E.O.P.D. Back In Time

East Orange Police Department

EOPD Home Page



  The Evolution of American Policing
by Dan O. Sabath

Original 1960's Photograph Of EOPD Traffic MotorcycleIt is no secret that America inherited much of its governmental institutions from Great Britain.Lawmen Back In Time American law enforcement is no exception. British policing can be traced back to before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.  The first Europeans who landed on our shores, found a strange and wondrous new land, inhabited by strange and wondrous people. The newcomers had all they could do to establish themselves and to protect themselves from those who did not wish to share their land. Thus, policing was the responsibility of all able-bodied men, and, of course, young boys as well.  After "things" got fairly well settled the job of maintaining order in the new colonies was given to Justices of the Peace, and one might see "culprits" in pillories or stocks, paying their debt to society. But, as colonies changed into towns and towns into cities, the Justice of the Peace system was not enough. It became time for an organized, and paid, police force.  In 1636 the city of Boston established Night Watch, which idea worked reasonably well as long as the area remained a rural and agrarian one. New York City established the Shout and Rattle Watch in 1651, but, by 1705 Philadelphia found it necessary to divide the city into ten patrol areas.  In the almost 100 years between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the more than rapid growth of population and industrialization in America mandated the development of municipal police departments.

1940's Police MotorcycleIn 1833, Philadelphia organized an independent, 24 hour a day, police force. In 1844, New York City had two police forces; daytime duty and the night watch. During this period, police departments were headed by police chiefs, appointed and accountable to political bosses. Corruption was commonplace.  Part of the inherited law enforcement was the Sheriff system. (Remember the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood?) As America moved toward the west, in most frontier towns the Sheriff was the chief law enforcement official. He could be recruited from the local community, or more often a Sheriff was selected by his reputation, and not always a savory one. The Sheriff system still exists today, but, on a more formal and politicized basis.  Today's law enforcement agencies and departments are highly specialized organizations, with ongoing training to prepare to meet a great variety of problems and situations. Today we have federal, state, county, and municipal police. The world, our world, has gotten to be a most dangerous place, and we all are dependent on peace officers from every organization for our" life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

1970 safety memo flyer distributed and signed by former Mayor James W. Kelly Jr.
click to enlarge

In Memory Of EOPD School Crossing Guard Jackie McGee
click to enlarge

Click below four pictures to enlarge East Orange's earlier times.  

Click above two photographs to enlarge the 1991 original E.O.P.D. Honor Guard and the original 1986 Narcotics Task Force.


Special Thanks to Doctor Patricia M. Brady
daughter of the late EOPD Sergeant William Brady
for donating most of the below  nostalgia photographs.


 Above: Patrolman Bartholomew A. Brady joined the EOPD in 1900 retired 1930 He was the father of the late EOPD Sergeant William Brady.

Below: Photographs from the 1950's taken in front of East Orange City Hall


Below Photograph taken in the rotunda of East Orange City Hall sometime in the late 1980's

 Photograph taken in the rotunda of East Orange City Hall sometime in the late 1980's


EOPD Archives: November 29th 1909 East Orange Bathtub Mystery
(click on below green text links to view photo or image - to return back to EOPD website hit back button)

It was a slow afternoon on November 29, 1909 at the East Orange Police Department when Sergeant Timothy Caniff answered the telephone. On the other end of the line was the voice of an elderly woman with a strange request, a "coroner". She explained there had been an "accident", and gave her address as
89 North 14th Street. Since Essex County did not have a coroner, the Sergeant called Dr. Herbert M. Simmons, the Assistant County Physician, located nearby close to the Ampere Train Station. He walked across the Lackawanna Railroad Overpass and continued along three blocks until he reached the designated destination. Before he could knock at the door it opened and he was greeted by an elderly woman dressed in black with heavy veils obscuring her face. Miss Ocey SneadTaken aback, the doctor felt reassured when she introduced herself in a courtly southern accent as Virginia Wardlaw. This May be a Photograph of Ocey's Snead's Actual Suicide Note. East Orange veteran detective, Sergeant William O'Neill, arrived at the dimly lit house on 14th Street at around 6:00pm. With too many questions and too few answers he ordered the woman in black held as a material witness at the nearby Essex County Jail on Wilsey Street in Newark. When Virginia Wardlaw was brought before a judge at the Essex County Courthouse in Newark the next day, dozens of newspaper reporters and photographers were waiting. Very few people are aware of the case today, and there remains very little evidence of it. However, the bleak house photo still stands as a testament to Ocey's death while it awaits recognition as a monument to "Southern Pride", or as a monument to murder. Get the complete story of this case by clicking here E.O. Bathtub Mystery 

EOPD Archives: September 6th 1903 Patrol Arrest #13 for Atrocious Assault and Battery

Article that appeared in the Newark Evening News - Now The Newark Star Ledger.... 

Earnest Cicree aka Earnest Zicree was sought for months for murder in Providence, R.I., thefts of diamonds by the Police of Canada, Rochester, Buffalo and is a possible suspect in the murder of James J. Haag an Orange jeweler. Suspect was arrested at 42 Main Street East Orange, the jewelry store of C. A. Lum by Detective Christian Dell. As the detective was transporting Mr. Cicree to headquarters by automobile, Cicree whipped out a .38 caliber gun and pressed it to Dell's side. He snapped the trigger, but the cartridge did not explode... Dell, a former seaman and standing over six feet, grabbed his prisoner and a terrific struggle was on. 

