History & Highlights

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spd 1800s1800s

  • 1802: Staunton Town Council drafted laws and ordinances for the policing and governing of the town. 
  • 1853: Council established the position of Chief of Police and elected Mangum W. Crawford as chief at an annual salary of $75.


  • 1930s: Purchased the first police car, fingerprinting equipment and camera equipment.
  • 1960s: Instituted the Reserve Corps, K-9 Corps and hired our first African American officer.
  • 1970s: Used the first video replay TV in Virginia and hired the first full-time female police officer.
  • 1980s: Received initial accreditation, began the CrimeStoppers program and received the Governor’s Crime Prevention Award.
  • 1990s: Relocated from the former Booker T. Washington High School to City Hall and promoted a female officer to the rank of Sergeant for the first time.Launched the Critical Incident Response Team-Hostage Negotiators, purchased a robot for the Crime Prevention Unit and implemented a community policing program.


  • 2000-2010: Promoted a female officer to rank of Captain for the first time; hired the first bilingual officer; began the “Shop with a Cop” program to benefit underprivileged youth during the Christmas season; purchased technology to automate the fingerprinting process; and received the distinction of CALEA Flagship Agency for model law enforcement.
  • 2010-2015: Held the first Tom Larner Memorial 5K, debuted new black and white marked police cars and equipped officers with body-worn cameras.