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Police Department History

Police Parade circaParade circa 1910.  Picture provided by Hinsdale Historical Society Archives.  Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

The first police officer position in Hinsdale was created in 1873 and was titled “Police Magistrate”.  This position was created to keep Hinsdale and its residents safe.  The position allowed the “Police Magistrate” to not only act as the arresting officer, but also to act as the judge to impose penalties and fines. 
In 1877, the Village changed the position from “Police Magistrate” to “Constable”, to handle the horse stealing and tramp problem that was becoming more prominent.   In 1882, the Village reinstated the position of “Town Marshall” or “Constable” and hired John W. Nicholson to assume the part time role.  A third, part time, “Constable” was hired and at times, special police were also hired when needed.  After two “Constables”, the first Police Badge was given to John Peter Linn in 1888 along with the title of “Patrolman”.  Linn was primarily responsible for lighting, refilling, and cleaning of the lamps around town and patrolling the community.  Over the years, the total number of lamps grew from 6 to 55-60 and the duties associated with the lamps became a full time responsibility.  Twenty years later, John W. Nicholson became the first full time “Chief” of Police in Hinsdale.  In 1905, Chief Nicholson began integrating private and Village owned automobiles into the department and eventually in 1925, the Village was able to purchase the Police Department its' own squad car and two motorcycles.  Chief Nicholson was instrumental in modernizing the police department, not just with the introduction to automobiles, but also the introduction of uniforms. 
Chief Nicholson resigned in 1912 and served the Hinsdale Police Department for over 30 years.  The role has, since then, been passed on to many.  Chief Bradley Bloom recently retired having been Chief of Police for over 13 years.  Currently, the role of Police Chief is held by Kevin Simpson who has served as the Department's Deputy Chief for 13 years.  (Information provided by the Hinsdale Historical Society.)

Police Department in Front of Building no date
Hinsdale Police (Date unknown) Picture provided by Hinsdale Historical Society Archives.  Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

1895 Ordinances

Illegal to:
  • Fly a Kite
  • Own an unlicensed "billiard, pigeonhole or pool table, or pinball alley, or shooting gallery"
  • Leave horses unhitched
  • Deface or tear a poster or bill
  • Exhibit in or bring into town a stud horse or bull
  • Have a barbed wire fence in town
  • Hold a "boxing or sparring exhibition, jumping, racing or other games or theatrical or musical entertainments on Sunday"
  • Remain in front of a building after being asked to move along
  • Spit on the sidewalk
  • Village wide curfew of 9 PM (even for adults)
(From Hinsdale, Timothy Bakken, Doings Newspapers, 1976)