The captive suddenly flung himself  out of the machine, notwithstanding the auto was traveling thirty miles an hour. He landed violently on his head, but picked himself up and darted into Mitchell Place from Main Street. Dell soon lost him in a race over back fences. A police dragnet was spread throughout the city, and an hour later Patrol Motorcycle Policeman Charles Nadig caught the fellow at South Orange and Munn avenues, near the Newark city line. Cicree carried his revolver in a holster, the straps of which fitted around his neck. He tore up pawn tickets for jewelry, and the trail left by the pieces of pasteboard helped in recapturing him. 

At police headquarters he pleaded he did not know what he was doing because he was dazed from the use of cocaine. Cicree represented himself as a Secret Service operative when he entered Lum's place. He sought to obtain some diamonds by checks. This was in the late afternoon. When he approached the jeweler he opened his coat, and, drawing his gun, inquired of the jeweler why the latter did not purchase a revolver like his. Cicree went to another jeweler's, and Lum, suspicious notified the police.

Actual mug shot and written arrest report taken in 1903 - click to enlarge arrest report

Murder Suspect Earnest Cicree: Photo Taken After He Was Arrested in East Orange in 1903. Suspect Was the 13th Person Arrested By The EOPD That Year. Original East Orange Police Arrest Report of Earnest Cicree 

EOPD Archives: Photograph taken in 1949 of Officer Jack Owens

East Orange Police Original Photograph Taken in 1949 At The Intersection of North Grove St and 4th Ave. Policeman in Photo Is That of Officer Jack Owens Positively Identified By Former Resident Mr. Paul Schmitz.Photograph taken at the intersection of North Grove Street and 4th Avenue of an East Orange Police Officer. Policeman in photo is positively ID as Officer Jack Owens, thanks to Mr. Paul Schmitz.
Below is a copy of an e-mail received from Mr. Paul Schmitz former resident of 339 No. Grove St on 12/29/02

On your Back in Time page, you have a picture of an officer at 4th and Grove. The name of that officer is Jack Owens. My dad and mom both confirmed his name. My family lived on the first floor of 339 N. Grove St - 2nd house from the corner - in your picture. The Detore's lived in the house on the corner - believe one of the Detore's, Bob, is mayor of Verona. Mr. Owens used to come to our house for coffee every Sunday morning. My dad gave him free haircuts. And my parents had been to his house - my dad thinks it was in Orange.
To Mr. Paul Schmitz our sincere gratitude.
Mr. Schmitz e-mail address: 

EOPD Archives: From Police Memorabilia To Famous PeopleEast Orange Resident Clara Louise Maass

If you live or work in New Jersey, you may have visited Clara Maass Medical Center, or heard of the Clara Maass School of Nursing. You may even have a recollection from elementary school of hearing of her service to humanity. If you collect stamps, you may have come across the 1976 commemorative stamp honoring Clara Maass and asked this question: Who was this woman, the first nurse honored on a United States postage stamp, as well as the first nurse for whom an American Hospital was named? She was Clara Louise Maass born on June 28, 1876 in East Orange, New Jersey the first of 10 children. On August 14, 1901 she was bitten by mosquitoes that were believed to be infected with the yellow fever virus. She became ill on August 18 and died on August 24, 1901.

Besides being a famous place, New Jersey is renowned the world over as the birthplace and home of many famous ideas, innovations, and people. You might say that folks from New Jersey can really carry a tune. Sing along with Frank Sinatra (Hoboken), Connie Francis (Newark), Whitney Houston (East Orange), Paul Simon (Hoboken), Bruce Springsteen (Freehold), Bette Midler (Paterson), Dionne Warwick (East Orange), or Jon Bon Jovi (Sayreville). 

According to Shakespeare, "all the world's a stage"-but many famous actors got their start on the stage in New Jersey. Think about that the next time you see a TV show or movie starring Michael Douglas (New Brunswick), Meryl Streep (Summit), John Travolta (Englewood), Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson (Neptune), Tom Cruise (Glen Ridge), Joe Pesci, Bruce Willis, and Jon Forsythe (Penns Grove), Jerry Lewis and Eva Marie Saint (Newark), Elisabeth and Andrew Shue (South Orange), Thomas Mitchell (East Orange), and Robert Blake (Nutley).

Below are two original photographs & one postcard of East Orange around the
late 1800's & early 1900's
(click to enlarge)

North Arlington Ave, Old East Orange, N.J.

Main St. & North Grove St. Old East Orange, NJ

006.jpg (217929 bytes)

Original photographs of the EOPD Traffic Unit taken in the 1960's




EOPD Home Page


E.O.P.D Home

Chief of Police

E.O.P.D Mission

Patch Request

F.O.P News

What's New E.O

Patrol Division

Detective Bureau

Narcotics Unit

E.C.S.T. Unit

Internal Affairs

Comm Relations

Sign Guestbook

View Guestbook

Website Awards

L.E. Police Links


Traffic Div

Administration Communications Record Bureau Crime Prevention Pay Tickets Online Dangerous States