954 a 14'x28' room was added to the fire station at Ten Mile and Evergreen Roads and three additional police officers were hired. From 1953 to 1956, the department operated with one car and no radio communications. If a call for service was received, a red light in front of the building was turned on, letting the officer, who passed the station every fifteen minutes, know that a call was waiting.

When the City was incorporated in 1958, the department grew to 16 officers and 2 more cars were added. The Department leased new quarters on Evergreen Road at Jeanette in September 1958. The two-story, eight room farmhouse was remodeled by the officers in their off-duty time. Because the station lacked detention facilities, prisoners were handcuffed to the drain at the water-cooler until they were released or transferred.

On New Years Day, 1960, a new Chief with 26 officers under his command, assumed responsibility for police protection of the city. Two years later, department members constructed a 15-position practice pistol range at a site on Eleven Mile Road, west of Telegraph Road. The early 1960's also brought into being the first traffic safety program in the City. In August 1964, the department moved its 51 officers into the Civic Center Municipal Building. For the first time, the Southfield Police Department has a detention area and a security garage.

Significant strides were initiated to keep pace with the demands for police protection being placed upon the City during the 1970's. Through federal grants, the City hired additional officers and purchased equipment for traffic safety and crime prevention activities as well as a department Canine Corps and a special detail assigned to handle the Northland Shopping Center area. A county-wide computer system and microfilming system was established in the Records Bureau to assist in the handling of the increased volume of records and complaints.

In 1972, the department consisted of 107 officers, outgrowing the available space in the Municipal Building. From 1974 to 1979, the city rented office space across the street from the Municipal Building to house the Traffic Bureau, Crime Prevention, and the Detective Bureau.

A public safety millage, authorized by the voters in 1973, provided for additional personnel and the construction of a Public Safety Building, which was ultimately occupied in 1979.